Tag Archives: Palestine Campaign

It’s the Holocaust, stupid.

Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Means Freedom) at the entrance to Auschwitz where 1.1 million people died, 90% of them Jews

Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Means Freedom) at the entrance to Auschwitz where 1.1 million people died, 90% of them Jews

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is extremely adept at keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive, but, sadly, not for memorialising or academic purposes.

Many a PSC event, or those held by other anti-Israel organisations, seem to start off by invoking the Holocaust.

And why not?

For sure, the very sound of the word “Holocaust” makes an audience’s ears prick up.

The Holocaust. Two simple but emotive words.

You would hope that the memory of 6,000,000 Jews (including 1,000,000 children) and 4,000,000 Communists, gypsies, homosexuals and the physically and mentally disabled would only be invoked when utterly necessary.

Maybe on Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January each year), a visit to Auschwitz or Dachau maybe or maybe an educational class about the Holocaust. This is appropriate.

But a talk presented by the PSC at the House of Commons entitled Ending the siege on Gaza – Eyewitness reports from the Viva Palestina convoy, Parliamentary delegations, and Westminster University Architects is an inappropriate place.

I doubt, somehow, that Gaza, Viva Palestina, Parliamentary delegations and Westminster University Architects have anything to do with Jews being gassed, hanged, shot, burned alive, having medical experiments performed on their genitals and having their corpses bulldozed into mass unmarked graves.

Holocaust denial is sickening enough (and there is plenty of it around in Iran and Arab countries) but gratuitously invoking the Holocaust, as Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury did at the PSC event on tuesday, is sickening in its own way.

Perhaps he should be forgiven as he is a Liberal Democrat peer. As we well know, the Liberal Democrats, wishing to entice the Muslim vote, are not well-disposed to Israel.

But being anti-Israel is no excuse to utilise the Holocaust just to get an audience’s attention. If Lord Phillips thinks he was being intelligent and authoritative, he wasn’t.

According to Jonathan Hoffman Lord Phillips was eager to tell everyone that his first visual memory was of the Holocaust (he was born in 1939) and he suggested that Israel was created only because of the guilt felt by the West after the Holocaust.

Lord Phillips, according to Hoffman, also said, “Europe cannot think straight about Israel because of the Holocaust and America is in the grip of the well-organised Jewish lobby.”

The sub-text to these comments seems to be that if six million Jews hadn’t died at the hands of those blinking Nazis there would be peace in the world today. There would be no need for Al Qaida, Hamas and Hizbollah. It’s all because of that blinking Holocaust, stupid.

Even from the grave Hitler is exerting his presence thanks to the likes of Lord Phillips.

Just for good measure Lord Phillips said he believes that Israel has a right to exist but no one who addresses a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting believes this and certainly wouldn’t be invited to give a talk if they did.

If he was pushed further he would state that Israel has a right to exist but that the Palestinians must have the have a right to return, which would extinguish the Jewish nature of Israel.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign supports Hamas (or, at least, doesn’t denounce it), a banned terrorist organisation. Hamas has sent many suicide bombers into packed Israeli restaurants and would continue to do so if it wasn’t for the security wall built, far too belatedly, by Israel.

Supporting Hamas is bad enough but the PSC and its speakers should leave those who have been tortured and murdered by the Nazis to rest in peace and not have their experiences raised for political point scoring or to grab an audience’s attention, especially when the topic at hand is totally unrelated to the Holocaust.

Anti-Israel hatefest season kicks off.

Last wednesday I went to hear two pro-Hamas supporters give a talk to a group of revolutionary communists at a London pub. The subject of the talk was “Ten years of Intifada – What Future for Palestine?”.

I cleared it with the pub manager beforehand so I wasn’t barred as happened to me when I tried to attend a Middle East Monitor meeting at the House of Commons in July.

Seems our pubs are more democratic than Parliament.

When I entered the room the front table was adorned with a “Victory to the Intifada” banner and the banner next to me read “Boycott Marks and Spencer”.

The chairperson opened the meeting by telling us how M&S was closely entwined with the growing of the Zionist project and how past M&S directors had made many racist statements.

The two speakers, Ghassan Abu-Sitta, a Palestinian surgeon, and Manal Masalha, a Palestinian activist and PhD student, spent the next hour basically telling us how Fatah/PLO had sold out to the racist imperialists and Zionists.

Fatah had, apparently, now conspired in the Zionist project via the Oslo peace accords and will eventually either agree future landswaps with Israel so that Israeli Palestinians will be transferred to a new Palestinian state or there will be an outright ethnic cleansing of Israeli Palestinians.

