South African Jewish Voices for a Just Peace (JVJP) hosted an event with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu this week Thursday in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, to commemorate the civilian lives lost and destroyed during the Israel-Palestine conflict this July and August.
The Archbishop unveiled a plaque in memory of all the civilians killed – Israelis, Palestinians and foreign nationals.
Remembering the lives lost is particularly important as the situation in Israel-Palestine remains difficult. Israel announced a massive land-grab in the West Bank while Gaza still lives under a crippling land, air and sea blockade. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are living in the ruins of Gaza with no electricity, water or sewerage infrastructure, while life in Israel goes back to normal.
JVJP is a group of Jewish South Africans who recognise that the South African Jewish community is not homogenous in its thinking and that there are many different views on Israel.
Many Jews in our country are deeply troubled by the actions of Israel and the human rights abuses which are inflicted on Palestinians. Many Jews are afraid to speak about these abuses for fear of being ostracised. As such, JVJP aims to facilitate respectful dialogue and discussion among South African Jews.