3 February 2024
Yorkshire Jews Say Not in Our Name

This letter is only for those who identify as Jewish and live in Yorkshire. To keep in touch, email notinournameyorkshire@gmail.com with your name and the town you live in. We will use it only to keep in touch about the outcome of this letter. We have many views between us but at this moment we wish to make it clear together that solidarity with the actions of the Israeli government is not the view of all Jewish people in Yorkshire.

We speak out as Jews living across Yorkshire to say: ‘Not In Our Name.’

We speak out to express our opposition to Israel’s war on Gaza.

We speak out to add our voices to the global call for an immediate ceasefire and for the safe passage of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

We speak out to demand the release of the Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas on 7th October.

We speak out to express our profound grief that the atrocity carried out against Israelis by Hamas and others has led to an even greater atrocity by the State of Israel against the Palestinian people.

We speak out because we believe the killing of thousands of innocent civilians (the majority women and children); the indiscriminate destruction of lives and homes; and the risk of mass starvation and disease are utterly unacceptable and an affront to Jewish values and Jewish historical experience.

We speak out to insist that the current situation can only be understood within the political and historical context of Israel’s on-going dispossession and discrimination against the Palestinian people.

We speak out because understanding this context is not to excuse violence but to enable an honest reckoning with what has brought us to this catastrophic moment.

We speak out to counter the conflation of Jews in the United Kingdom, and around the world, with the political language and military actions of Netanyahu’s Israeli government.

We speak out to oppose the uncritical support for the war given by Jewish institutions in the U.K. who claim to speak for all Jews.

We speak out to express our concern about the rise in antisemitism in the UK which is only encouraged by associating all Jews with the actions of the Israeli government.

We speak out to say: ‘Not in Our Name’.

We speak out to say that the war against Gaza is making a just peace settlement in the region more difficult than ever.

We speak out because we firmly believe that the people of Israel/Palestine will only find peace when there is complete equality (ethnically, religiously and nationally) for all those who call Palestine/Israel their home.

We speak out because continuing the war will only lead to the deaths of more innocent Palestinians without achieving security for Israelis or the return of the hostages.

We speak out to say: ‘Not In Our Name’.

JANUARY 2024

Update 19 February 2024

Update on 'Not in our name' Yorkshire

Dear friend

Thank you for signing the open letter openletter.earth/yorkshire-jews-say-not-in-our-nam... and ticking the box to keep in touch. There are over 50 signatories now and last week we press-released the letter without listing the signatories, though we don’t yet know of it being covered anywhere. If you know a journalist or editor on any Yorkshire paper, radio or TV, please make the connection for us. The press release is reproduced below.

Please do pass on the letter’s link to others who might consider signing up.

The Open Letter site allows us to email you without us knowing your address, nor you ours, and this is one such email. However, if you would like to keep in touch, please email notinournameyorkshire@gmail.com with your name and the town you live in.

If you live in Calderdale, Sheffield or Leeds/Bradford, we will then put you in touch with local non-Zionist groups of Jews in those areas. Otherwise we might occasionally email you news related to this letter.

You can also directly join two national organisations that have local members in Yorkshire:

  • Na’amod. https://naamod.org.uk/ “We are a movement of Jews in the UK seeking to end our community’s support for Israel's occupation and apartheid, and to mobilise it in the struggle for freedom, equality and justice for all Palestinians and Israelis”.

  • Jewish Voice for Labour. https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/ “JVL is a Jewish-led organisation for members of the labour, trade union, socialist and progressive movements.”

Best wishes,

Robert Cohen, Leeds; Adam Hurst, Sheffield; Daniel Rosenzweig Leeds; Ludi Simpson, Bradford

NEWS RELEASE

14 February 2024, for immediate release

‘Yorkshire Jews Say Not in Our Name’

Jews across Yorkshire are adding their names to the global call for a ceasefire in the Israel/Gaza war.

An online statement titled ‘Yorkshire Jews Say Not In Our Name’ [openletter.earth] has so far attracted dozens of signatures from Jews who believe the death toll of innocent civilians in Gaza, and the devastation caused to more than two million people, is not justified by the atrocities carried out by Hamas on 7th October against Israeli citizens.

While also calling for the immediate release of Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas and the need for massive humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Gaza Strip, the statement insists that the situation has a long political context:

“the current situation can only be understood within the political and historical context of Israel’s on-going dispossession and discrimination against the Palestinian people. We speak out because understanding this context is not to excuse violence but to enable an honest reckoning with what has brought us to this catastrophic moment.”

The signatories, listed as residents in different parts of Yorkshire, are also expressing their concern over the rise in antisemitism in the UK. They say that antisemitism is never justified, but it has been encouraged by the conflation of British Jews with the destructive actions of the Israeli government.

Robert Cohen, a synagogue member from Leeds, said:

“Jews in Yorkshire have many opinions about what’s happened in the last few months and it’s vital that people understand we are a politically diverse community and not a unified lobby group for Israel. What happened on 7th October were terrible atrocities, war crimes, but what’s happened since to the Palestinian people has been far worse. It has to stop.”

Another signatory to the statement, Adam Hurst, a synagogue member from Sheffield, said:

“It’s very clear to us that the continuation of the war and the on-going massive Palestinian civilian casualties are destabilising the entire region and making a long-term solution to the conflict more difficult than ever. Sowing the seeds for generations of hatred towards Israelis and Jews around the world is not the answer to what happened on 7th October.”

