We’re not celebrating Israel’s anniversary

The Apartheid Wall

100 prominent British jews wrote this letter to the Guardian newspaper:

In May, Jewish organisations will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. This is understandable in the context of centuries of persecution culminating in the Holocaust. Nevertheless, we are Jews who will not be celebrating. Surely it is now time to acknowledge the narrative of the other, the price paid by another people for European anti-semitism and Hitler’s genocidal policies. As Edward Said emphasised, what the Holocaust is to the Jews, the Naqba is to the Palestinians.

In April 1948, the same month as the infamous massacre at Deir Yassin and the mortar attack on Palestinian civilians in Haifa’s market square, Plan Dalet was put into operation. This authorised the destruction of Palestinian villages and the expulsion of the indigenous population outside the borders of the state. We will not be celebrating.

In July 1948, 70,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes in Lydda and Ramleh in the heat of the summer with no food or water. Hundreds died. It was known as the Death March. We will not be celebrating.

In all, 750,000 Palestinians became refugees. Some 400 villages were wiped off the map. That did not end the ethnic cleansing. Thousands of Palestinians (Israeli citizens) were expelled from the Galilee in 1956. Many thousands more when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Under international law and sanctioned by UN resolution 194, refugees from war have a right to return or compensation. Israel has never accepted that right. We will not be celebrating.

We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land. We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state that even now engages in ethnic cleansing, that violates international law, that is inflicting a monstrous collective punishment on the civilian population of Gaza and that continues to deny to Palestinians their human rights and national aspirations.

We will celebrate when Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful Middle East.

Seymour Alexander
Ruth Appleton
Steve Arloff
Rica Bird
Jo Bird
Cllr Jonathan Bloch
Ilse Boas
Prof. Haim Bresheeth
Tanya Bronstein
Sheila Colman
Ruth Clark
Sylvia Cohen
Judith Cravitz
Mike Cushman
Angela Dale
Ivor Dembina
Dr. Linda Edmondson
Nancy Elan
Liz Elkind
Pia Feig
Colin Fine
Deborah Fink
Sylvia Finzi
Brian Fisher MBE
Frank Fisher
Bella Freud
Catherine Fried
Uri Fruchtmann
Stephen Fry
David Garfinkel
Carolyn Gelenter
Claire Glasman
Tony Greenstein
Heinz Grunewald
Michael Halpern
Abe Hayeem
Rosamine Hayeem
Anna Hellman
Amy Hordes
Joan Horrocks
Deborah Hyams
Selma James
Riva Joffe
Yael Oren Kahn
Michael Kalmanovitz
Paul Kaufman
Prof. Adah Kay
Yehudit Keshet
Prof. Eleonore Kofman
Rene Krayer
Stevie Krayer
Berry Kreel
Leah Levane
Les Levidow
Peter Levin
Louis Levy
Ros Levy
Prof. Yosefa Loshitzky
Catherine Lyons
Deborah Maccoby
Daniel Machover
Prof. Emeritus Moshe Machover
Miriam Margolyes OBE
Mike Marqusee
Laura Miller
Simon Natas
Hilda Meers
Martine Miel
Laura Miller
Arthur Neslen
Diana Neslen
Orna Neumann
Harold Pinter
Roland Rance
Frances Rivkin
Sheila Robin
Dr. Brian Robinson
Neil Rogall
Prof. Steven Rose
Mike Rosen
Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead
Leon Rosselson
Michael Sackin
Sabby Sagall
Ian Saville
Alexei Sayle
Anna Schuman
Sidney Schuman
Monika Schwartz
Amanda Sebestyen
Sam Semoff
Linda Shampan
Sybil Shine
Prof. Frances Stewart
Inbar Tamari
Ruth Tenne
Martin Toch
Tirza Waisel
Stanley Walinets
Martin White
Ruth Williams
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi
Devra Wiseman
Gerry Wolff
Sherry Yanowitz


5 Responses to “We’re not celebrating Israel’s anniversary”

  1. colindale Says:

    The End of Israel?

