Come for one of us, come for us all!: Anticolonialist Jews to G.W. Goldnadel

It has come to our attention that the French-Israeli lawyer, G.W. Goldnadel, has threatened to take the decolonial activist Houria Bouteldja to court for having written ‘it is not possible to be innocently Israeli’ in a text condemning antisemitism and discussing how it is produced and spread. Some interpreted this as fallacious and others incorrectly deemed it to be essentialising. From the vantage point of the anticolonial literary and political tradition, the application of this expression to Israelis has nothing to do with any ethnic or religious essence but is produced by collective social and power relations. As anticolonialist Jews of different nationalities, including Israeli, we agree with Bouteldja’s words which speak for us as it did for several generations of anticolonialists before us. It is because one cannot be innocently Israeli that Avraham Burg requested that the record of his Jewish nationality be effaced from the national registry of the State of Israel after the passage of the Nation-State Law.[1] It is because one cannot be innocently Israeli that brave Israeli citizens struggle against the colonial politics of the state and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. It is because no one can innocently accept the reality of colonialism that sixty young Israelis have just refused to serve in the occupying army.[2] It is because it is impossible to be innocently Israeli that the human rights organisation, B’Tselem, recently denounced Israel’s ‘regime of Jewish supremacy’ and Apartheid.[3] As the Tunisian Jewish writer Albert Memmi wrote, ‘the colonial reality is not a pure idea: it is an ensemble of real-life conditions. Refusing to see this means either physically surrendering to these conditions or fighting to transform them.’ The responsibility of Israelis in Palestine in the face of this colonial reality is obvious to the anticolonial activists there who bear witness to the fact that neither it nor the murderous identities it produces can be overlooked. Committed to freedom, this responsibility paves the way to the dignity that each human being aspires to. In a world drifting ever further into more authoritarian and inequitable rule, the fight for dignity comes at an increasingly higher cost. The rancid atmosphere that has been created powerfully penetrates a growing number of political schools and media organisations. The campaigns of intimidation and defamation such as those targeting Houria Bouteldja should be alarming to anyone worried about the retreat of democracy. The tactics of censuring an activist they wish to silence and of isolating and discrediting her, both within and beyond the public sphere, reminds us of those of our antisemitic oppressors. These are the methods of those brown-shirted forces of tragic years past. The onslaughts they wage in the media leave no one out, including members of the French Union of Jews for Peace, who they call ‘shameful Jews’ and who they try to have excluded from public debate. We French, Israeli, Belgian, US-American, British, Australian, and North African Jews, walking in the footsteps of the warriors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, of the workers’ movement, of the European Resistance fighters, or of the struggle for anticolonial liberation reject these cabals who, in the name of defeating antisemitism, are in fact involved in obscuring its understanding as a form of racism. Instead they generate an antisemitic amalgamation of Jews and Israelis. It is because the decolonial movement takes the fight again antisemitism seriously, without disconnecting it from the anticolonial struggle, that it is denounced today by the biggest reactionaries in the French political sphere. But it is for this very reason that the decolonial movement is a part of our family and vice versa. We therefore demand that, if G.W. Goldnadel wish to pursue any legal proceedings against Houria Bouteldja that he come for us as well.



Gil Anidjar, professeur, Columbia University, New York / Etats-Unis

Simon Assoun, militant antiraciste, éducateur spécialisé / France

Ariella Azoulay, Professor of Modern Culture & Media and Comparative Literature / Etats-Unis

Rudi Barnet, metteur en scène, créateur de «Une Saison au Congo» de Aimé Césaire en 1967 et du festival “50ème Droits!” / Belgique

Haim Bresheeth, Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London / Israélien, Royaume-Uni

Rivkah Brown, Vashti Media, London / Royaume-Uni

James Cohen, professeur d’université, /France

Laurent Cohen, Ijan / Espagne

Liliane Cordova Kaczerginski, Ijan / Espagne

Jordy Cummings, lecturer and Trade Unionist,  York University / Canada

Sonia Fayman, UJFP / France

Caroline Gay, comédienne / France

Henri Goldman / Belgique

Jean-Guy Greilsamer, UJFP, issu d’une famille victime des nazis et de la collaboration / France

Ramon Grosfoguel, professeur d’université / Etats-Unis

Georges Gumpel, Militant anticolonialiste, Partie Civile au procès de Klaus Barbie / France

Gabriel Hagai, Rabbin / Israélien, France

Aaron Jaffe, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Liberal Arts, The Juilliard School, New York / Etats-Unis

Sara Kershnar. Coordinatrice internationale de IJAN

David Landy, Trinity College Dublin / Irlande

Ronit Lentin, Trinity College Dublin (retired) / Israélienne, Irlande

Alana Lentin, universitaire / Australie

Zachary Levenson, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina / Etats-Unis

Les Levidow, Senior Research Fellow, Open University / Royaume-Uni

Daniel Levyne, UJFP / France

Yosefa Loshitzky, SOAS University of London / Israélien, Royaume-Uni

Joëlle Marelli, traductrice / France

Anat Matar

Jean-Claude Meyer, Juif alsacien et antisioniste, dont le père a été fusillé par les nazis le 14 juillet 1944 et dont la famille a été déportée et tuée à Auschwitz, UJFP / France

Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, NYU / Etats-Unis

Dominique Natanson, animateur du site Mémoire Juive & Education / France

Atalia Omer, Senior Fellow, Religion, Conflict, and Peace Initiative at Harvard Divinity School / Etats-Unis

Charles Post, City University of New York / Etats-Unis

Ben Ratskoff, Editor-in-Chief of PROTOCOLS / Etats-Unis

Michael Richmond, Jewish writer, London / Royaume-Uni

Brant Rosen, Rabbin, Tzedek Chicago / Etats-Unis

Simona Sharoni 

Richard Silverstein, journalist, Tikun Olam / Etats-Unis

Santiago Slabodsky, Jewish Studies Professor / Argentina / Etats-Unis

Stephen Suffern, avocat aux barreaux de Paris et de New York / France

Marianne Van Leeuw-Koplewicz, éditrice / Belgique

Michel Warschawski, militant anticolonialiste / Israël

[1] Https://


[3] ng.pdf