1st August 2018
In 2010 SPSC and IJAN (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network) co-hosted a ten-venue speaking tour in the UK and Ireland on the theme of Never Again for Anyone. Main speakers were Auschwitz survivor Dr Hajo Meyer and Dr Haider Eid, Professor at Al Aqsa University in Gaza. Dr Eid spoke by video link since Israel refused permission for him to leave Gaza.
During his talks Hajo Meyer movingly described his experiences in Nazi-occupied Europe; how the regime dehumanised him and other Jews, and drew compelling parallels between his life before 1941 and Israel's progressive dehumanization of Palestinians up until the present day. Dr Meyer argued at each meeting that "Zionism was the polar opposite of Judaism", ie a brutal programme of settler colonialism contrasted with the ethical power of one of the great world religions.
Dr Meyer was widely quoted saying: "My great lesson from Auschwitz is whoever wants to dehumanise any other must first be dehumanized himself. The oppressors are no longer really human whatever uniform they wear."
On her release from prison on Sunday Ahed tamimi made much the same point:
"The Jew or the settler child who carries a rifle at the age of 15 - they are the victims of the occupation. For me, I am capable of distinguishing between right and wrong. But not him. His view is clouded, his heart is filled with hatred and scorn against the Palestinians. He is the victim not me."
Dr Haider Eid spoke from the Gaza Concentration Zone (listen to his contribution here), where most of the people are refugee families from waves of Israeli ethnic cleansing and Israel has carried out many massacres over the years. He spoke a year after Israel's massacre of 1,400 Palestinians, a mass killing the UN Goldstone Commission concluded was "a war crime and possible crime against humanity". Crimes against humanity were first prosecuted against the Nazi leadership at Nuremberg after the end of WWII. Dr Eid suggested that Nazi-type bestiality was not consigned to history: "The world was absolutely wrong to think that Nazism was defeated in 1945. Nazism has won because it has finally managed to Nazify the consciousness of its own victims".
Although the pro-israel lobby seeks to criminalise such comparisons, Dr Eid's comparison of modern day Israel to 1930s Germany has been articulated by several prominent political figures in Israel, including the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Israeli army Yair Golan who said in a speech delivered at a 2016 Holocaust Memorial event in Israel: "It’s scary to see horrifying developments that took place in Europe begin to unfold here." Major General Golan came under intense attack inside Israel but was defended by prominent figures. He was widely believed to be referring to an Israeli soldier who was caught on film shooting dead an incapacitated Palestinian but he may have been thinking of the recently appointed Military Chief Rabbi Eyal Karim who, as well as calling for genocide in Gaza, had endorsed rape of "comely Gentile women" if it maintained the morale of Israeli soldiers in wartime. Or he may have been thinking of the Israeli minister Vilnai who threatened the Palestinians with a Holocaust, using the precise Hebrew word 'Shoah'.
By his apology and attack on two advocates of Palestinian freedom i.e. opponents of the murderous state which massacres and dispossesses them, Corbyn has only emboldened those who defend every Israeli crime and work to silence opponents of the crimes against humanity carried out by the State of Israel against the Palestinian people. They will never be placated because they hate the idea of Corbyn within reach of 10 Downing Street where he might challenge the alliance with Israel.
False accusations of anti-semitism by defenders of Israeli snipers is 'the gift that keeps on giving' . Once a false accusation has been made the act of denial is portrayed as proof of guilt. This new version of Catch 22 submerges areas of British politcs in a McCarthyite madness where the accusation, however absurd, means inescapable guilt, at least in much of the mainstream Media.
SPSC opposes Zionism because it is a racist programme in two core asopects. Zionism has always worked to colonize all of Palestine with the fewest number of Palestinians remaining there, preferably close to zero. In addition it is an axiom of Zionism, without which the colonisation of Palestine makes no sense even to those promoting it, that Jews cannot live at peace in European societies but must leave that continent if they are to be safe.
Corbyn's apology only encourages those who turn a blind eye to those anti-semites on the extreme right who support Israel, while seeking to silence voices raised in support of Palestinian freedom.
The Palestinian community body in Scotland warned of the censorship being demanded by the pro-Israel lobby. Palestinians
"need to be free to narrate freely our experiences, to discuss freely our tragic past and our hopes for a future founded on justice and freedom in occupied Palestine…The Palestinian community in Scotland and its members must be free to describe the crimes to which we and our families have been subjected, because these crimes continue to the present day...That description cannot avoid identifying the collective perpetrator, i.e. the Zionist movement to colonise Palestine, and the State of Israel which that movement created within living memory, nor the right of Palestinians anywhere to resist and end that colonisation."
SPSC will not submit to those who wish to silence us and many others. Those who have forced an apology from Corbyn, not to mention support from the SNP for the bogus IHRA definition of antisemitism, have a basic problem: the State of Israel is, and the Zionist colonisation project in Palestine always has been, inherently a racist endeavour.
A Zionist critic, Ahad Ha'am, wrote of those of his fellow Jews who escaped oppression by moving to Palestine in the earliest days of Zionist colonisation:
“as always happens to former slaves - when a slave becomes king...They deal with the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, trespass unjustly, beat them shamefully for no sufficient reason, and even boast about their actions.“
Present-day Israel that Maj. Gen. Yair Golan compared to 1930s Germany is saturated with a toxic mix of popular racism and state-enforced racial segregation and discrimination. This double pressure from bottom up and top down creates an atmosphere where openly genocidal discourse is common.
Opposition to a state, whether the UK, the USA or Israel, is perfectly legitimate and easy to distinguish from any species of racism. Scottish courts have done this on several occasions. The state of Israel was born out of massive ethnic cleansing and massacres and as long as Palestinians resist their violation - and resistance shows no sign of ending - then the State of Israel is caught in an ongoing relationship to its victims that generates its periodic massacres.
The Palestinian voice has been largely absent from the effort by Scottish and UK pro-israel politicians and media to conflate articulation of Palestinian interests with racism towards Jews, although an increasing number of British Jews of non-Zionist and anti-Zionist politics are beginning to find a significant public voice.
SPSC has stood foursquare for Palestinian freedom, against UK involvement in the apartheid structures of the State of Israel. We challenge those views that accept Zionist claims and confuse opposition to a system of ethnic supremacy in Palestine with hostility to Jews as a people.
Intensive efforts by pro-Israel groups in the UK have failed to uncover a single anti-semitic word written or uttered by Jeremy Corbyn or SPSC but that hasn't stopped the pro-Israel campaign run from the Embassy - having lost the debate they are now trying to shut down the debate.
There is no skullduggery to which the pro-Israel lobby will not stoop in fabricating claims of anti-semitism from those who support Palestinian freedom. A particularly clear case is here, involving a Scottish First Minister. Another involved Labour Friends of Israel MP., Joan Ryan. Some of those leading the attacks on Corbyn and the Palestinian people, exemplified by Dame Margaret Hodge, have a shocking political history.
We will not crumble - as Jeremy Corbyn seems to be - but we need your active support against those with no scruples and deep pockets. The quality of the opposition is not impressive - their leaders in Scotland are rather weird Christian fundamentalists - but they have much of the media in support and key elements of each of the three main political parties.