The occupation is a moral crisis

Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza is a system of violence and discrimination that infringes Palestinians’ freedom, dignity and human rights. For whole generations of Palestinians, occupation has meant a life of petty humiliations, gross injustices and all-pervading fear. For Israelis, it has meant enforcing an oppression which requires brutality, dehumanisation and a disregard for democratic ideals. The occupation is not just immoral and illegal, but is an affront to fundamental Jewish values of equality and human dignity, despite being conducted under the guise of Jewish safety. No Palestinian or Israeli deserves the status quo, yet it will continue and worsen until Israel’s military rule over Palestinians is brought to an end.

We need moral leadership

Our communal institutions have perpetuated the moral crisis of occupation by supporting – directly and indirectly, through distorted words as well as deceptive silences, by inaction no less than action – those that enforce it. We have lost sight collectively of the values that underpin our faith and our identity. British Jewish leaders must embrace our rich moral tradition of tzedek u’mishpat (righteousness and justice) to avert this crisis and restore the moral foundations of our community.

It’s time to take a stand

Palestinians have been living under occupation for more than half a century. British Jewish leaders have failed to meet the challenge posed by this moral crisis. Attempts to bring about change from within the communal establishment have been exhausted. Everyone who wants our community to stand for freedom, equality and justice for all Palestinians and Israelis must now come together and take the courageous action needed to bring British Jewish support for the occupation to an end.