The British Government bans discussion of Palestine during Holocaust Memorial Day
by Mick Napier
A letter from Andrew Stunnell MP, writing on behalf of the Minister for Communities in the UK coalition government, attempts to justify the decision earlier this year of the UK Government's Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to censor all mention of a speaking tour by Dr. Hajo Meyer, a survivor of Auschwitz, on the subject of Israeli crimes in Gaza.
It suggests that Dr. Meyer was censored because SPSC publicity for the event was 'offensive'. Our attempts each year to include discussion of Israeli mass killings in Palestine during Holocaust Memorial Day was 'offensive'.
A reply on behalf of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign asks for clarification of the following issues:
1. What are the criteria for inclusion in official HMD events?
2. What was deemed to be offensive in SPSC having an Auschwitz survivor talk across Scotland on the world’s “largest prison camp” (David Cameron)?
3. Can groups campaigning for Palestinian human rights participate in HMD 2011?
4. Is any reference to Israeli crimes in Palestine considered ‘offensive’ within the context of HMD?
5. What do we need to do in future to avoid giving ‘offense’?
6. Are Holocaust survivors during Holocaust Memorial Day permitted to explain their non-Zionist political conclusions, their commitment to universal values?
7. Is official Holocaust commemoration constrained by British Government support for Israel?
8. Can one invoke the genocidal racism of the perpetrators of the Holocaust to warn against any of these:
a. nuclear weapons that can exterminate whole populations?
b. Israeli massacres of Palestinians from 1948 till today?
c. the ongoing programme of dispossession of Palestinians by settlers backed by the Israeli State?
Despite the HMDT's crude censorship during HMD 2010, Dr. Meyer's speaking tour was successful attracting large numbers of people to the meetings and, via the Scottish press, reaching huge numbers more.
Help Scottish PSC break this censorship. We can work together to see that Nazi mass killings against Jews, Gypsies, Russians, Poles, Serbs, disabled people, homosexuals are remembered AND the lessons drawn that we must stop ALL mass killings, especially when our own government arms and supports the killers.
We must remember the most revolting example of European state-directed racism to re-dedicate ourselves to oposing ALL state-directed racism, including the vicious form of apartheid existing in Israel today.
Edinburgh 26th September 2010