Whilst the UN have called for a ceasefire, which is not legally binding, this is not congruent with the position of the UK Government who maintain that ‘Israel has the right to defend itself under international law’ and have abstained from the voting at the UN. The UN report indicates that there is evidence that war crimes have been committed by all sides since 7 October 2023. Despite this, there is a sense that at UK government level there is more appetite for  temporary ceasefire than a permanent one, which is hard to fathom and comprehend with the continuing and increasing death toll in Gaza.

Those who work towards, and call for abolition in general, and in particular Black and Brown bodies, witness direct links between the colonisation of Palestine and racialised communities, not just in the UK but globally, who have been forced to flee their land or were forcibly taken and enslaved. The legacy of colonisation has a permanency and is not an isolated past event as we are led to believe. Communities are continually retraumatised and we see this in the Windrush Scandal, to unlawful Stop and Search by British Police, to state surveillance via Prevent. A person’s proximity to the extreme violence does not negate the trauma experienced by those who have a history of being colonised.

There needs to be a delinking in the public imagination between criticising the Israeli Government and Jewish people, as criticising the former is not antisemitic towards the latter as we have witnessed that not all Jewish people agree with the actions of State of Israel. The same applies to linking the actions of Hamas to legitimising and justifying the horrific and repeated bombing and desecration of Gaza and the collective punishment of Palestinian people. The framing by many media outlets is disturbing and perpetuates conflating Hamas with Palestinian people and thereby justifying the action of the State of Israel. Not surprising, as there is a tendency toward a hierarchy of oppression and the ‘right kind’ of victim, which only creates division. We saw an example of this when the War in Ukraine started, and the media made unnecessary comparisons between Ukrainian victims and Middle Eastern Refugees.

We stand in solidarity with our migrant and anti-racist community and the work being done to amplify the voices of the Palestine people, and for the British Government to vote tomorrow for a call for a ceasefire in Gaza and protection of medical facilities, lifting the siege and ensuring unrestricted humanitarian access to save lives in Gaza.

In solidarity