OPINION: Together, we will win for all in Israel and Palestine

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

OPINION: Together, we will win for all in Israel and Palestine

'We can have sympathy for grieving and terrified Israelis without defending all the actions of an extremist government that continues to jeopardise their safety', writes David Davidi-Brown

'Together we will win'; slogan atop of one of the buildings at the Azrieli Centre
'Together we will win'; slogan atop of one of the buildings at the Azrieli Centre

For those who have visited Israel in the weeks and months after 7th October, you will know that from your first steps on arrival you are reminded of the horror and heartache Israelis still live with.

Pictures of those held hostage by Hamas line each side of the walkway to passport control. All over the country, signs at cafes, banners hanging on highways, and posters on the trees of Rothschild Boulevard carry the same message: bring them home now.

I have just returned from nearly two weeks in Israel with New Israel Fund [NIF] colleagues and partners.

We met the Hostages’ Families Forum, an organisation we were among the first to support. We visited Bedouin communities who suffered the loss of loved ones at the hands of Hamas, and whose situation is worsened in villages not recognised by Israeli authorities. We spoke with Avi Dabush, executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights Israel and a resident of Kibbutz Nirim. Along with his partner and her children, Avi endured and survived hours in shelters and spent months displaced in Eilat and now Beer Sheva.

We heard from Israeli NGOs striving for a safe shared future for all citizens and residents of Israel, including Bimkom. Working together with other NIF grantees, Bimkom successfully overturned a policy that designated areas where Bedouin communities reside as “depopulated.” Now and in future they will have better protection against Hamas rockets.

In Haifa we joined a conference hosted by the university, Haaretz and NIF on the political situation within Arab society. Academics, activists and politicians discussed the discrimination and intimidation experienced by many Palestinian citizens of Israel.

In one moving discussion a colleague shared how he broke down in a meeting as news reached him that his brother’s brother-in-law had been killed. He later learned a friend he plays basketball with, and his girlfriend, were murdered at the Nova festival. Others shared the fear they have been living with as their children were drafted within hours of war breaking out and have been serving for months.

David Davidi-Brown

One comment that struck me was relayed by a colleague who was told by a friend that they are lucky to work at NIF because in the ongoing trauma they can do something useful. Our Jewish and Palestinian colleagues expressed gratitude and pride in working at NIF, supporting communities devastated by Hamas, challenging extremist rhetoric, and seeking to change a reality that is destroying lives in Israel and Gaza.

We can have sympathy for all the grieving and terrified Israelis we are close to and care for without defending all the actions of an extremist government that continues to jeopardise their safety.

I think most Israelis and supporters of Israel object to disgusting scenes of fundamentalist “protestors” blocking aid to Gaza. Israeli policies also make it harder for aid to reach civilians. Before the war, aid could be purchased from Israel and the West Bank, something now forbidden by Israel. The insufficient number of open crossings, the obscurely applied “dual use” policy, and lack of designated safe zones for aid distribution are contributing to the humanitarian disaster in Gaza. It is becoming harder and harder to distinguish between the callous actions of vigilantes and the destructive decisions of ministers within Israel’s government.

Returning to where I began, with the signs almost everywhere in Israel, the other slogan you see is Yachad ninatze’ach – Together we will win.

“Who is Together?” “What are we winning?” conference at Haifa University, Pic: NIF

I am not sure if the below is what many of those saying or displaying “Together we will win” feel right now. I do know that only through the work of the people we met, and the many more courageous and inspiring leaders of Israeli civil society, can a victory worth fighting for be achieved.

Together: Jewish & Palestinian citizens, and all residents of Israel.

Together: Israelis and all who care about Israel.

Together: Israelis, Palestinians and all connected to Israel and Palestine.

Together: Christians, Jews and Muslims, those attached to this land and leading communities bound up in the fate of those who share it.

Together: all of us on the side of security, freedom and dignity for the Jewish and Palestinian peoples must overcome the terrorists, fanatics and violent extremists.

More urgently than perhaps any point since 1973, together, those on the side of a safe and shared future must be victorious over those who preach and perpetuate bloodshed.

  • David Davidi-Brown, chief executive, New Israel Fund
Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: