Letter: We stand together with Palestine

Date published: 16 May 2018

Dear Editor,

The Greater Manchester Muslim Communities are shocked at the level of violence being aimed at the protesting Palestinians. Quite frankly we are deeply troubled at the over whelming and disproportionate use of violence and blatant disregard for human life which has left over 50 dead and thousands injured.

We are reading reports and witnessing scenes on our news screens and social media where non-violent protesters are:

  • Being shot dead and injured by IDF snipers,
  • The use of drones firing unknown gas and liquid and
  • The use of live ammunition aimed at children, women and men

We note the UN human rights office are rightly heavily critical of Israel's use of force. The UN spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva: "The mere fact of approaching a fence is not a lethal, lifethreatening act, so that does not warrant being shot. How much threat can a double amputee be making from the other side of a large fortified fence?"

Sadly, Gaza and the West Bank have been subjected to an in humane and illegal blockade for decades ensuring that the Palestinians suffer and have little hope for a normal life. The myriad of abuses against the Palestinians is staggering from being denied the right of return, land theft, destruction of homes and building illegal camps.

We find the general lack of action of the Government and the EU over the years very disappointing. It appears that successive governments have a scant regard for the aspirations and lives of Palestinians. While the Government domestically appears to continually preach British values such as freedom and democracy when it suits, it shows little regard for these values when it comes to some of Britain’s foreign partners.

We have yet to see the Government or the foreign secretary make any concrete steps to be taken about stopping the daily slaughter or the recent illegal move by the US government in relocating its embassy to Jerusalem.

Palestine remains a core problem that must be resolved. The rights of the Palestinians cannot and should not be sacrificed on the altar of maintaining good relations with Israel at any cost. Palestinians have suffered over 100 years since the Balfour Declaration. Palestine needs to be free from living under occupation and foreign mandates.

We call for the following:

1. Regional Powers, the International Community and the UK to stand together with Palestinians and send an International Force to protect the Palestinians as they do in other conflicts and wars.

2. For Parliament to hold an emergency meeting to look at this unfolding crisis that will no doubt impact the Middle East and the world if left unchecked and agree on holding accountable Israel for it flagrant abuse of power through sanctions and other necessary measures to deter future aggression.

3. For Mosques in Greater Manchester and elsewhere this Friday to call for a special prayer for the

Palestinians and raise this as an issue of concern with those in power and the power to protect the Palestinians.

The Rochdale Council of Mosques has been working with communities in Rochdale since 2003 and it has 15 mosques affiliated to it. Our vision is to develop successful, confident and united Muslims, who pursue their aspirations with respect and dignity in order to make valuable contributions to the economic, spiritual and civic life of Rochdale. Our work is about developing a framework for addressing issues affecting local Muslim people through effective partnership working, promoting harmony and unity between the people of Rochdale. We endeavour to consult, contribute, help develop and where needed, deliver services which meet the needs of the Muslim communities living in Rochdale. We also act as a gateway to service providers, enhancing access and participation of the Muslim community.


Yousef Dar
Community Safety Forum

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