    6 May 2008

    EVEN Jimmy Carter, who single handedly (without much Jewish appreciation) has done more to make Israel secure than any other living person, can’t change the march of demographics.

    Within the boundaries of the state of Israel and the Occupied Territories there are 5.4 million Jews and 4.6 million Palestinians. The Palestinian birth rate is almost three times that of the Israeli Jews. If anything the Jewish population is starting to fall as an increasing number of Jews decide that Israel has no future for them and in significant numbers emigrate.

    The far-seeing Richard Nixon, when asked by Patrick Buchanan and his wife, how he saw the future of Israel, turned down his thumb “like a Roman emperor at the gladiators’ arena”.

    Perhaps we are witnessing the death of Israel by a thousand cuts, the attrition of conflict and the attrition of population. Maybe after all the rabbis of Vienna who were sent in 1897 on a fact-finding mission to Palestine to investigate whether it was a suitable place for Jewish settlement were right. They reported back that the “bride was beautiful but married to another man.”

    The rabbis had been moved to visit Palestine by Theodore Herzl, an Austrian journalist, who had just published his highly influential book, “The Jewish State”, which launched the movement called “political Zionism”.

    Herzl, a broad-minded man, was happy to think of the new Israel in Argentina which had a considerable Jewish migration in the nineteenth century and was well away from the clutches of anti-Semitic Europe. He was also inclined to accept the offer of Joseph Chamberlain, then the British colonial secretary, for a site on the Uasin Gishu plateau near Nairobi in what was then British East Africa. The Zionist Conference overruled him.

    But when the British government finally gave in to Zionist lobbying and, in the words, of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, favoured “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” the only Jewish member of the cabinet, Edwin Samuel Montague, denounced the whole project as a reconstruction of the tower of Babel.

    “Palestine”, he said, “would become the world’s ghetto”. Lord Curzon, the former Viceroy of India, observed that Britain had “a stronger claim to parts of France” than the Jews did to Palestine after two millennia of absence. He denounced it as an act of “sentimental idealism”.

    There are few rewards in this life for being farsighted on political questions. The Zionists still have the bit between their teeth on the creation of a permanent Jewish state, even as they face self-destruction.

    A few perhaps can see it coming and among the few is the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. In an interview last November he said, “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories) then, as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished.”

    For the Zionist this would be a terrible end. But need it be for rank and file Jews who just want to bring up their families and live in an atmosphere emptied of violence? (Read Israeli novelist Shifra Horn’s book, “Ode to Joy” if you want to smell the cordite and sense deep in the soul their everyday fear of being blown up.)

    But unmistakably this is the direction events and demographics are moving and arguably the best thing that outsiders can now do for Israel is to stop trying to help organise the creation of a two state solution and let the Israelis themselves look the Palestinians in the eye as the demographics bite. If the white South Africans can do it so can the Israelis.

    If this were the solution the Israelis would find that the only thing that most Palestinians would now want is a prosperous, capitalist economy that lives in peace with its neighbours.

    The Jews would not be driven into the sea. But those who wanted to return to Europe, America or even Russia would be more than welcome. Both Germany and Russia, the great centres of anti-Semitism in the past, seemed to have flushed that horror away.

    Life does move on. Some problems, like apartheid, do get solved, even if not very long ago they seemed intractable.

    The Jews should never have tried to turn back the historical clock by returning to Palestine after fleeing in AD 70. But now they are there in such significant numbers their only solution is to honour the rest of the text of the Balfour Declaration. “Nothing should be done that may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”, it said. This was the British condition. The Israelis overlook it today at their peril.

    Jonathan Power is a veteran foreign affairs commentator based in London. He can be reached at JonatPower@aol.com

  2. Musa Says:

    Hey Nido,
    I sent you an email to the address posted on your blog.
    I wonder if you ever check that inbox, or if my email got lost among spam.
    Please try to look for my message and get back to me ASAP.

  3. Musa Says:

    Hey Nido,
    It is Musa again.
    I just sent you another email.

