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Jewish groups cease support for US food bank calling for Gaza ceasefire

June 4, 2024 at 1:41 pm

Logo of Oregon Food Bank that released a statement in which it called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on 30 April 30 2024 [Social media]

Several Jewish groups have pulled their support from a food bank in the US after it called for a ceasefire in Gaza.

A month ago, the Oregon Food Bank released a statement in which it called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, as well as unobstructed access to humanitarian aid. “We condemn the indiscriminate attacks by the Israeli army on Palestinians, including the bombardment of neighbourhoods, healthcare facilities, humanitarian aid efforts and refugee camps,” it said.

“The intentional obstruction of humanitarian relief efforts as well as the deliberate destruction of Palestinian food and lifeways, such as the intentional targeting of bakeries, hospitals and housing units, exacerbates the suffering and vulnerability of Palestinians. These attacks illustrate how blocking food distribution and the weaponisation of starvation is a violent tactic of war. We are also outraged by the Israeli army’s reckless killing of food aid workers.”

In response, 12 Jewish organisations said they would withhold any financial support for the food bank until it retracts the statement.

However, Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) has condemned the groups’ actions, saying they are “weaponising food” in the same way that Israel is in Gaza.

“Similar to the actions of the Israelis in Gaza, this move weaponises food, threatening vulnerable populations. This is threatening and unacceptable behaviour, violating the Jewish value placed on the sanctity of all life above all else, and is an affront to basic human dignity,” JVP said in a statement.

In a statement to FOX 12 yesterday, Oregon Food Bank President Susannah Morgan said: “Oregon Food Bank carefully crafted the statement after consulting with many diverse community members. We acknowledge that there are many different opinions about Israel’s war on Palestine, as we can see across the United States and around the globe. However, we believe our statement accurately reflects the realities and the information is derived from credible national and international sources.”

“Our statement is in alignment with our mission and responsibility to address the root causes of hunger and advocate for the safety of food aid workers – at home and across the globe… We call on our community to direct their support to the people of Gaza who, unfortunately, are facing “full-blown famine”.”

READ: Gaza ceasefire plan: More tactical pressure or end of US support for Netanyahu?