The letter can be signed at openletter.earth/yorkshire-jews-say-not-in-our-nam... [openletter.earth]

[ENDS]

For further information, please contact:

Robert Cohen, Leeds robertahcohen@gmail.com / 07725065969

Or Adam Hurst, Sheffield, adam.hurst153@btinternet.com /07919 946341

Or Ludi Simpson, Bradford, simpsonludi@gmail.co.uk / 07747 565273

The signatories are drawn from several organisations of Jews who do not support Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands, nor Israel’s current war on Gaza, as well as many individuals unaffiliated to any organisation.

The full text of the letter, at openletter.earth/yorkshire-jews-say-not-in-our-nam... [openletter.earth], is as follows:

Yorkshire Jews Say Not in Our Name

We speak out as Jews living across Yorkshire to say: ‘Not In Our Name.’

We speak out to express our opposition to Israel’s war on Gaza.

We speak out to add our voices to the global call for an immediate ceasefire and for the safe passage of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

We speak out to demand the release of the Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas on 7th October.

We speak out to express our profound grief that the atrocity carried out against Israelis by Hamas and others has led to an even greater atrocity by the State of Israel against the Palestinian people.

We speak out because we believe the killing of thousands of innocent civilians (the majority women and children); the indiscriminate destruction of lives and homes; and the risk of mass starvation and disease are utterly unacceptable and an affront to Jewish values and Jewish historical experience.

We speak out to insist that the current situation can only be understood within the political and historical context of Israel’s on-going dispossession and discrimination against the Palestinian people.

We speak out because understanding this context is not to excuse violence but to enable an honest reckoning with what has brought us to this catastrophic moment.

We speak out to counter the conflation of Jews in the United Kingdom, and around the world, with the political language and military actions of Netanyahu’s Israeli government.

We speak out to oppose the uncritical support for the war given by Jewish institutions in the U.K. who claim to speak for all Jews.

We speak out to express our concern about the rise in antisemitism in the UK which is only encouraged by associating all Jews with the actions of the Israeli government.

We speak out to say: ‘Not in Our Name’.

We speak out to say that the war against Gaza is making a just peace settlement in the region more difficult than ever.

We speak out because we firmly believe that the people of Israel/Palestine will only find peace when there is complete equality (ethnically, religiously and nationally) for all those who call Palestine/Israel their home.

We speak out because continuing the war will only lead to the deaths of more innocent Palestinians without achieving security for Israelis or the return of the hostages.

We speak out to say: ‘Not In Our Name’.

62
signatures
55 verified
  1. Ludi Simpson, Shipley
  2. Daniel Hektor Rosenzweig, teacher, Leeds
  3. Simon Cohen, LEEDS
  4. John Baruch, Scientist, Bradford and Shipley Trades Union Council, Bradford
  5. Jonathan Feldman, sheffield jews against israeli apartheid, SHEFFIELD
  6. Solomon Russell-Cohen, Student, Leeds
  7. Deborah Maccoby, retired, Jewish Voice for Labour, Leeds
  8. Liev Cherry, Leeds
  9. Rachel Goulcher, Retired, Non, Bradford
  10. Hat Rosenthal, Psychologist, Independent, Halifax
  11. Yosh Kosminsky, Occupational Therapist, Sheffield
  12. Pete Sacker, Retired, Sheffield Jews against Israeli Apartheid, Sheffield
  13. Ash Wilk, Leeds
  14. Robert A Cohen, PhD student, King's College London, Leeds
  15. Alan DEADMAN, Retired, Sheffield Jews Against Israeli Apartheid, Sheffield
  16. Rachelle Sanderson, Teacher, Knaresborough
  17. Nathalie Tolmie-Thomson, Marketing executive, University of Leeds, Leeds
  18. Anne Caldwell, Teaching Fellow, University of Leeds, Leeds
  19. Michelle Schneider, Learning Developer, Leeds
  20. Nat Sanderson, Care, Knaresborough
  21. Marc Neal, Leeds
  22. Elise Melaugh, Retired, Leeds
  23. Dena Golf, Retired, Leeds
  24. Paul Appleson, Leeds
  25. Lisa Stampnitzky, Sheffield
  26. Merle Collett, BRADFORD
  27. Michelle Baruch Baron, Therapist, Calderdale
  28. Nimrod Evron, Teacher, Hebden Bridge
  29. Len Collett, Social Worker, Bradford
  30. Louise Glatt, Counsellor, Hebden Bridge
  31. Katie Clarke, Halifax
  32. Angela Schatzberger, psychotherapistst, Homfirth
  33. Lesley Schatzberger, Musician, York
  34. EK, Leeds
  35. Flo Toch, Leeds
  36. Debbie Fox, Support worker, Leeds
  37. Jacob George, Urban Planner, Sheffield
  38. Robert Bartfield, Retired, Leeds
  39. Philipa Bragman, Hebden Bridge
  40. Judith Baron, Hebden Bridge
  41. Steven Burkeman, Retired, York
  42. Frances Bernstein, Retired, LEEDS
  43. Adam hURST, Retired, Sheffield Jews Against Israeli Appartheid, Sheffield
  44. David Kennard, Retired/aspiring musician, York
  45. Sam Borman, York
  46. Judy Sherwood, psychotherapist, Sheffield
  47. Yael Arbell, social scientist, Leeds
  48. Lizzie Lowenstein, Leeds
  49. Andrew Manasse, Retired GP, N/A, Sheffield
  50. Self Hater, retired, London
  51. Nick Griffin, Politician, BNP, Wales
  52. Ezra Liber, Jewllery Store Owner, Shalom and Associates, New York
  53. Shmekal Fresser, Sex Worker, Cleckhuddlesfax
  54. Ludi Simpson, The 4 vile entries above cannot be removed, Please continue to add your genuine name, Shipley
  55. Vidkun Quisling, Traitor, Norway
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