CARJ / General / Statement from Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) on the situation in the Middle East

Statement from Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) on the situation in the Middle East

We at Independent Jewish Voices condemn the brutal and murderous attacks on defenceless civilians in Southern Israel by operatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad on 7 October 2023. We also condemn the subsequent indiscriminate bombing of densely populated residential areas in Gaza by the Israeli Defence Forces, with massive loss of life. These attacks are in flagrant breach of the Geneva Conventions and are war crimes. Taking civilian hostages is a war crime. Blocking access of populations to food, water, fuel and electricity is a war crime. Forced displacement of over a million people is a war crime and may constitute a crime against humanity.

The position of Gazans is now desperate. As British Jews opposed to the occupation, we deplore attempts by our government, universities and schools, to silence expressions of solidarity with Palestinians. Such expressions are not anti-Semitic.

At the time of writing, the anticipated ground invasion of Gaza has not yet taken place. At this late stage we call upon the Israeli authorities to pull back from the brink, before risking regional, and international escalation. We call on the British government to demand a complete cessation of hostilities, including releasing all hostages, stopping the firing of rockets into Israel and ceasing the bombing and siege of Gaza. We call upon the international community to ensure that humanitarian corridors are opened and protected to provide food, shelter and medical supplies to the devastated population  and the overwhelmed medical services of Gaza.

Above all, as we stated in our Founding Declaration of 2007, it is imperative that we do not allow support for the policies of an occupying power to be placed above the human rights of an occupied people. We therefore call for meaningful negotiations for a just solution to the conflict based upon the principles of international law, and equal rights for all who live in Israel and Palestine.

Independent Jewish Voices Steering Group

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