Push against that deafening silence

On Saturday 3rd February, Max Gerber, on behalf of the Jewish Bloc, addressed the Palestine demo in Whitehall, London. This is his speech.

Push against that deafening silence

I stand on this stage today knowing I don't have to make a choice between my family and my hunger for the liberation of Palestine in our lifetime. This is because decades ago my parents had the courage and conviction to question received wisdoms about the Middle East. I stand on their shoulders, and my courage is indebted to them.

I believe there is a quiet reckoning going on in Jewish households across the country.

The Jewish bloc swells in numbers with every march, and we are only growing. We are here because we know the weight of the word genocide, and we know in our bones to fight it with all our strength.

My message to Jews who are conflicted, who are quietly questioning what they've been told all their lives like my parents did all those years ago:
Don’t believe the only path to our safety is further fear and violence.
Don't believe the choice is between antisemitic hatred and accepting the insane brutality of the Israeli state.
Here in the march, we say: “We keep each other safe.” So come and join us.

I also urge everyone here today to push against that passivity, that deafening silence – in our workplaces, in our schools, and wherever we may find it. Push through that English politeness, for there is nothing polite about English-made bombs being made in unassuming industrial estates across the country in Kent and in Blackburn. There is nothing polite about a genocide.

I asked my friend and former colleague from Gaza Sky Geeks, Ghada Ibrahim, if there was anything she’d like to say to you all, and it is with her words I’d like to end. I hope I do them justice:

For years, we worked tirelessly to empower our youth and illuminate a pathway for them beyond the constraints of a harsh blockade. We fostered a community grounded in mutual trust and in the unshakeable belief in a brighter future. Our collective efforts have been a beacon of resilience, proving the strength of our spirit in the face of adversity. Yet the past four months have seen our reality dramatically transformed. We’ve mourned the loss of precious lives, the destruction of our homes, and the desolation of our lands.

We stand on the precipice of despair; our faith in global justice is wavering under the shadow of indifference.

Now, we issue a fervent call to action. Your voice holds the power to alter our destiny. Stand in solidarity with us, raise your voice for peace and demand an immediate ceasefire. Together we can champion the cause of letting Gaza live and freeing Palestine. Your engagement is not merely beneficial; it is vital.

Take a stand now—for humanity, for justice, for peace!