CamdenNewJournal

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We are appalled by the actions of the Board of Deputies of British Jews

28 June, 2018

• ON June 18 an open letter signed by 75, now 92, Jewish people in the UK was sent to the (Camden-based) Board of Deputies of British Jews.

It stated: “We are appalled that the Board of Deputies (BoD) which claims to be ‘the voice of British Jews,’ has once again attempted to justify the massacre of unarmed Palestinian people by the Israeli military.”

Since the start of the Great March of Return calling for the Palestinians’ right to return to their ancestral homelands and an end to the 11-year siege of Gaza, at least 123 Palestinians have been killed and over 13,600 have been injured.

Thousands are suffering from life-changing injuries caused by Israel’s use of illegal “dumdum” or “butterfly” bullets which expand after entering the body.

We want to make clear that the BoD doesn’t speak for us. The signatories include Sir Geoffrey Bindman, Professors Moshe Machover and Avi Shlaim, and Michael Rosen.

Among the first to sign was Ronnie Kasrils, a leading Anti-Apartheid campaigner who was in exile in Britain for some years, and later a minister in the Mandela government. He asked to be included in what he described as a “much needed statement”.

As we say in the letter, “The BoD in recent years has been uncritical of Israel and pro-Tory, contrary to the great Jewish working-class tradition of struggling for social justice in every situation.”

In that tradition, we endorse the call by Jamal Juma, co-ordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign: “join us in non-violent action by taking up the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions until Israel respects international law and human rights”.

There has been no reply or acknowledgement from the BoD (or the Jewish media) so far. The full letter and list of signatories is available here: www.facebook.com/AfterGazaMassacre/posts/200767647231085.

SELMA JAMES
International Jewish
Anti-Zionist Network UK

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