Jewish? Gazan? It’s people. London mayor Sadiq Khan has it right

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL November 2, 2023
People of the Jewish community – Israeli or not; Zionist or not – cannot be held responsible for the Israeli government's actions in bombing and besieging Gazans. And Gazans, Palestinians, and all who call for their rights are not 'anti-Semitic'

Photo by levarTravel on Unsplash

In light of the heightened emotions over Israel and Gaza, three key developments are worth noting:

** London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s recent plea to the pro-Palestine protesters who blocked a train station to think about Jewish Londoners who are scared about their security. “You may be doing nothing that’s against the law, but think about how it’s being received by Jewish Londoners,” he told ITV London. “Some of them are frightened, some of them are scared.”

** Events from a few days ago in Makhachkala, capital of the predominantly Muslim Russian region of Dagestan. A mob stormed the airport in Makhachkala in search of Jewish passengers arriving from Israel, just hours after people (others? the same?) besieged a Makhachkala hotel in search of Jewish guests.

** Anti-Semitic threats posted on a campus discussion board on the Cornell university campus in Ithaca, New York.

Finally, this fragment from a piece by Roger Cohen in The New York Times: “Across a Europe of daubed Stars of David on apartment buildings, bomb threats to Jewish stores and demonstrations calling for Israel’s eradication, Jews speak of alarm as pro-Palestinian sentiment surges.”

All of the above is deeply wounding for anyone who believes in equal rights, human dignity and the principles of natural justice.

Those who march for Palestinian rights and a release from their suffering must recognise the reality that all people of the Jewish community – Israeli or not; Zionist or not – cannot be held responsible for the actions of the Israel  government in bombing and besieging Gazans.

Those who call for action against the October 7 brutality of Hamas towards residents of Israel must recognise that all Gazans, all Palestinians and all who call for their rights are not “anti-Semitic” and “terrorists”.

The equation is simple when it’s like for like. In fact, only when it’s like for like.

Also read:

Who’s that trying to act big on Gaza?

Doublethink and singlespeak for ‘don’t care about #Gaza’

Gaza: Forced displacement

Israel-Palestine: Tears and fears

Gaza shows Humza Yousaf as far more than Scotland’s consoler-in-chief

Rishi Sunak plays at global statesman in the Middle East

‘Palestinian or Israeli, if you prick us, do we not bleed’

Head to head? Al Jazeera’s Marc Lamont Hill vs the BBC’s Steven Sackur

Britain’s cosplay with warships and suchlike in the eastern Mediterranean

Tony Blinken’s declaration of faith in Israel made me think of Canada’s Ahmed Hussen

The war for and over Ukraine and the Hamas attack on Israel