- July 10, 2006
Israel `terrorizing’ entire Palestinian nation, say British Jews
Some 300 prominent British Jews Friday condemned Israel for its brutal invasion of Gaza and urged the UK government to achieve an immediate ceasefire.
The Zionist regime is “using its enormously superior military might to terrorize an entire people,” they said in a full-page petition published in the Times newspaper.
“Bombing power stations and cutting off fuel supplies deprives people of electricity, refrigeration, pumped drinking water and sewage disposal services. It holds hostage hospital patients on life support systems, or undergoing dialysis,” the petition said.
The well-known British figures, describing themselves as Jews for Justice for Palestinians (Jfjfp), included playwright Harold Pinter, film director Mike Leigh, historian Professor Eric Hobsbawn, and actor Miriam Margoyles as well as a large number of academics.
They said that Israel was trying to present an isolated incident regarding the capture of a soldier, while ignoring their “regular snatching of Palestinians from their home.”
There were “thousands” of Palestinians held without trial, including women and children.
Jfjfp spokesman Dan Judelson said the prominent Jews “simply do not see how Israel can defend attacking civilian targets such as water works and power supply.”
“There are those in the community who say that Jews should not criticize Israel. But Israel is damaging itself through this kind of action,” Judelson said.
He told the BBC that many people believed the attacks on Palestinian infrastructure “were less about liberating Cpl Shalit and more about seeking a pretext to over-throw Hamas.”
Their petition criticized the response by the US and its allies in calling for restraint as “desperately inadequate.”
It was a situation that requires “determined action by the international community,” it warned.
“We watch with horror the collective punishment of the people of Gaza. Everything reasonable must be done to secure Corporal Gilad Shalit’s safe release but nothing Israel is doing contributes to that aim,” it warned.
The Jewish leaders called on the British public to write to their MPs to demand that the UK government breaks its silence and acts “to achieve an immediate ceasefire.”
Their community leaders were also urged to write to the Israeli Embassy to “make them understand their actions are wrong, their explanations unconvincing.”