British Jews last week showed their support for Israel in different ways, amid calls for them to “join the media battle” as the fighting intensified.
Packed community halls and synagogues in north London saw a wave of solidarity with Israel, with up to 600 people attending one of the biggest meetings in Stanmore on Monday night.
The event, organised by Stanmore & Canons Park and Belmont Synagogues, was supported by Bushey and Pinner United Synagogues as well as the Yeshurun Federation and Edgware and District Reform Synagogue.
Among the other speakers was deputy ambassador of Israel Eitan Na’eh, who reminded the audience that when Israel moved out of Gaza, it left greenhouses, factories and blueprints for a rail station. But instead of utilising the infrastructure for peace, he said, Hamas “chose terror”.
Elsewhere, an initiative called ‘We Believe’ garnered more than 1,100 supporters from the Jewish community for a campaign “to highlight how, in the absence of a peace agreement, the current war will be repeated”.
Organisers arranged a live link-up between community members in Hampstead and journalists and activists on the ground in Gaza. “We want the world to know, however tough it is, British Jewish supporters of Israel refuse to be blinded by the narrowness of the debate, and the violence in the region,” said Yachad director Hannah Weisfeld.
Elsewhere, British charity UJIA raised £157,000 for children in southern Israel affected by the conflict, after 100 volunteers took to the phone in a Super Sunday telethon. And the Zionist Federation launched a “soldier care packages campaign”, as chairman Paul Charney called on a Stanmore audience to join the media battle in support of Israel.
Meanwhile, Meir Panim delivered 6,800 meals to soldiers and toys for needy children and families, while Magen David Adom UK raised more than £295,000 for a new ambulance.