How many Palestinians must die before we all say, ‘enough is enough’?

In the old days, back in the time of Abraham and Moses, there was a law that said “Thou shalt give life for life, eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot”.

It wasn’t a very progressive law – as Mahatma Ghandi was to point out two thousand years later that kind of ‘eye for an eye’ thinking meant the whole world went blind – but at least it was simple to understand and codified the rules of retaliation.

Today, the government of Mr. Netanyahu seems to have lost all its moral bearings and has clearly shown that the life of a Palestinian child or woman has no value, no equivalence. We are now at the loss of 36 eyes for a single Israeli eye; this is today’s rate of exchange.

The Palestinian currency is likely to fall again – particularly if we are to judge by last week’s liberation of four hostages at the cost of 274 Palestinian lives. This now gives us an exchange rate in hell of 68 for 1…

Let me make my position clear: I unreservedly condemn Hamas’ attack of 7th October. I understand that a response of significance was necessary to defend Israel and defeat Hamas, while deploying every possible effort to secure the return of the hostages. Hamas could have chosen to end the suffering of those in Gaza by returning all the hostages months ago, yet it continues to use them as a bargaining chip, prolonging this awful conflict.

Yet what is happening now in Gaza is more than war, it is an atrocity. The need to take out Hamas does not give Israel the right to kill untold women, children, and non-combatants, to destroy every hospital and every university, and to attack refugee camps.

Where is the moral compass of the State of Israel? Is it not clear to Jewish Israelis and Jews around the world that what is happening right now in Gaza is morally wrong and is sowing the seeds for generational hatred, discord and revenge?

Some in Israel and in the Jewish diaspora clearly do see the appalling scale of retribution and condemn it at protests against Netanyahu and his far-right government, but many more seem totally indifferent to these cruel events being carried out in their name or, worse still, they applaud and encourage the destruction of Palestinians, regarding them all as ‘Hamas supporters’, while turning on those brave enough to speak out.

Four Israelis: Noa Argamani, 26, Almog Meir Jan, 22, Andrei Kozlov, 27 and Shlomi Ziv, 41 were freed from two seprate buildings in Nuseirat in what the Israeli military said was a “high-risk, complex” mission in the densely-populated area of Nuseirat, Gaza, on 8 June 2024. An estimated 274 Palestinians were killed in the process.


Let me say to my Jewish and Israelis friends: my friendship for you remains steadfast and if you feel unsafe and threatened, there is always a seat for you at my dinner table and refuge in my home – but for the love of God stand up and say that enough is enough. We need you, as our friends, to call out this evil.

Or is all that we learnt from Jewish culture about tolerance, about democracy, about humanity and decency, a kumbaya form of apartheid, a profound insincerity? Applicable for everyone who is not Palestinian?

Is what we learnt from the book of Isaiah – the bit where it says “we shall be a light unto the nations” a sick joke? Along the lines of the same absurd rhetoric that said that Palestine was “a land without people for a people without land.”

As a Cypriot – forget my ethnic identity of being a Turkish Cypriot – I am crying out my outrage. This is my neighbourhood. The Palestinians and the Israelis are my sisters and brothers. They look like us, they are like us. Their pain hurts us too.

We all need to petition our governments to do more than voice outrage. Our leaders must make it clear that we cannot be mere bystanders as Gaza is pummelled, and that humanitarian laws and the rules of war are routinely trounced.

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Our common humanity demands for us to act now to end this suffering and to bring about a lasting peace for all in Palestine and Israel.

And if you feel safe and unconcerned by the events in Gaza, remember the words of Pastor Niemoller:

“First they came for the Communists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me

And there was no one left

To speak out for me”

Speak out and say enough is enough!


This article was written by British Turkish Cypriot author and businessman Metin Murat.


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