Leading British Jews call on Israel to halt ‘horror’ of Gaza

group of Britain’s most prominent Jews has called on Israel to cease its military operations in Gaza immediately, warning that its actions, far from improving the country’s security, will “strengthen extremism, destabilise the region, and exacerbate tensions inside Israel”.

Describing themselves, as “profound and passionate supporters” of Israel – and supporting its right to defend itself against the “war crime” of Hamas rocket attacks – they added that the current tactics threatened to undermine international support for Israel.

The intervention, in a letter published in today’s Observer, came as fears grew that Israel was to launch a “new phase” of its military offensive inside the Gaza strip. Yesterday warplanes dropped leaflets warning Gazans “not to be close to terrorists, weapons warehouses and the places where the terrorists operate”. The two-week-old campaign has already killed more than 800 Palestinians, while 13 Israelis have died, three of them civilians killed by Hamas rockets.

Although individual Jewish writers and religious figures have expressed their opposition to the conduct of Operation Cast Lead, the letter represents the most significant break with Israel’s tactics from a group of UK Jews.

Prominent rabbis, academics and political figures are among the signatories, including Rabbi Dr Tony Bayfield, head of the Movement for Reform Judaism; Sir Jeremy Beecham, former chair of the Labour party; Professor Shalom Lappin of the University of London; Baroness Julia Neuberger; Rabbi Danny Rich, chief executive of Liberal Judaism; Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein, principal of Leo Baeck rabbinical training college; and lawyer Michael Mitzman, who set up Holocaust Memorial Day Trust for the Home Office.

Their demand comes amid increasing pressure on Israel from the diplomatic community to halt its operations, and rising criticism of the humanitarian impact on Palestinian civilians, including allegations of potentially serious breaches of international humanitarian law. Demonstrations around the world yesterday called for a ceasefire.

“We look upon the increasing loss of life on both sides of the Gaza conflict with horror,” reads the letter. “We have no doubt that rocket attacks into southern Israel, by Hamas and other militant Palestinian groups, are war crimes against Israel. No sovereign state should, or would, tolerate continued attacks and the deliberate targeting of civilians. Israel had a right to respond and we support the Israeli government’s decision to make stopping the rocket attacks an urgent priority.

“However, we believe that now only negotiations can secure long-term security for Israel and the region.”

The letter was written before the escalation of ground fighting in Gaza City itself signalled by Israel yesterday.

“There can be no alternative to a negotiated solution,” said Beecham. “Israel should be demonstrating, along with the Palestinian Authority, that there are economic and political benefits to be gained from peaceful engagement rather than violent confrontation.”

His sentiments were echoed by Lappin: “Relying on overwhelming military force to respond to terrorist provocations invariably imposes horrendous suffering on innocent Palestinian civilians while entrenching the agents of terror in their midst. We have no alternative but to pursue rational, long term political options that promote moderation and marginalise extremists.”

Read whole artical

Ref: Guaridan

2 Responses

  1. From my point of view, they can send it to the pope and Abas, as they are nothing for Israel, thier pseudo Jewsih born incident, means nothing.
    ISRAEL DOSEN’T NEED YOU AND NEVER DID AND PLEASE DON’T COME ON HOLIDAYS AND SCREAM WHEN YOUR BRITISH ANTISEMITE FRIENDS WILL CHASE YOU.

    • Hey, feeling lonely as the world turns against murders like Israel?

      Bark as much as you can but you know that befor you go to sleep in the apartheid stat
      that you love – Israel is fake! With out the “whitness” support of your loyal friends
      and diaspora and the bilion of “aid” you get from USA you are NOTHING!

      I and the world are lookin forward to see you manage your colonialisation and shoah on your
      own money. This is the start of the end of the Israeli hegemony! You are going down. La la laaa..
      .
      Welcome to the world and international law!
      You will not like it but for 60 years you have roamed and killed.
      Enough is enough!

      🙂

      *hugh*

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