D&A Statement on Gaza and Israel

19th October 2023 by Ellie Thompson

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the last fortnight’s escalation of terror in the Middle East. We’re witnessing an unprecedented level of loss and violence, but it’s important to note that these losses reflect those that the Middle East has been facing for decades. The word “conflict” is being used a lot at the moment. But it’s inaccurate to call this “conflict” when Palestinian people and homes are, in fact, victims of colonialism and apartheid. To imply that we’re in the midst of an equitable dispute is to deny the long-established history of occupation, repression and genocide of the Palestinian people. (See Amnesty International’s report on Israel’s apartheid of Palestinians to learn more).

With that in mind, we join the global call for an end to the violence and massacre of innocent people. As a disabled people’s organisation, we know how these atrocities- war, terrorism, and war crimes- particularly affect the disabled community, as well as ensuring a legacy of disablism for decades to come. And this is especially the case for those who face multiple forms of discrimination; particularly, in this instance, Islamophobia, antisemitism, and racism. It’s both terrifying and tragically unsurprising to see the seismic impact of this discrimination and violence in the UK. But the rise in UK incidents of both Islamophobia and antisemitism feels like a visceral mirroring of the fact that conflict in the Middle East is the direct and deliberate result of UK colonialism and policy over the last few hundred years and beyond. We must acknowledge our role, as British people, in perpetuating the violence of our colonial history, condemn all future violence, and continue to fight for equity, justice and safety.

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