WE MUST SPEAK UP

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

Izzeldin Abue­laish lost his three daugh­ters, killed by an Is­raeli army bomb in 2009. He has bravely called for us all to build a new type of hu­man­ity. And he is right.

Let’s face it, this con­flict is not so far away from Liver­pool, as peo­ple on both sides have fam­ily and friends in Is­rael and Pales­tine. The killing of Pales­tinian chil­dren, women and in­no­cent vic­tims has no place in any­thing I un­der­stand in Ju­daism. It is bar­baric, im­moral and po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated by a govern­ment led by Ne­tanyahu that is not in­ter­ested in mak­ing peace.

Of course, fir­ing rock­ets is wrong, too, but since when has it been OK un­der in­ter­na­tional law for a na­tion state to re­spond to these kind of at­tacks with the col­lec­tive pun­ish­ment of in­no­cent peo­ple?

And let’s face it, the block­ade of the Pales­tinian authority and the poor treat­ment of Pales­tini­ans is the root of this prob­lem.

Diplomacy, talk­ing and search­ing for com­mon ground is the only an­swer, and that should also be hap­pen­ing in Liver­pool, too. The Chief Rabbi on his visit to Liver­pool said that the Jewish com­mu­nity’s role is to pro­mote the poli­cies of the elected Is­raeli govern­ment so that we win the “PR war”. I fun­da­men­tally dis­agree.

How far do we have to stretch our morals to ac­com­mo­date the killing of chil­dren? On the con­trary, Jewish com­mu­ni­ties, like that in Liver­pool, should be ac­tively build­ing re­la­tions and hav­ing open de­bates and dis­cus­sions with Arab and Pales­tinian com­mu­ni­ties. And the com­mu­nity can and must speak up when it sees the Is­raeli govern­ment act­ing wrongly. And that time is now. Peace has to start some­where. Why not here? Coun­cil­lor Barry Kush­ner Ye Priory Court Liver­pool L25

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