Brian Klug has written an excellent short piece for Comment is Free. He says:
Attached was a flyer for a “Mass Rally in Support of Israel” organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council, with “the support of the major organisations of UK Jewry”, to be held in London this weekend. The flyer proclaims: “End Hamas terror!” No ifs and buts here either. No hint at the unspeakable state terror being unleashed, day after day, by the Israeli military. It defies belief.
It does indeed. If the rally on Sunday says nothing about the dead Palestinians or the death of innocent lives in Gaza, then its a rally to support state terrorism, nothing more nothing less. I have no problem carrying a banner saying ‘End Hamas Terror’. But there will be no peace unless that is accompanied by another banner saying ‘End Israeli attacks’.
Leon updates: Progressive rabbi: Trafalgar Square rally not for him
Rabbi Danny Rich, the chief executive of Liberal Judaism, has dissociated himself from Sundayâ€™s Israel solidarity rallies in London and Manchester.
In a statement issued today, he said he could â€œnot subscribe to the tone of the response, believing that, in accord with my Jewish teaching and humanitarian instinct, the appropriate reaction is to call for an immediate ceasefire (perhaps the Franco-Egyptian proposal) which may prevent further tragedy engulfing the Palestinian civilian population and save injury and worse to both Israelis in uniform and their fellow citizens in their homes.â€
He said; â€œI am convinced that the continuing violence in the region will exacerbate tensions, nurture hatred, and make more difficult a peaceful resolution which is in the interests of both the Palestinian people and the State of Israel.â€
The Liberal head is the first UK Jewish religious leader to publicly break ranks by declining to endorse the pro-Israel campaign agreed by Jewish leaders earlier this week.
He revealed that he had instead signed a statement with other faith leaders calling for a ceasefire and would be addressing a Muslim meeting in Batley on Sunday.
Rabbi Rich said; â€œI know that many of my colleagues and friends will be disappointed that I have gone public with these very serious reservations, and I have only done so after much prayer, reflection and thought.â€
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Filed in: London Politics,Middle East,Terrorism