- Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are not the same thing
and it is vital for world peace that Jews outside Israel speak against
Israel's crimes being meted out on Palestinians, a panel consisting of
Christian, Jewish and Arab representatives has told a gathering of 500
delegates assembled at the School of Oriental and African, Studies, University
- The debate on, "Why Anti-Zionism is Not anti-Semitism"
organised by Islam Channel TV was addressed by the veteran BBC TV war correspondent
and author of Zionism the Real Enemies of the Jews, Alan Hart, Holocaust
survivor, influential Jewish figure and author of The End of Judaism Dr
Hajo G Meyer, Senior Lecturer of Political Science, Haifa University, Professor
Ilan Pappe; a senior member of Jewish sect Neturei Karta, Rabbi Ahron Cohen
and Palestinian representative Dr. Ghada Karmi, and the author of In Search
of Fatima, the story of her exile and displacement.
- In his keynote speech Alan Hart congratulated the Chief
Executive of Islam Channel TV Mr Muhammad Ali for holding the debate. Hart
also informed the audience that few days before the debate, the offices
of Islam Channel were broken into and a number of computers were stolen.
Hart said that probably someone was looking for information to prove that
Islam Channel was a fundamentalist organisation which should not be allowed
to hold this debate or they were simply trying to frighten Islam Channel.
- Hart, who had enjoyed close friendship with "Father
Palestine", Yassir Arafat and "Mother Israel" Golda Meir
- so much so that despite being 48 years younger than her, in her cabinet
circle, and much to their annoyance, he was known as her "boyfriend"
- has over the years, waged war on Zionism. It is worth quoting two important
facts from his remarkable book that, despite being praised lavishly by
all of them, none of the British publishers could dare publish and therefore
at last Alan at his personal expense published the book himself: "At
a point" writes Hart, "I interrupted her [Golda Meir] to say:
'Prime Minister, I want to be sure I understand what you're sayingYou are
saying that if ever Israel was in danger of being defeated on the battlefield,
it would be prepared to take the region and even the whole world down with
it?'Without the shortest of pauses of reflectionGolda replied, 'Yes, that's
exactly what I am saying.'" Golda Meir had also told him on camera
that, "There was no such thing as Palestinian." And according
to Hart, "Her statement represented Zionism's official line on the
matter; a line that was accepted and repeated parrot-like by Israel's
unquestioning supporters everywhere."
- Left to Right- Dr. Ghada Karmi, Rabbi Ahron Cohen, Alan
Hart, Professor Ilan Pappe Dr Hajo G Meyer
- Hart started his speech with a quotation from his book
that reads, "If the Jews of the Diaspora can summon up the will and
the courage to make common cause with the forces of reason in Israel before
it is too late for us all, a very great prize awaits them. By demonstrating
that right can triumph over might, and that there is a place for morality
in politics, they would become the light unto nations.
- "It is a prize available to no other people on earth
because of the uniqueness of the suffering of the Jews. Perhaps that is
the real point for the idea of the Jews as Chosen peopleChosen to endure
unique suffering and, having endured it, to show the rest of us that creating
better and more just world is not a mission impossible."
- He said, "If any body accused me of being anti-Semitic,
I would say 'Sir/Madam, You are eluded!' And if any body says to me, 'OK
Alan Hart you are not anti-Semitic but what you say and write seems anti-Semitic.'
I reply, 'That can't possibly be so because my main message is to the Gentiles
among whom most of the world Jews live. And that message is: 'Don't blame
the Jews who live among you for what a hard core of Zionists are doing
in Israel.' So, don't anybody dare to accuse me of being anti-Semitic."
- Hart said that since the unilateral declaration of independence
by Israel an informed and honest debate has not been possible on this subject
because of fear of being labelled anti-Semitic. He attacked the media and
politicians for allowing themselves to be blackmailed by the Zionists.
According to Hart journalists were not necessarily sympathetic to the Zionist
state but the problem was with the owners of big publishers who were afraid
of being punished for their honesty by their advertisement plugs being
- "Many of us have been brought up mainly conditioned
by the media to believe that Zionist mythology and real history is one
and the same thing. They are emphatically not". Hart stressed that
Zionist propaganda is aimed at getting away with its crimes and impress
upon Americans, Europeans and the Jews outside that there has been a threat
to its existence. He said that there has never been a threat to the existence
of Zionist state.
- A group of anti-zionist rabbis at the conference
- Persuading Muslims in the UK to be more politically active
and be part of the democratic setup, Hart said that in response to one
programme news organisations receive thousands of phone calls and emails
by the supporters of Zionism but few from Muslims.
- He stressed that the existence of Israel is illegal and
anyone in the world who could give legitimacy to the Zionist state it is
the Palestinians, the rightful owners of the occupied land. He said that
two state solution is not a solution. The only solution, he said, was "one
state" in which Jews and Palestinians can live together.
- Rabbi Ahron Cohen, whose house had been bombarded with
1,000 eggs, presumably by Zionists, few weeks ago, said that what the Zionist
state was doing with the Palestinians was blatant violation of the teachings
- Responding to a question the Rabbi said although it was
not always a bed of roses, before the creation of the Zionist state, Jews
in Muslim lands enjoyed prosperity and good relations with Muslims.
- In his response to Alan Hart's speech Professor Ilan
Pappe said that there was no Jews Diaspora in the world. "If there
is any Diaspora it is the Palestinian Diaspora who have to return to their
land." He said that for world peace and for the welfare of Palestinians
and the Jews boycott of the Zionist state was vital. Taking his inspiration
from history he said that it took two brave women in Dublin to mobilise
anti-apartheid movement in the world and there was no reason why the world
could not force Israel to discard its inhuman policies.
- In his vehement condemnation of Zionism, Holocaust survivor
Dr Hajo G Meyer said that Zionism predates fascism and fascists and Zionists
had a history of cooperating with each other. He said that the Zionist
state of Israel wants to create anti-Semitism in the world so that more
and more Jews start migrating to Israel.
- Palestinian representative Dr Ghada Karmi said that Europe
had dumped its problem, alien creatures, on the Palestinian people. She
said that Palestinian Jews were as much opposed to the creation of a Zionist
state on their land as Palestinian Muslims and Palestinian Christians
because they were fully conscious of the devastation the "aliens"
(non-Palestinian Jews) were going to bring in the region with them. She
rejected the division of Palestinian lands into two states and emphasised
that instead of solving the dispute it would create more problems. All
of the panellists agreed with her.