l to r: Ziadah, Randall, Wiles, Chairperson at SOAS.
Last night I asked Faithless guitarist Dave Randall how many Israelis and Palestinians should die so his vision of a one state solution could come about. A one state solution would be achieved if the five million so-called Palestinian “refugees” are ever allowed to exercise a “right of return” to Israel.
The major obstacle to Randall’s vision is that Israelis are not going to voluntarily agree to dissolve the Jewish state. In the absence of such an agreement there would be bloodshed.
Incredibly, Randall replied that he rejected the idea that there would be war between the two sides and that he had been advised by Ronnie Kasrils that white South Africans actually felt “liberated” after apartheid ended.
Incidentally, Kasrils once claimed that “South African Jews told their children not to waste time on the blacks.”
“The antagonisms are the product of Zionism. If we got rid of Zionism people can live peacefully together.”
Randall, who described himself as a “socialist”, said it was in the west’s “interests to cosy up to Israel and turn a blind eye when it breaks international law because it sees Israel as an ally near 70% of the world’s oil resources”.
Randall said Faithless joined the boycott because “to play in Israel sends the message that it is acceptable to conduct business in an apartheid state”.
Although, he said, some of the band members weren’t happy about not going to Israel to play.
However, Faithless are now defunct having been active from 1995-2013. Only in 2011 did they actually decide to join in this racist cultural boycott. Ironically, their Wikipedia profile has a photo of them performing in Haifa, Israel in 2005.
Last night Dave Randall was, instead, performing to just 30 people at a SOAS Palestine Society event sponsored by British charity War On Want. It was the book launch of Voices from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. The so-called Palestinian “right of return”, which would lead to the destruction of the Jewish state, is the main racist plank of this Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).
Also on the panel were the book’s editor Rich Wiles and War On Want’s campaigns officer Rafeef Ziadah. In answer to my question about how many should die Wiles said he didn’t see why anyone would die but that the Palestinians “will never give up the right of return”. As for destroying the Jewish state Wiles continued:
“The idea of having a Jewish democracy is an oxymoron. It’s a case of one group of people privileging their rights over those of others.”
Meanwhile, War On Want’s Rafeef Ziadah claimed that for me to speak in terms of “Israel being destroyed” was racist discourse because it was actually the Palestinians who were suffering an “ongoing destruction”. She said that “the BDS movement will relinquish the racism of the Zionist movement”.
As an aside Ziadah told the audience that I attend all her talks to write about them. She flatters herself but seeing as she obviously reads this blog maybe she could leave a comment letting us know whether she is still a big fan of Islamic Jihad terrorist Khader Adnan who does a nice sideline in inciting Palestinians to become suicide bombers.
Wiles also said that the three main events that have attracted people to BDS in increasing numbers are:
1. Israel killing 1200 people, “mostly civilians”, in Lebanon in 2006.
2. Israel killing 1400 people, “mostly civilians”, in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.
3. Israel killing Turkish activists on the flotilla.
But he left out the main reason; those who deliberately single out the Jewish state because it’s, well, Jewish. Wiles mentioned that “650,000 mainly innocent Iraqis had been murdered by American and UK led forces”, but calling for a boycott of the USA and UK did not pass his lips.
Wiles, who said he had lived in “Palestine”, claimed that although it was now “quiet times in Palestine” there was an “ongoing Nakba” including:
1. The planned removal of 70,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel from the Negev so that a forest funded by the JNF can be built instead. Wiles said that to Israelis “the lives of trees are more important than the lives of the Palestinians”.
2. The West Bank Palestinian village of Sosia whose inhabitants were displaced so an “illegal settlement” could be built there instead.
3. Seven Palestinian villages that are waiting to be demolished so Israel can build Firing Zone 918 to practice military manoeuvres.
4. 90,000 Palestinians living in east Jerusalem who are at risk of displacement so Israel can build road links to settlements.
Wiles described all this as a “silent transfer policy which can slip under media attention unlike what the Zionists did between 1947 and 1949”.
At one stage there was a surreal discussion about the size of the anti-Iraq war march through London and the size of the crowds in Tahrir Square. Wiles said that although BDS wasn’t as big they would, instead, be more “strategic”.
Just as well because with only 30 people in the audience Wiles, Ziadah, Randall and War On Want are embarrassing themselves. And now you can understand more fully why even arch-critic of Israel Norman Finkelstein felt compelled to call the BDS lot “a cult of dishonesty” with no other desire than to destroy Israel.