As international newspapers, including British and Israeli newspapers, continue to pay attention to the ongoing war in Gaza, today we stop at three articles.
The first is an article by journalist Raymonda Ali in the British newspaper The Guardian, in which she says at the beginning that “the rift that has struck the relations of the Muslim and Jewish communities in Britain in particular, and in the world as a whole, is one of the casualties of the war in Gaza.”
It expresses its fear that this rift will lead to “the erosion of concern for protecting religious relations between sects, which threatens to fuel an already severe wave of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.”
Consequences of war
Raymonda points to some examples of incidents that actually occurred after the war. Of which:
- A six-year-old Palestinian-American child, called Wadih al-Fayoumi, was killed by the owner of the house where his family lived, with 26 stab wounds, and the owner of the house was screaming, “You Muslims, you must die.”
- A crowd of “mobs,” as the writer described them, stormed Dagestan Airport, searching for Jewish passengers coming from Israel.
- Anti-Semitic attacks increased by 1,350 percent, and anti-Islamic crimes increased by 140 percent in the first half of October.
Raymonda says that she and a group of women from different religions are trying to “save the relations between the sects” to which they belong.
“Another space away from religious and political institutions”
She notes that last week, she “was invited to a private gathering hosted by a Jewish woman and a Muslim woman. The meeting was in the sanctuary of Westminster Abbey in London, in the appropriately named (Jerusalem) Hall.”
The gathered women expressed “the need to create a third space outside religious institutions and political organizations.”
“Relationships are tested during difficult times,” they noted, adding, “Now we need to show friendship, solidarity and trust” more than before.
Absence of women’s voices
“Women’s voices are almost always absent from the decision-making process,” says Raymonda.
She quotes one of the participants, a veteran peace activist and expert in religious relations, as saying that between 1992 and 2019, women “constituted only 13 percent of negotiators, 6 percent of mediators, and 6 percent of signatories in peace processes in the world.” This is despite the fact that the power of women is “an agent of social change and conflict resolution around the world.”
She said that there are “multiple examples of women working for peace. There is a grassroots initiative in Israel and Palestine that includes thousands of Palestinian and Israeli women, who continue to date to work for peace on the ground. In the United Kingdom, there is also the Nessa Nashim Network, which is a women’s network.” Muslim-Jewish, she worked to build lasting friendships.”
Criticism from within
The writer pointed out that some of those she met at the meeting were subjected to criticism within their sect.
A women’s and refugee rights activist, who was given the pseudonym “Aisha” by Raymonda, received threats when she condemned the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians. One of them told her: “You deserve to be burned.”
“Aisha” said that “sympathy with the other party” in their opinion is considered treason, and they ignore her activism “for the freedom and rights of Palestinians for decades.”
“Aisha” recounted how a close Jewish friend told her that she “asked her synagogue to pray for the people of Gaza and called for a ceasefire.” She added, “The message of all our sacred texts is the same, which is: Love your neighbor. If women had been present at the table, we would not have reached the situation we are in now.”
Raymonda says that a Jewish friend of hers is calling on the leaders of the Jewish community to “express their sympathy for the thousands of dead in Gaza… and our grief should not be limited to one without the other.”
The writer admits that she almost lost hope, but those she spoke to during that meeting gave her hope again with their sympathy, crying, and prayers.
The author concludes her article by urging “to make every effort… for understanding and safety, amid this inflammatory political climate, and with the spread of violence throughout the world.” “If we burn every bridge, the ugliness will never end,” she says, “but if we build bridges in the hope of a better future, humanity might have a chance.”
“A cheap provocation from Israel’s representative to the United Nations” – Haaretz
The second article is an editorial expressing the opinion of the Israeli newspaper “Haaretz” regarding what the Israeli representative to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, did, who placed a yellow star bearing the slogan “It will not happen again” during a meeting of the UN Security Council.
The newspaper says that his behavior “weakened and embarrassed Israel.”
But the delegate said that this was “his way of protesting what he described as ‘global silence’ regarding Hamas’ killing of Jewish children in Israel, just as he was silent 80 years ago when the Nazis killed Jewish children in Europe.”
