The General Secretary of the Communist Party, Robert Griffiths, has issued a statement denouncing a police attack on Ofer Cassif MK, a comrade of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI) and Hadash and member of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament).
“The Communist Party of Britain extends its solidarity to comrade Ofer Cassif MK, of the CPI and Hadash, who was assaulted by the police during a peaceful demonstration against the Israeli occupation, in East Jerusalem on Friday 9 April. Comrade Cassif is a member of the CPI’s Political Committee and a Member of Knesset on behalf of the socialist Hadash party, as part of the Joint List left coalition. Along with his party and allies, Comrade Cassif has taken a principled stand against Israeli expansionist policies. For this he was assaulted.
Last Friday, hundreds took part in a demonstration against the forced removal of Palestinian families and their replacement by Israeli settlers, in the Sheikh Jarrah district of occupied East Jerusalem. The peaceful demonstration was brutally attacked by the police who used stun grenades, leaving ten injured, including Comrade Cassif – a serving parliamentarian.
Comrade Cassif has since filed a complaint against the police and addressed a press conference on the matter. He emphasised the assault he was subjected to is first and foremost as a citizen, but explained that as an MK with parliamentary immunity it is also an assault against the country’s democratic institutions. Referring to the late Israeli PM Yitzchak Rabin, who was assassinated by a right-wing activist in 1995, Ofer Cassif warned that a political assassination in Israel may be imminent if attacks on parliamentarians are deemed legitimate.
The Communist Party of Britain condemns the unjustified violence of the Israeli police against peaceful civil opposition to the occupation, including by the Israeli people’s democratically elected representatives. In doing so, the Communist Party of Britain reaffirms its historical support for a State of Israel living in peace beside a State of Palestine within pre-1967 boundaries. The Communist Party of Britain extends its solidarity to comrade Cassif and reiterates its support for our sister parties in the region, the Communist Party of Israel and the Palestinian People’s Party.”
Challenge News Desk