Without justice there can be no peace

Statement by the Jewish Socialists’ Group

Without justice there can be no peace

Last  weekend the Jewish Socialists’ Group was proud to co-organise a united Jewish Bloc on the huge and very energetic London march for Palestine. That march expressed the groundswell of opposition in London to attempts at ethnic cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah, far-right and settler incitement against Palestinians at Al Aqsa and in towns in Israel, and the horrific bombardment of Gaza which has already taken a huge toll in civilian lives, including more than 60 children.

Civilian lives have been lost in Israel, too, from rocket fire. We mourn all civilian lives lost. But we cannot ignore the enormous disparities of firepower and fatalities, and the targeting of whole Palestinian families as exposed by the respected Israeli journalist Amira Hass in Ha’aretz. The destruction of a huge block in Gaza used by journalists was an attempt to disrupt, intimidate and silence those who dare to tell the truth about this “conflict”.

There is no military solution to a problem rooted in the dispossession and  continued occupation and annexation of Palestinian territories, with its daily humiliation at checkpoints and continued discrimination within Israel expressed by Israel’s 2018 Nation State law. This law states that self-determination within Israel is for Israeli Jews alone. Without justice there can be no peace. Without co-existence, the future is no existence.

While Jewish establishment bodies continue their attempt to defend Israel’s indefensible actions, we are heartened by the mushrooming of opposition by Jewish groups and individuals of all generations across diaspora communities from New Zealand to New York, and especially younger Jews who are saying “Not in Our Name” and are engaging visibly and vocally in powerful actions of protest.

We are heartened too when we read that Israeli Jews have joined Palestinians in demonstrations to counter the Far Right. We identify wholeheartedly with their unity against racism and fascism.

In that spirit, we welcome and share Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s swift and unreserved condemnation of a tiny number of antisemites last Sunday, purporting to support Palestine, who drove through areas where many Jews live and hurled racist and misogynistic abuse.

Islamophobic incidents are rising, too. For Jewish socialists, the fight against all antisemitism and all Islamophobia, and our opposition to Israeli racism against Palestinians are one struggle.

This weekend we will march again in a Jewish Bloc for justice and equality in Palestine and Israel. We will be calling, too, on our own government to take a strong stand against the bombing of Gaza, forcible evictions in East Jerusalem and racist incitement by settlers and other far-right Israeli forces.

We demand that our government end arm sales to Israel. Since 2015 the UK has supplied it with £376 millions worth of aircraft, drones, grenades, bombs, missiles and other ammunition. And we urge the trade unions to exert maximum pressure on the Labour Party to push for these same demands.

Jewish socialists express solidarity with all who fight for justice, equality and peace in Palestine and Israel

Posted: 20 May 2021