Young Jews raise over £6,500 for Israeli peace organisations working against annexation

#NoToAnnexation is a collective that formed in April


A fundraiser backed by a ‘collective’ of young British Jews has raised over £6,500 for three Israeli organisations that are campaigning against the Israeli government’s proposed annexation of portions of the West Bank.

The ‘Joint Fund Against Annexation’, which was created on June 10, had raised £6,500 from 316 individual donations as of Monday.

Money raised will be distributed via the New Israel Fund, an NGO that supports civil society and human rights organisations in Israel and the West Bank, to Peace Now, Standing Together and Zazim.

All three organisations are mobilising against any proposed annexations in the West Bank.

#NoToAnnexation, which is running the fundraiser, is a collective of some 60 young British Jews from across the denominational spectrum that formed in April.

The group said that it was campaigning to “raise awareness of the implications of annexation in the Jewish community, particularly among young people, and raises funds for Israeli organisations opposing annexation.”

An Instagram account that seeks to explain issues concerning the annexation has also been created.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had claimed that he would begin the process of annexing tranches of the West Bank on July 1, as a first step towards fulfilling proposals made in January as part of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan.  

“Whilst Netanyahu’s 1st July deadline has now come and gone without annexation”, a statement said, “#NoToAnnexation have made clear their campaign is not over.

“Even without annexation the status quo is not acceptable”, the group said, adding: “We must oppose any future annexation plans and continue to fight the occupation.”

Toby Kunin, a representative for Noam, the youth movement of Masorti Judaism, to the Board of Deputies said that debates around annexation and the appointment of pro-annexation Tzipi Hotovely as Israeli ambassador to London represented a “turning point” in the Jewish “community’s relationship with Israel.”

He said: “The proposed annexation combined with Israel’s appointment of a far-right Israeli ambassador to the UK mean that our communal leaders will be seen as increasingly out of touch if they keep insisting that the Israeli government supports peace and two states,” he said.

Ella Taylor, a law student, added: “The threat of annexation has been a wake-up call for the community. It has really energised people and we’ve been able to tap into that energy.”

“If the Board of Deputies continues to fail to speak out against annexation, which would worsen the human rights situation for Palestinians and destroy the two-state solution which so many British Jews support, then we will”.

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said that the Board was responsible for representing a “range” of opinions relating to the Israeli government’s proposed annexations and that the Board did “not in good faith support one view over another.”

She added: “we are here to facilitate this debate from all sides.”

Ms van der Zyl also noted that the Board ought to “take into account” that Israel “has an elected Government which reflects the will of Israeli voters.”

She concluded by reiterating that the Board of Deputies stands by a “continued belief in a negotiated two-state solution, leading to a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state.”

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