Ceasefire now. End the siege of Gaza.

Statement by the Jewish Socialists’ Group – updated 28th October 2023

Ceasefire now. End the siege of Gaza.

We stand solidly behind the right to resist occupation, oppression and the deadly siege of Gaza. We oppose all acts of terror against civilians, irrespective of whether those committing these crimes describe themselves as state armies or resistance fighters or settlers. Nothing, though, justifies the deliberate, indiscriminate destruction being wreaked on the population of Gaza, and escalating killings in the West Bank, by an Israeli  government containing openly declared racists and fascists, which for years has inflamed hatred and overseen daily violence against Palestinians.

Israel’s allies, from President Biden to our own government and official opposition, could demand a ceasefire now. Instead, they are pouring resources into propaganda – trying to “control the narrative” by tainting their opponents as antisemites, stoking up Jewish fears, banning Palestinian flags and threatening anyone who speaks out against the hate-fuelled revenge attacks.

They have condemned the UN Secretary General who dared to state the obvious: that there was a backdrop to Hamas’s horrific terror attack on 7th October. In Germany, the police are trying to block Jews from supporting the people of Gaza! Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s government threatens Israeli human rights defenders and imprisons young people refusing to fight in an army of occupation.

Beyond the region itself, the fallout is fuelling anti-Muslim racism, dividing Muslims and Jews, setting communities against each other. As Jews we stand against antisemitism and in solidarity with all groups facing racism and fascism. We demand that Jewish leadership bodies in Britain address this and take a humanitarian stand on Gaza that is independent of that of an Israeli government that includes fascists.

The propaganda is failing. The streets of cities across the world are filled with protesters, and our political leaders are being forced to qualify their support for Israel’s war crimes. The world is watching Gaza being demolished, with families crushed under the rubble of their homes, hospitals and places of worship. We must all act – most urgently for the Palestinians whose lives are being lost, also for ordinary Israelis, whose government has legislated for apartheid and perpetrating war crimes, wrecking prospects for peace – but ultimately for everyone who needs a world built on justice, dialogue and coexistence.

What is proclaimed as a war against Hamas is obviously a war against the Palestinian people. Even if the relentless attacks in Gaza today did not threaten to explode into a nuclear world war, this would still be everyone’s problem.

As Jewish Socialists we are proud to be part of a big and growing Jewish bloc on these protests and to stand with everyone on the side of humanity, justice and peace, who knows there is no military route to a future for Israelis and Palestinians.

Posted: 28 October 2023