London Indymedia

How my view of Israel and Palestine evolved

Solidarity Collective | 12.08.2014 15:11 | Palestine | London

The following article was penned by a friend of the collective who has been involved in some of our actions against the ongoing slaughter in Palestine

I was brought up for the most part in Germany because my dad was in the British army. One of our postings was in Hohne which is right next to Bergen-Belsen. In fact, the quarters we lived in were supposedly the same ones the guards used. My parents took us there when I was about 7-8 years old and it deeply affected me. Combined with the fact I am half Jamaican-half English, I have always been passionately anti-racist – it is my biggest fear and hate.

Over the years, I have read extensively about the Holocaust – Martin Gilbert’s book, ‘Hitler’s Willing Executioners’, Primo Levi – I have a whole library. I joined the Anti-Nazi League (I think that has now morphed into Unite Against Fascism). The ANL organized a trip to Auschwitz which I went on. The coach was full of like-minded people and we had Leon Greenman along, a survivor from Auschwitz, to provide his personal story. Again, I was deeply affected as was everyone, and broke down and cried when it all got too much. I never realised how huge it was. We also went to Płaszów concentration camp in Kraków, and had a tour of Jewish Kraków before the Holocaust, including the Jewish cemetery which was broken up to provide a road in Płaszów (as detailed in ‘Schindler’s List’).

With this background, I always argued with fellow left-wingers that I agreed with the left about every single issue apart from Palestine as I felt the Jews deserved a homeland because of the Holocaust.

In fact, I hadn’t really learnt or studied what happened after the war and the formation of Israel, so I corrected that and did some research. What happened to the Palestinian Arabs from 1947 onwards is disgraceful, inhumane, criminal and atrocious. What is happening to them is another Holocaust. One type of inhumanity should not lead to another type of inhumanity which is what has happened in Palestine. This is only allowed to go on because the US from the start supported it and after Hiroshima, they were really the rulers of the world.

What has happened recently with the deaths of over 2,000 including 100s of children, is not Israel going “too far” – it is a continuation of an intolerable situation that all decent people should try to bring to an end. I remember boycotting goods from South Africa when there was apartheid, and I see a complete correlation between the two situations. Shamefully, as with apartheid S Africa, Israel is being supported by the US and the UK.

I know that Jews and Arabs both originate from Palestine, and I also feel that Jews should have a homeland after centuries of persecution. But not at the expense of another set of people. The actions of Britain after the war have caused untold suffering and it is a duty of all humane people to try and bring it to an end. There should be one state, Palestine, in which Jews and Arabs should be allowed to live. All Palestinians displaced, should be allowed to return to their homes and land. Anything else is not acceptable.

I agree with Hamas in their intentions and they were democratically elected – it is a fight for justice, just like those in South Africa fought, and when people fight for their rights, there is violence. The suffragettes also used violence. So did those fighting for Civil Rights in the US. So did the revolutionaries in Cuba. Of course they are labelled as terrorists by the West, just as Mandela was.

Even Einstein, who fled from Nazi Germany, was an opponent of Zionism – here are a couple of links: and

So basically my position, based on knowledge, a conscience, and a desire for peace and equality, is that I am completely opposed to Israel. It is a criminal state, it has nuclear ambiguity, it commits crimes against humanity, and it has flouted countless UN resolutions. The only thing keeping it going is the power of the US and UK. This does not make me a racist or an anti-Semite and I really wish the two definitions of anti-Zionist and anti-Semite were properly distinguished. But I truly feel the anti-Semitism claims are an attempt at crushing opposition to Israel. I feel so strongly about this and every time I think of how much the Palestinian people have suffered for decades, how they are killed with impunity, it makes me weep.

You can be a Jew and be against Israel, as many Jews on the recent marches around the world prove.

I also feel that another reason for my general ignorance on the subject of Palestine is because it is not as widely reported about in the West as is the tragedy of the Holocaust, and internet social media has been a great tool for disseminating information that the MSM chooses to ignore.

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Display the following 3 comments

  1. Well written article — Crow
  2. "What is happening to them is another Holocaust" — Realist
  3. The problem — Problem solver


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