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Business News/ News / ‘War crime’, ‘attempted genocide’: How some Jews around the world denounced Israel's Gaza bombardment

‘War crime’, ‘attempted genocide’: How some Jews around the world denounced Israel's Gaza bombardment

  • An estimated 2,300 people in Gaza, a bulk of whom were non-combatant civilians, were killed in Israel's military action over the past week, as per the numbers shared by the Palestinian authorities.

Palestinian man Mohammad Abu Daqa, who survived Israeli strikes that killed 8 family members and still searches for three others who are still trapped under the rubble of his house, reacts with a relative in front of the ruins in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on October 15, 2023. (REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Israel's bombardment of Gaza, in response to the attack by militant group Hamas last week, has drawn criticism from several quarters across the world who have accused it of violating international laws. Among the detractors of Israel's move also include some Jews, who have accused the country of committing “war crimes" and attempting “genocide".

This criticism comes even as world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, among others, have backed Israel's "right to self defence".

“As a Jew, I do not accept that what Israel is doing to Gaza fits the category of self-defence. Sure, Israel has 'the right to defend itself' but its actions, dehumanising language & disproportionate might (witness the joke of UK/US sending weapons) look like attempted genocide (sic)," London-based noted author Marina Benjamin posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Notably, Israel's Defence Minister Yoav Gallant had said that their fight was against “human animals" while ordering a “complete siege" of Gaza on October 9.

Track the latest updates on Israel-Hamas war

Former US presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders, one of the most renowned Jewish politicians worldwide, also condemned Israel's action against Gaza even as he marked dismay over Hamas' militant attack.

“For many, it is no secret that Gaza has been an open-air prison, with millions of people struggling to secure basic necessities," Sanders, the Senator from Vermont, said in a statement issued on October 11.

“The targeting of civilians is a war crime, no matter who does it. Israel’s blanket denial of food, water, and other necessities to Gaza is a serious violation of international law and will do nothing but harm innocent civilians. The United States has rightly offered solidarity and support to Israel in responding to Hamas’ attack. But we must also insist on restraint from Israeli forces attacking Gaza and work to secure UN humanitarian access. Let us not forget that half of the two million people in Gaza are children," he added.

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Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of the New York-based Neturei Karta International, a known critic of the Israeli government as well as the Zionist movement, condemned the bombings in Gaza. “Killing, stealing, occupying others land or repressing an entire people is totally forbidden in Jewish Religion," he could be heard as saying, in a video shared by Torah Judaism on its social media handle.

A number of common Jewish voices on social media also expressed their sorrow over the loss of civilian lives in Gaza due to the “brutal" use of force by the Israeli government.

“I’ve been silent on this because my heart is hurting, but as a Jew, I feel longstanding grief for Palestinians, especially right now for our cousins illegally blockaded & bombarded in Gaza. Just as many Muslims denounce Hamas, many Jews denounce Israel’s violence& oppression (sic)," tweeted Livy Levy, who claims to be a trainee clinical psychologist at University College London.

Rachael Garrett, Professor of Conservation and Development at the Cambridge University, also stressed that the world must agree to condemn the “murder" on both sides.

“The situation in Gaza & Israel is tragic. As a Jew my timeline is filled w “I stand with Israel", but what I feel more is that I stand against murder. I stand against 1200 Jews being killed by Hamas, but also against the retaliatory murder of 1000 Palestinians. Can we not agree? (sic)," she tweeted.

Marisa Pyle, a senior official at the US-based voter education group Fair Fight Action, said that despite being a Jew she was not afraid of Palestinians but “scared" of the death of innocents “being used to justify a genocide".

“As a Jew, I am scared. I am not scared of my neighbors who are Palestinian or Muslim. I’m scared my faith & the horrific killing of innocents are being used to justify a genocide in Gaza. I’m scared, truly, of the people cheering it on, who so easily forget our shared humanity (sic)," she tweeted.

An estimated 2,300 people in Gaza, including over 1,400 civilians, have lost their lives in the bombings launched by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) since October 7, as per the figures shared by the UN. The death toll on the Israeli side, due to the Hamas attack, is reported to have crossed 1,200.

Despite inflicting massive damage, the Israeli government has shown no signs of relent. “We will wipe away Hamas", the defence ministry stated, as it prepares to launch a ground invasion of the besieged Gaza Strip. The Israeli government has already snapped the supplies of food, water and electricity to the region's 2.3 million residents.

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