What was needed was a national liberation movement and although Hamas was far from perfect (Abu-Sitta acknowledged that Hamas demolishes Palestinian houses which don’t have permits) it was the only organisation capable of doing what was necessary to free the Palestinian people.

We were told that during the Oslo peace process the Palestinians were offered only 42% of the West Bank and 60% of Gaza and that Israeli Palestinians live in Israel under laws reminiscent of the Nazis

During the Q&A a Sri Lankan man asked whether Hamas should be either more democratic in its behaviour or step aside. He compared Hamas to the Tamil Tigers who, he felt, had caused chaos in Sri Lanka and that Sri Lanka was now benefitting from their demise.

Abu-Sitta disagreed and told us just how democratic Hamas is and how it had gone along with the Oslo Accords until Fatah had finally sold out the Palestinian cause.

I didn’t want to complicate issues by mentioning Hamas suicide bombers walking into Israeli restaurants to blow up families who were at lunch.

I kept it simple and asked:

“If the Palestinians were offered 100% of the West Bank and Gaza for a Palestinian state and the Israeli Palestinians living in Israel could stay put, wasn’t peace better achieved that way than continuing the Palestinian struggle?”

Abu-Sitta said that is impossible as Zionism is incompatible with peace.

Some of the audience then praised the smashEDO protesters in Brighton and the protesters that constantly harass Ahava but United Against Fascism came in for criticism for their statement on their website that “‘UAF does not have a position on the question of Israel and Palestine’ when it should have”!

Ok, so this meeting was above a pub and there were only 20 people there but the statements made are not too disimilar from those made at the many anti-Israel events that take place throughout the year.

This meeting kicked off the post summer anti-Israel hatefest season with conferences galore already arranged where anti-Israel activists can devote disproportionate amounts of their time to giving a good, hard kicking to the Jewish state.

Next up this tuesday is a Palestine Campaign event at the House of Commons entitled Ending the siege on Gaza – Eyewitness reports from the Viva Palestina convoy, Parliamentary delegations, and Westminster University Architects.

Then on 20th and 21st November there is a disgraceful two day conference at the Law Society, of all places, entitled International corporate complicity in Israel’s Violations of International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, and War Crimes.

Hilariously, the conference is taking the form of a jury trial. I wonder whether Israel will be acquitted or not. Answers on a postcard please.

And on December 1st Middle East Monitor is presenting Professor Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Palestinian Human Rights, who is going to speak on The Israeli assault on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

All this before Israel Apartheid Week in the new year!

There really are few places like the UK it when it comes to the amount of opportunities to express one’s hatred for the Jewish state.

These organisations would, no doubt, offer an invitation to President Ahmadinejad if our authorities would only allow him to come to these shores.

Palestine Campaign head visits her troops on the front line.

Sarah Colborne, Director of Campaigns and Operations at the Palestine Campaign, made a surprise visit to inspect her troops on the front-line on Saturday.

The Palestine Campaign sponsors the fortnightly anti-Israel demonstrations outside Ahava paying for the thousands of leaflets that are distributed to passers-by. There are obviously times when the planet need not be spared.

Anti-Israel activists were well down from the usual number. Bruce Levy, head-honcho of the troops on the ground, said everyone was at the Anarchist Bookfair.

Some did saunter along later to boost the ranks of the faithful.

The English Defence League were allocated their own pen by the police. As soon as the EDL arrived anti-Israel activists tried to capture that all important photo of a counter-demonstrator standing near the EDL so they can smear the counter-demonstrator as a racist.

This time there were just four EDL members present. As well as showing support for Israel they spent most of their time protesting against Hamas’ hatred of gays.

The day turned into the battle of the flags with the Flag of St. George and the gay rights flag hoisted in the EDL pen and Palestinian flags flying in the anti-Israel pen.

And on top of all the other celebrity boycotters even Elvis Presley came back to make an appearance in the anti-Israel pen.

As the Palestine Campaign is the chief sponsor of all these anti-Israel protests a few pro-Israel counter-demonstrators took the opportunity to make their objections known to Sarah Colborne.

She was asked whether she denounced Hamas for their call to kill Jews in their Charter (Article 7). She replied: “I will not engage with you.”

Now, I have no major problem with someone being anti-Israel, if that is their wish, but surely it isn’t too difficult to denounce an organisation that expressly wishes to kill Jews. Call me old-fashioned.

These days one has to make an expressed and clear denunciation of the EDL to prove that one is not a racist but not denouncing a proudly virulently anti-Semitic organisation like Hamas is, apparently, just fine.

If Sarah or Betty Hunter or anyone from the Palestine Campaign wishes, at any stage, to denounce Hamas after reading Article Seven of its Charter then please get in touch and I will publish any response on this blog.

Article Seven states:

…….the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim).