CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Celebration concerning the IDF is a shame

18 April, 2019

• IT has come to our attention that the JW3 cultural centre is hosting an event to celebrate British young people and residents of the UK who volunteer for service in the IDF, the army of the state of Israel.

Some of your readers will be concerned by the thought of young Britons fighting wars within foreign armed forces. The fact that these young people are lending their armed support to the Israeli government is particularly troubling.

Israel has been occupying Palestinian territories for over half a century and maintains two different systems of apartheid, one in its own territories and one in the territories it occupies.

Israeli apartheid is constitutionally enshrined in its “nation-state” basic law. The atrocities committed by Israel’s armed forces have been widely described in the press.

An independent international commission of inquiry on the protests in Gaza established by the UN Human Rights Council, for instance, recently found reasonable grounds to believe that, with two exceptions, “the use of live ammunition by Israeli security forces against demonstrators was unlawful” (report A/HRC/40/74, paragraph 94).

In the recent parliamentary elections in Israel, the combined vote of the three parties that actively oppose the occupation (Hadash-Ta’al, Meretz and Ra’am-Balad) reached less than 12 per cent.

In other words, the continued occupation of Palestinian territories is supported by over 88 per cent of voters.

The JW3 centre is a cultural institution of which everybody in Camden can be proud. Jewish culture is a key ingredient of Camden’s cultural mix.

It’s a shame, though, that such a distinguished institution as JW3 should host a celebration of Britons who fight in support of a racist regime.

Camden has a proud history in the fight against all forms of racism, including during the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.

SABBY SAGALL, chair
LUCA SALICE, press officer
GEOFF LEE, treasurer
Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Camden branch

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