The yellow star is “a symbol of the weak, fearful, persecuted Jew.”
Haaretz believes that “Erdan was wrong and misleading at the same time.” He placed the yellow star, in its opinion, “a cheap provocation,” because, as the editorial says, it “disparaged the victims of the Holocaust.”
The newspaper points out a fundamental difference between “the massacre committed by Hamas… and the massacres committed by the Nazis and their collaborators… during World War II.”
This difference is that when “the Holocaust occurred, the Jews did not have a state of their own, and they did not have an army. The Jews were left to their fate by their neighbors, who persecuted them or turned a blind eye to what was happening to them.”
The newspaper says that what the yellow star, which Erdan wore, symbolizes “is the weak, frightened and persecuted Jew who was forced to helplessly raise his hands in the face of the guns of German soldiers and their collaborators.”
“The world did not leave Israel after October 7”
She adds that the horrific scenes that happened on October 7 were not supposed to happen in Israel… because the one who abandoned the Jews to their fate – and other nationalities in the kibbutzim – was not the world, but their country.”
The newspaper blames this on the “failure” of the heads of the security apparatus in their mission, the government and the prime minister, whom it described as “not taking responsibility.”
The newspaper ends its editorial by saying: “The world has not been silent, Erdan…in fact, the opposite is true,” citing the positions of leaders such as US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and French President Emmanuel Macron.
“Netanyahu must be persuaded to ceasefire” – The Independent
We conclude this presentation with an editorial from the British newspaper The Independent, which believes that a temporary and immediate ceasefire is necessary.
The newspaper first addresses Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion of not agreeing to stop fighting with Hamas, comparing the October 7 attacks to the atrocities of September 11.
He said: “The United States did not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor[الهجوم الذي شنته قوات اليابان عام 1941 مما دفع الولايات المتحدة للدخول في الحرب]Or after the terrorist attack on September 11, and Israel will not agree to cease hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks on October 7.”
He described the calls for a ceasefire as “an invitation to Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. This will not happen.”
Background to remember
The newspaper’s editorial then explains the reasons for its adoption of the opinion that there is a need for an immediate ceasefire, even if this cease is temporary, and says that Netanyahu’s words come “amidst columns of smoke, images of tanks flowing through the rubble… and children who were killed during the bombing, and testimonies from reliable media outlets.” And international aid agencies, all of this confirms that Gaza’s plight is worsening day after day.”
His words also come amid “the plundering of some of the meager aid flowing through the Rafah crossing from the United Nations warehouse, due to the state of insecurity driven by desperation… and amid the economic pressures exerted by Israel… the siege… and the deprivation of the population in the name of a comprehensive war for survival and the right to self-defense.” …from food, water, medicine, and electricity.”
The newspaper expects the matter to get worse if Israel and Hamas wage a relentless war, considering that the spiral of violence may escalate, spread, and get out of control.
Netanyahu’s words came as the Israeli army expanded “its ground invasion and its warnings to the residents of Gaza of the necessity of moving south… and its orders to the Jerusalem Hospital administration to evacuate the remaining patients.”
“Even if this were legally justified… and within the framework of seeking to achieve the Israeli war objectives of destroying Hamas, which was said to be stationed under or near the hospital, it is impractical… despite the army saying that it would avoid civilian casualties as much as possible.” ..But there will be blood,” according to the newspaper.
In light of these reasons, the newspaper says, “It is necessary for a temporary and immediate ceasefire… to allow hospitals like Jerusalem to treat patients and prepare them for transport… and to allow aid to be delivered in an orderly manner… and to provide space for diplomatic efforts to try to keep the conflict within the rules of war and save the largest possible number of lives.” innocent people… and efforts were made to free the hostages.”
The newspaper concludes its editorial by saying that it is not wise for Israel to put itself “in a position where it loses international support… nor for it to imagine that it can defeat terrorism militarily completely and forever.”
She adds, “If the fighters’ first duty is to protect innocent civilians, then a way must be found, through the Qataris or the Egyptians, to push Hamas and Israel to reach an implicit arrangement to provide aid and supplies… to save Palestinian lives. If this is not achieved, the disaster will remain more dire.” “It will be much more difficult to get out of it.”