Choose which side you are on, say UK Jewish leaders

Jewish community leaders have called on the world to “pick which side they are on – Israel or Hamas” as the violence in Gaza continues.

In a message sent to rabbis ahead of Shabbat, Jewish Leadership Council chairman Mick Davis and Board of Deputies president Vivian Wineman said the international community must make tough decisions.

"The leadership of the Jewish community stand with Israel,” they said.

“We share the widespread concern for the people of Gaza but there is a failure to recognise that Israel’s campaign is not against the people of Gaza, but in defence of its own citizens.

“The international community should be defending Israel’s sovereignty and its absolute right to defend its citizens from indiscriminate attacks from the terrorist group Hamas.

“It is time for the world to pick which side they are on - Israel or Hamas?”

Grassroots group Yachad said hundreds of its supporters had signed a letter to the head of Britain’s delegation to the United Nations calling for support for a ceasefire.

Yachad director Hannah Weisfeld said: “In the absence of long-term peace, this war will happen again and again.

“A ceasefire is urgent and necessary, and so is brokering long-term peace. We must not lose sight of that."

Her comments came before today’s truce broke down hours after Israel and Hamas agreed to a US and UN-brokered deal.

Last updated: 2:05pm, August 1 2014