Palestinians flee an Israeli tear gas attack during the March of Return on March 30.

Here‘s what happened:

The Israeli army have killed 15 Palestinians and wounded a staggering 1,400 more after Israeli forces opened fire on protestors marching near the Israel-Gaza border [on March 30].

Following the shocking killings, the Palestinian authority have declared [March 31] a day of mourning.

The incidents occurred as Israeli forces opened fire with live ammunition and tear gas against reportedly unarmed protestors who were marching as part of a major demonstration marking the 42nd anniversary of Land Day.

Land Day marks the incident in 1976 where the Israeli army killed 6 unarmed Palestinian civilians who were protesting against the Israeli government forcibly taking over huge swathes of Palestinian land.

Channel 4 News provides this coverage:

The current estimate of the death toll is 17, at the time of writing – including children. The Israeli representative’s claim of violence from the Palestinians is… challenging, as nobody involved in the protest was (as I understand it) armed in any way.

See for yourself:

Here’s what the Board of Deputies of British Jews had to say about it:

This appears to be victim-blaming of the very worst kind. Look at the evidence:

So – victim-blaming by the Board of Deputies – right, Mehdi?

Right. But there’s no reason to be surprised. Victim-blaming is what the Board of Deputies does.

Look at the recent controversy over Mear One’s mural – which the artist claimed was anti-banker but which opponents of Jeremy Corbyn claimed was anti-Semite (not all Jews agree – see this article, for example) – because he had written a Facebook post asking why it was being taken down, on the understanding that the issue was about free speech, not anti-Semitism.

Somebody dug up Mr Corbyn’s post and used it to attack him for something that was not his fault. He didn’t create the mural. He wasn’t aware of its significance when he wrote his post. And he withdrew even tacit support for it when he realised what was going on. But he was attacked for it nonetheless.

And the Board of Deputies leapt to join that attack – in the opinion of This Writer, for political purposes. Remember, Jonathan Arkush has been vocal in supporting the Conservatives and the DUP recently – he’s no Labour supporter.

All these strands of argument came together when a social media commentator was labelled an anti-Semite for criticising Israel for committing the murders that took place on Friday, by someone who added, as further justification, “You support Corbyn.”

Before the death toll had risen to 15, pro-Jeremy Corbyn disability activist, Nadeem Ahmed had initially tweeted about the incident, saying:

Israel just killed 10 young Palestinian protesters. The Israeli Government have committed many war crimes and mass murder of innocent Palestinians. When will our world leaders speak out and put an end to this horrific crime.

However, Ahmed’s criticism of the Israeli government – who have beenaccused of committing numerous counts of war crimes by the United Nationsduring the withering aerial bombardment of Gaza in 2014 – was labelled as anti-Semitic by another social media user.

Tax Attorney, and prominent Israel-supporter Chaim Gordon, quote tweeted Ahmed branding him a ‘Corbyn supporting anti-semite’ for his statement denouncing Israeli’s extra-judicial killing of 15 Palestinian protestors earlier today.

Ahmed replied, asking Gordon “How is criticising Israeli gov ant Semitism“, with Gordon responding alleging that ‘these protesters are being sent by Hamas. You know that.‘ and ‘also, you support Corbyn.’

The Evolve Politics article from which the above is quoted (no doubt Evolve is now on the Board of Deputies’ sh*t-list and will soon be facing anti-Semitism accusations of its own, if it hasn’t already) goes on to point out that “many Twitter users were quick to defend Ahmed’s stances, with one telling Gordon “You do the campaign against bigotry no favours labelling someone anti-semitic simply for supporting Jeremy Corbyn.“, whilst another said “Your hollow cries of antisemitism belittle those who have actually suffered and died at the hands of antisemites. Shame on you Chaim.“”

And public opinion seems to be with the victims, not the blamers, for a change:

At a time when Jewish people have been celebrating Passover, and freedom from oppression, it would be a welcome move for the Board of Deputies to admit it was wrong to side with Israel on this matter.

In fairness the organisation did support British Muslims when Leave.EU attacked them with a racist tweet last week…

… so there is hope.


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