Almost three-quarters of British Jews believe that the two state solution is the only way to achieve peace.
In the wake of the Gaza massacre this Monday that left 80 dead, and in little less than two days we read an article in one of the most highly regarded national paper from Maya Ilany, the deputy director of Yachad, who spent three years in the Israeli Defence Forces; and yet another one from Alon Liel the former director general of the Foreign Ministry of Israel and was also Israel’s ambassador to South Africa. Today it is a letter from an American Jew, Howard Horowitz, former president of the WESPAC Foundation, a peace and justice network in New York.
These are venerable individuals with more than one thing in common, progressives with possibly unpolluted objectivity who realize how critical their role is and have decided to execute it for the best ‘possible positive outcome’ – a recognition of a two state solution for Israel and Palestine; and most importantly they join citizens world-over in condemning Israel’s use of force which killed more than 80 on Monday which the UN calls “an outrageous human rights violation.”
Let us hear more of this and a lot more, and let us witness it in deeds too, but let us hear it also especially from our local ordinary Jewish or Arab vegetable vendor or cobbler round the block; for we know fully well that Jews throughout history have stood up for human rights and against oppression just as the world stood against apartheid in South Africa. In both words and deeds they have shunned and shamed demagogues and rabble-rousers; those who shop for success and popularity by exploiting prejudice and ignorance among the common people, whipping up the passions of the crowd and shutting down reasoned deliberation.
Excerpts of a Letter from an American Jew, Howard Horowitz, former president of the WESPAC Foundation, a peace and justice network in New York:
Today is one of the most tragic days in the history of the Jewish people…
In this, the “Gaza Spring,” the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] has killed more than 80 Palestinians and maimed and wounded 10,000 more. Not one Israeli casualty, not a scratch. No guns on the “other” side just burning tires and “deadly” kites. Why do I have images of David and Goliath (except this time Goliath is winning)?
Why do I have images of people who after 70 years of exile, want to go home, to return to their homes? Are the Palestinians, in the face of the Israeli Goliath, the new Jews?
… We as Jews who remember the Holocaust and the victimization of the Jewish people stand in solidarity with the new Jews. If we don’t stand up and say no, we are complicit in murder, plain and simple. The Palestinians in Gaza are trying to break the Israeli siege.
Now we must acknowledge and atone for the expulsion, oppression and killing of Palestinians for the past 70 years. We must, as Jews, teach the Nakba in our religious and Hebrew schools, understanding that Nakba denial is no different than Holocaust denial. We would not make peace with those who deny the Holocaust and [make] teaching its memory illegal.
The Palestinians, they have nothing to lose … They took our land … They took everything … We live in the hell in Gaza.