Staunchly pro-Israel newspaper, the Jewish Chronicle, has revealed another Muslim Councillor ‘has been spoken to by the [Labour] party after the JC brought his comments to light.’ Waseem Zaffar sits on Birmingham City council.
Zaffar made a number of considered & insightful comments on the role played by the UK government’s support for what he identified as Israel’s state-sanctioned terrorism in ‘fuelling “violent fundamentalism”.’ He was also filmed endorsing the Palestinian civil society call for a boycott of Israel.
The JC has seen a letter posted on Zaffar’s website, in which he responds to an invitation from Ruth Jacobs (Representative Council of Birmingham & West Midlands Jewry) to meet with the Acting Israeli Ambassador to London, Eitan Na’eh, when he visited Birmingham in October 2015. Zaffar outlined the concerns he wished to be conveyed to the Ambassador.
Here is his principled letter in full:
Thank you for your invitation to meet the Acting Israeli Ambassador on 14th October.
Unfortunately I will not be able to attend as I will be on a training course on that day. However, I would like to have been able to attend to convey to the Ambassador the anger that is felt amongst Birmingham citizens about the way that Israel has treated and continues to treat the Palestinians. This anger has been expressed by thousands on our streets a number of times and in campaigns for boycott, disinvestment and sanctions. We are a multicultural and multi-ethnic city with a powerful tradition of fighting for equality and civil rights and against racism in all its forms. Israel’s actions are diametrically opposed to this tradition and our values.
As the situation in Palestine/Israel looks more and more like the beginning of a third intifada, I would have wanted to ask the Ambassador how could the Israeli Government believe that, by maintaining an inhumane blockade of Gaza, by shooting dead protestors, by continuing to build illegal settlements, by doing little to stop settler violence against Palestinians and by daily humiliations at road blocks, it was securing a future for all the people who live there, whether Jewish, Muslim, Christian, other faiths or of no faith. Surely a path of talking to and treating the Palestinians as equal human beings, ceasing land expropriations and home demolitions and seeking a just agreement would be more likely to lead to a sustainable peace? Continue reading “Labour reprimands a Muslim Cllr for speaking the truth about Israeli state-sanctioned terrorism”