  4. ميادة Says:

    ثقافة الهزيمة.. أسكندرية …ليه؟

    متحف الأسكندرية القومى والمتحف اليونانى الرومانى و متحف المجوهرات الملكية و متحف الفنون الجميلة و متحف الأحياء المائية و متحف محمود سعيد ، و قلعة قيتباى و قصر المنتزة و مكتبة الأسكندرية الجديدة و الميناء الشرقى و حديقة أنطونيادس و نصب الجندى المجهول.

    ومن الآثار الرومانية الموجودة بالإسكندرية المسرح الرومانى و عمود السوارى و معبد الرأس السوداء وحمام كوم الدكة الرومانى والذى أقيم على طراز الحمامات الرومانية القديمة ، و مسجد سيدى بشر ومسجد سيدى جابر ومسجد القائد إبراهيم ومسجد المرسى أبو العباس، وكاتدرائية الكرازة المرقسية وكاتدرائية اليونانيين الأرثوذكس و كنيسة سان مارك.

    محطة الرمل وكامب شيزار وسان ستيفانو وسيدى بشر ، و طريق الجيش الممتد بمحاذاة الكورنيش ، و سى جل للأسماك فى أبوقير و بحرى، و جيلاتى عزة و جيلاتى النظامى و قدورة للأسماك فى بحرى ، و شارع سعد زغلول و شارع صفية زغلول وفول محمد أحمد و حلوانى طلعت وهريسة الحلبي و البن البرازيلى فى محطة الرمل، و حلواني صابر بالأبراهيمية، و مشويات أبن البلد بمصطفى كامل، و سان جيوفانى فى ستانلى ، و مول سان ستيفانو ، و مشويات حسنى بالمندرة ،و مشويات بلبع فى سيدى بشر قبلى، و حلواني شهد الملكة فى ميامى و فيكتوريا، وركوب الترام من غير محطة محددة فقط كى تتفرج على الأسكندرية من شباك الترام و أهل الأسكندرية الطيبين.

    هذة بعض ما تحتويه مدينة الأسكندرية من معالم سياحية و مع ذلك لا تجد مدينة الأسكندرية على خريطة المدن السياحية الجديرة بالزيارة فى مصر فى مكاتب السياحة بالخارج و التى تنظم لها رحلات سياحية..

    باقى المقال ضمن مقالات ثقافة الهزيمة بالرابط التالى


  5. منى Says:

    ثقافة الهزيمة .. مغامرات البقرة الضاحكة

    ما قصة لوسي أرتين؟
    ـ لوسي أرتين كانت علي علاقة بالرئيس مبارك والعلاقة بدأت عن طريق زكريا عزمي وجمال عبدالعزيز، و كان فيه رجل أعمال مشهور بيحب يعرف مبارك علي فتيات من دول شرق أوروبا وحسين سالم كان متولي دول غرب أوروبا.

    هل قصر الرئاسة كان يدار بهذه الطريقة؟
    – القصر كان يدار بالسفالة والأسافين والنقار والقمار والنسوان وقلة الأدب ودا كل اللي كان شغلهم ومصلحة البلد بعدين .

    هي سوزان كانت بتحس بالغلط اللي كان بيعمله الرئيس؟
    – هي كانت مقهورة من اللي بتشوفه والنسوان داخلة طالعة قدامها واللي جايين من أوروبا الشرقية وأوروبا الغربية ومش قادرة تتكلم وبتبكي علي طول بسبب اللي بتشوفه وأحيانا كنت بأصبرها وأقولها مصر مافيهاش غير سيدة أولي واحدة، بس بعدها قرر الرئيس أن ينقل جلساته الخاصة في شرم الشيخ وبرج العرب.

    ھل تزوج علیھا؟
    -لا ھو مش محتاج یتجوز .. البركة في زكریا عزمي وجمال عبدالعزیز. …باقى المقال ضمن مجموعة مقالات ثقافة الهزيمة ( بقلم غريب المنسى ) بالرابط التالى


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