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.