30.10.2023 - We must stand together against hate

Dear Friends,

Recent weeks have been incredibly difficult for us all.

First, there were the terror attacks on many communities in southern Israel, leaving over 1400 people dead. These shocked us and many others. As British Jews, many of us will know people who have lost relatives or who knew people taken hostage in Gaza.

Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live in safety, dignity, and peace. As such, we are also distressed by the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Gaza. We pray for an end to this conflict.

We at HIAS+JCORE have two roles at this time.  

Firstly, we are supporting efforts to ensure the conflict does not spill over into growing inter communal tension here. This is a big challenge. We know from the CST that there has been a large spike in antisemitism and we are also aware of significant increases in Islamophobia.

Earlier in October, I made it clear on David Lammy’s LBC show that, as communities, we must come together in solidarity against both – and that we need faith leaders to stand up for communal cohesion rather than hate.

With this we have signed a statement by the Alliance for Racial Justice, which calls for UK communities to be protected and supported. I was pleased also to speak to Eastern Eye, where I shared my thoughts on how communities in the UK can, and must, stand side by side and support each other amidst the conflict.

We’ll be looking for opportunities in the coming weeks to bring Jewish and Muslim leaders together, to talk through how we can ensure inter-faith and inter-communal work survives this challenging time.

Secondly, through our new relationship with HIAS, we’re proud to be supporting efforts which call for humanitarian principles to be respected.

So far, this has revolved around support for Israelis who suffered as a result of the Hamas attack, alongside calling for Gazans to be granted access to humanitarian aid. You can read HIAS CEO Mark Hetfield’s statement here.

We are both a Jewish and a humanitarian organisation. This means that we experience what is presently going on with a sense of Jewish solidarity and also connect to wider humanitarian principles.

Sending warm wishes to you all, and hope your family and friends in Israel and the region are safe.

David, Amos and the Team