Take Action Over Gaza!

What you could consider doing 

PJJIP’s Statement of Intent and aims make it clear that we are “committed to the application of universal human rights to Jews and Palestinians in Palestine/Israel” – and that “as Liberal Jews we have a duty to speak out in relation to all breaches of human rights“.

Clearly, with more than 85,000 people slaughtered or seriously injured, Gazan Palestinians’ human rights are currently being violated by Israel on a truly massive scale.

PJJIP’s aims state that “we aim … to help shape opinion in Progressive Judaism“, and that we need to “use our voice as Progressive Jews to speak out against human rights abuses and injustices in Israel/Palestine“.

In order to do that, we urge our members to consider the possibility of taking one or more of the following actions:

  • Write or send email, as a member of a Jewish congregation, to your local MP urging him or her to influence their party leaders to call for an immediate ceasefire and for a cessation of war crimes (ie., use of illegal weapons, ethnic cleansing, targeting of civilian populations, disproportionate military action, etc)
  • Write or send email, as a member of a Jewish congregation, to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, urging them to call for an immediate ceasefire and for a cessation of war crimes
  • Write to Liberal  Judaism and MRJ urging them to speak out unambiguously against what the Israeli government is doing in Gaza. The Israeli government’s actions are clearly at odds with the fundamental principles of our faith (‘Thou shalt not murder’, ‘Thou shalt not steal’, ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness’ and ‘Thou shalt not covet’ – and, as a denomination, LJ should clearly try to avoid committing ‘the sin of silence’)
  • Write to or speak with your Rabbi and your shul chair – urging them to speak out or at least to urge LJ to speak out.
  • Tell your shul’s Board of Deputies representative what you think the Board should be saying
  • Write an article or a letter for your shul newsletter/magazine.
  • Encourage your shul to put a statement re Israel/Gaza on its website
  • Write letters, as Jews, to the letters pages of national and regional newspapers
  • Take part in radio phone-in programmes
  • Attend relevant demonstrations and vigils
  • Use social media to share relevant articles and thoughts

As an organisation we will endeavour to provide you, our members etc, with access to relevant information resources. We will also, as an organisation, seek to publicly speak out.

Why you should take action 

The Hamas atrocities of 7 October and the Israeli onslaught against Gaza have shocked us all. Many people have not yet spoken out, partly because they wrongly believe that nothing would be achieved by doing so.

So here are five very strong reasons why speaking out about the Gaza war is important:

  1. As Jews, we have a particularly crucial role in influencing British politicians against the war. That is because many politicians stay silent or fail to oppose the war because they do not wish to offend the UK’s Jewish population – thus potentially being perceived as anti-Semitic. But Jews condemning the war and criticising the Israeli government’s actions encourages at least some politicians to feel more confident about speaking out.
  2. It is important to try to influence British politicians because, in turn, they and their leaders can influence Israel in three different ways. (a) directly – but only in a comparatively small way; (b) indirectly by seeking to influence Israel’s most important ally, the US government (the UK is the only UN Security Council member which still gives the US crucial cover over Gaza); and (c) by setting an example to other countries, politicians, etc and the public at large.
  3. To protect the fundamental values and good name of our faith
  4. To clearly and unambiguously demonstrate to other peoples and faiths in the UK that there are many Jews who opposed the war and support justice for Palestinians.
  5. To protect the future of Israel. Israel’s long-term future (and prosperity, security and self-determination for both Israelis and Palestinians) can only be obtained by establishing peace between the two peoples. However, the longer the war goes on, the more difficult it will be for mutual trust and coexistence to be established. What’s more the longer the war goes on, the more hatred will be generated. The war and the huge casualty rate is a recruiting sergeant for terrorism – and continuing conflict. Those are two of the reasons why it is so important for as many people and as many countries as possible to exert pressure to obtain a ceasefire.

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch