Proud of my solidarity

Gaza protest.
Gaza protest.

It is commendable that so many locals have been keen to show their solidarity with the people of Gaza (Lancaster holds vigil for dead in Gaza, August 14), raising funds for humanitarian assistance as well as putting pressure on the British government to act to end Israel’s occupation and siege.

As a Jewish person I have been proud to join the demonstrations both here and in London. The British Jewish community contains within it a diverse range of opinions and no one should come to a racist presumption that all Jews will think alike.

You quote one individual who is “worried about the people in this area” because she has seen “girls wearing save Palestine t-shirts”. The implication that this is unacceptable, or that the protests have been motivated by race or religion, and not out of concern that Palestinians have been denied the freedoms that we should all enjoy, is deplorable.

There can never be any excuse for anti-Semitism or Islamophobia to flow from this debate, but nor should it be implied that mourning civilian deaths or calling for the Israeli government be held to account is anything other than a legitimate act that all those who support universal human rights should welcome.

Ben Soffa

Queen Street