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Statement of Principles:

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JVL statement on the massacre in Gaza

JVL statement on the massacre in Gaza

Jewish Voice for Labour is appalled at the massacre of dozens of Palestinian protesters in Gaza, and the wounding of thousands by Israeli snipers using live fire and expanding bullets.

The numbers of unarmed people killed during six weeks of protest, including children and journalists, is now close to 100.

This is more than the numbers killed and wounded in the notorious Sharpeville massacre of unarmed protesters in 1960, which started South Africa’s slide into pariah status.

Palestinians were protesting the provocative decision by the US government to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba – the uprooting of the Palestinian people as a result of the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 – by moving its embassy to illegally-occupied Jerusalem.

We condemn the attempts of Israel and its supporters to place the blame on Hamas and away from the Israeli soldiers who carried out the shooting and their commanders. It compounds murder with the insult of denying the agency of Gazans driven to risk death by the nature of the Israeli siege and the wrecking of their lives

We believe that these protesters – many of them refugees from areas inside the state of Israel – have the right to return to their homes and lands. We call for an immediate end to the slaughter, for Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories, for an end to all discrimination inside Israel, and for progress towards a just and peaceful future for Palestinians and Israelis.

We urge the widest possible support for vigils and demonstrations called around the UK to commemorate the Nakba and to demand an end to violent suppression of legitimate Palestinian protests.

6 comments to JVL statement on the massacre in Gaza

  • Jaye

    I find this statement offensive in the extreme. It is full of inaccuracies, unchecked details presented as facts, and pure hate towards the young defenders of the Jewish State who are saving Jewish and non-Jewish lives every day. No, the soldiers are not all angels but to describe them collectively this way, and to exonerate a terrorist org Hamas and describe its violent and armed operatives as “unarmed” “protesters” and “driven to risk death”, including those who set fire to the crossing that provides sustenance for Gazans and attempted armed attacks near the fence, makes a mockery of your stated principles which include “we stand for rights and justice for Jewish people everywhere”. Everywhere it seems except Israel. I honestly don’t know how some of your members, who have expressed more sane views, can stomach being represented by this sort of libellous statement.

    • Mike Cushman

      This comment exemplifies the need for JVL because of the effort that apologists for Israel put into to excusing their crimes.

      We find it very regrettable that some people find our measured commentary on criminality more ‘offensive’ than the crimes themselves.

      It is important to remember than supporters of Apartheid South Africa made similar excuses for Sharpville.

    • Jon

      Jaye, I don’t think we should condemn the soldiers in the IDF who fire on unarmed protesters. They are “only obeying orders”. They have been instructed by a callous, inhumane government that they can open fire with deadly force if a fence is damaged or is likely to be damaged. In Britain, on 30th January 1972, British soldiers opened fire on Irish demonstrators in the Bogside area of Northern Ireland. The event was called Bloody Sunday and there were several public inquiries. Can we expect the Israeli government to order a public inquiry into the events of 14th and 15th May? Or don’t those men, women and children actually matter? Can we expect the Board of Deputies of British Jews to act like a good friend of Israel by reproaching its friend for the mistakes it has made, by calling for a more humane, civilised approach to the control of public demonstrations? And to request that seizures of Palestinian land should stop?

      To say “but they were supporters of Hamas” is no answer, no answer at all. The victims of Bloody Sunday were supporters of the IRA. But they were unarmed and they could have been kept under control with non lethal force. Blind loyalty to Israel on these occasions is unfortunately likely to stimulate more antisemitism in Britain. That is something none of us want, I hope.

  • Jon

    If only our British press was as outspoken as the Israeli journalists in Haaretz, the leading left wing Israeli newspaper. I subscribe, because I admire Haaretz.

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-what-kind-of-a-man-grins-like-that-1.6093255

    What kind of man grins like a kid in a candy store, knowing that in Gaza, the death toll is rising by ten Palestinians every hour? Knowing that just outside Gaza, thousands of Israelis are under grave trepidation for their families, their neighbors, their future.

    Okay, he was busy at the time, helping the Trump administration formally open a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. But what kind of man talks like this, at a time like this?

    As Netanyahu spoke, the casualty count mounted, eventually reaching 60 dead and well over a thousand wounded, many if not most by sniper fire.

    What kind of man, well-read, well-spoken, aware of irony wherever he sees it, chooses just that moment to tell this kind of anecdote:

    At the age of three, Netanyahu told the crowd in a memory of growing up near what is now the embassy, “I would approach this place right here, but only so far, because my mother told me, ‘You can’t go any further.’ This was near the border. It was exposed to sniper fire. That was then. This is now, today.”

    What is this man made of? He does not think like other people. He has a vision and a way of operating which are his alone. He has hopes and wishes and dreams and goals for himself and for Zionism which he has harbored for the length of his decades-long career.

    And now, in the space of barely a week, his every Zionist and personal wish list just came true.

    This is a man who found in 2016 that he could gain popularity by openly siding with IDF medic Elor Azaria, who, on his own initiative, carried out a field execution against an incapacitated terrorist.

    This is a man who then found he could further enhance his power by undermining his own army chief and firing his defense minister, because they insisted on prosecuting Azaria for violating the IDF’s rules of engagement.

    This is a man, that is, who has found he can benefit from the deaths of Palestinians – provided he can titrate the killings to what an increasingly sympathetic press calls a “reasonable'” level.

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