Joint statement from the Jewish and Muslim communities of Britain on conflict in Israel and Palestine

September 5, 2014 1:08 PM

MP for Cheadle constituency, Mark Hunter, has welcomed a joint statement published by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Muslim Council of Britain which reads:

"There is no doubt that Muslims and Jews have deeply held views about the conflict in Israel and Palestine. We acknowledge that our communities may disagree about the origins, current reasons and solutions to end the conflict. But there are also points of agreement.

The death of every civilian is a tragedy, and every effort should be taken to minimise such losses. The targeting of civilians is completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions. We pray for a speedy end to the current conflict and for a lasting peace for all.

In spite of the situation in the Middle East, we must continue to work hard for good community relations in the UK. We must not import conflict. We must export peace instead.

Whilst everyone has the right to voice their political opinion, be that in a rally or on social media, we must be mindful of how we convey our protest. There can be no excuse for racism, violence, or other forms of intimidation, when expressing views in the media, on the streets, outside shops or online.

We condemn any expression of Antisemitism, Islamophobia or any form of racism. We call for Muslim and Jewish communities to redouble efforts to work together and get to know one another.

We need constructive dialogue to limit our disagreements and identify the widest possible range of areas for cooperation. There are more issues that unite us than divide us.

May the God of Abraham grant our World more peace, wisdom and hope."

Commenting on the joint statement, Mark Hunter MP said:

'The situation in Israel and Palestine these last months has led to an appalling loss of life, and my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I have urged throughout for both sides to halt hostilities to avoid further bloodshed.

'Unsurprisingly I have been inundated with casework from constituents who share my horror and dismay at the violent reawakening of this decades-long conflict. There was strong support shown to both 'sides' of the conflict, as well as concerns about what it might mean for our local community.

'I therefore very warmly welcome this joint statement from the Muslim Council and the Board of Deputies which reiterates firstly, that the death of every civilian is a tragedy and that secondly, Muslim and Jewish communities here in the UK must continue to work together and get to know one another better.

'I am very fortunate to represent both Muslim and Jewish communities in Cheadle constituency, and I count many from both groups to be my friends. It is imperative that actions taken in the Middle East are not allowed to stand in the way of the bonds that are forming between the two communities locally; anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are illegal and perpetrators will be prosecuted.'

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