EUJS Statement on the escalating violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories

12 May 2021

Over the last days, the Islamist terror organisation Hamas, the militant terrorist organisation ruling in Gaza, together with other Palestinian terror groups have started firing thousands of rockets into Israel, including on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, forcing tens of Thousands to sleep in bunkers, injuring dozens of people and killing six people so far. This violence and terrorism are unacceptable and must be condemned by all. As we stand in solidarity with the people of Israel, our thoughts are with those injured and the friends and families of the deceased. May their memories be a blessing.

At the same time, we are deeply concerned with the treatment of worshippers on Temple Mount during Ramadan and Palestinian residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and the anti-Arab hate and incitement from radical groups within Israeli society. As a democratic and Zionist organisation, yearning for a two-state solution and for a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict we have to speak out when injustice takes place. Yet none of this ever justifies the terror Israel currently has to face. Hamas only cares about Israel’s destruction.

At this time we also stand behind Europe’s Jewish students, who often are targeted when violence flares up in Israel. A study conducted by the European Union on EUJS’ advice showed that 67 % of young European Jews feel that the Arab-Israeli conflict affects their safety in Europe. So let us be clear: Holding European Jews responsible for the actions of Israel is antisemitic. Comparing Israel’s actions to those of the Nazis is antisemitic. Denying Israel the right to exist is antisemitic. Targeting Jewish Students and Jewish Student organisations (as well as any other Jewish community institutions) is antisemitic. European Jews do not owe anyone their opinion on the conflict and the recent developments.

We know how hard times like these can be for young Jews in Europe, and we will do everything possible to support them. At the same time, our thoughts are with the people of Israel in this difficult time. We hope that tensions can be de-escalated and that Israelis and Palestinians can live in the peace they so much deserve.