Activists from the left-wing British group Jewdas protested the war on Gaza outside a Zionist Federation Conference on Sunday. The activists held a Kaddish (Jewish mourner’s prayer) for the Gaza dead followed by a two-minute silence. Some of them also went inside the building to try and engage the participants, though to little success.
The conference, titled “Stand Up for Israel,” was called especially to support Israel’s actions in the current war. In a statement, the group states that their action was part of a steady rise in Jewish participation in anti-war protests in the U.K. Watch the video from the protest and read the group’s statement below:
We, as British Jews, are here to express our solidarity with the Palestinian people. Over 1,000 Palestinians have been killed recently by the Israeli state, and thousands more displaced, injured and arrested. Israel has killed civilians, destroyed homes and impoverished the Palestinian population. We are here to say: not in our name.
We reject the idea that the Israeli government had no choice but to decimate Gaza. Gaza is an open-air prison, a huge ghetto, caged in by Israel over land, sea and sky. Its population is largely that of trapped refugees. Israel has the choice to end its blockade of Gaza, and to allow Palestinians the chance to live without domination. This is the only true road towards peace.
Those who call for peace with the Palestinians without calling for justice and reparations only affirm the occupation. Brutalising and attempting to dominate a population can only lead to more violence and bloodshed.
Israel dehumanises Palestinians, negates their right to self-determination, denies their right to resist, and strips them of their dignity. We wish to underline the gaping difference between the violence of the Palestinian oppressed and that of the Israeli oppressor.
The value of a Palestinian life is equal to that of any Jew. In ending the lives of so many Palestinians, the Israeli government and military have committed an outright atrocity.
We affirm a Jewishness not tied to state violence. A diasporic Jewishness that welcomes critique and speaks truth to power. We refuse to be complicit in our words, in our actions, or in our silence, to the massacres perpetrated in our name.
Not in our name, not in anybody’s name.
Free Palestine. Justice for all.