"Who speaks for Jews in Britain?"

We will not accept the vilification of those who protest at injustices carried out in the name of the Jewish people.

"...The slur of "traitor" or "self-hating Jew" is especially noxious. For, if we feel compelled to protest against injustice to Palestinians, this is partly because of the lessons of our own history: the Jewish experience of marginalisation and persecution. Furthermore, when the language of human rights is spoken, many of us (secular and religious) hear the voices of those Hebrew prophets, rabbis, writers, activists and other Jewish figures down the centuries for whom Judaism means nothing if it does not mean social justice.

So, when we speak out against Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, or the bombing of Lebanon, or discrimination against Palestinians within Israel itself, we are not turning against our Jewish identity; we are turning to it. Some of us, recalling that nearly 40 years have passed since Israel's occupation began, hear a resonance. This was the length of time the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, near the end of which Moses gave them a directive: "Justice, justice shall you pursue" (Deuteronomy 16:20). It is a compass bearing for all humanity, especially when we are trying to find our way - or help others to find theirs - to a better future.
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