The open reply by the ZF’s chief executive Paul Charney responds to a stinging rebuke signed by over 140 British Jews, attacking the Board of Deputies and ZF for a rally against ‘Palestinian incitement and violence’ due to be held in London today.
Signatories wrote: “To take what are presented as as uniquely Jewish troubles and lay them at the door of the Palestinian Mission creates a wholly unnecessary ‘Us v Them’ narrative, which cannot possibly foster the good relations necessary for peace.”
“To ‘protest the incitement and commemorate the victims’, solely in the framework of the importance of Israeli lives, itself incites hatred towards Palestinians, and shows no empathy towards their losses.”
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The open reply defends the use of the hashtag and the organisation of the demonstration.
“The Israeli community that feels that the threats to their lives are being ignored, and their deaths downplayed or even justified,” said Charney.
“There are now numerous examples of misleading headlines and stories that focus on Palestinians killed, rather than the Israelis they were trying to kill.
The “appalling reaction from many Palestinians to this spate of violence, and the related indifference of the Palestinian Authority.”
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) told Israeli cabinet ministers that “senior PA and Fatah officials are involved in the incitement that is fanning the violence,” said Charney.
“This is the reason why we have decided to hold our event outside the Palestinian Mission – the de facto Palestinian embassy. We wish to hold the Palestinian Authority to account, a decision that you describe as “itself incit[ing] hatred towards Palestinians.”
He adds: “The ZF condemns both violence and racism… Were the Palestinian leadership as willing to join us, we would not feel the need to hold this protest. Sadly, as it stands, we do.”
It is understood that there will be a significant counter-protest, but the ZF has discouraged supporters from engaging.