Time to speak out and take action against racism, the occupation and the far right
A Jewish Socialists' Group statement
The Jewish Socialists’ Group welcomes the recent statements by the Board of Deputies, Margaret Hodge MP and other British Jewish commentators which recognise the threat presented by far-right Members of Knesset as they attempt to neutralise the Israeli judiciary and override democratic processes. We share with other Jews across the world and political spectrums the horror of what Hodge has called the “assault on democracy” combined with “vicious attacks on Palestinian rights”. We also support her call for other British Jews to be “more vocal” in the diaspora.
For decades we have spoken out as the rabid settler movement has brutalised its Palestinian neighbours. We have seen the co-opting of extremist messianic figureheads by the corrupt regime of Netanyahu: people who are proud to call themselves “fascist” and “homophobe”, and who provoke and bait their followers to commit atrocities against Palestinian communities.
We will continue to call out those Israeli activists like the podcaster Yair Netanyahu (son of the Prime Minister), who have courted far-right Trump supporters in the USA, repeating antisemitic tropes bandied about on Fox News and other channels. They speak about the influence of George Soros and “Global Elites” to condemn criticism from liberal Jews around the world, who now live under threat from far right terrorists who use the same antisemitic language to justify their actions
Our group has been a vocal and active supporter of many Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups which have highlighted the daily abuses against Palestinians that mainly go unreported. These are people, including children, who have been murdered, kept in indefinite detention without trial, or physically attacked by settlers and the military. For journalist Shireen Abu Akleh it was assassination. Until now these groups have been a vocal minority. But for the first time we are now seeing growing public condemnation by Israeli citizens within their weekly mass demonstrations against an Israeli government that includes far-right ministers. Israeli Jews who gathered in support of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, have now suffered brutal assaults from the Israeli army just as Palestinians have for decades.
The Jewish Socialists’ Group thanks and will continue to support these individuals and groups who have survived the Israeli state’s use of repressive machinery against them. There are also many unseen acts of bravery and defiance by nameless individuals which we hope will one day be recognised.
Jews know only too well what happens if the majority stay silent as extremism is allowed to take hold. It is time to speak out and act against occupation, against racism and against the far right.
Posted: 13 March 2023