Muslims, Jews and Christians Join Together to Condemn Zionism
M Ghazali Khan
Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is not the same thing and it is vital for world peace that Jews outside Israel speak against IsraelÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢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 of London.
The debate on, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWhy Anti-Zionism is Not anti-SemitismÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â? 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 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œFather PalestineÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â?, Yassir Arafat and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œMother IsraelÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â? Golda Meir ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â? 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 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œboyfriendÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â? ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â? 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: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAt a pointÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â? writes Hart, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI interrupted her [Golda Meir] to say: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“Prime Minister, I want to be sure I understand what youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re sayingÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦You 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?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦Without the shortest of pauses of reflectionÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦Golda replied, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“Yes, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s exactly what I am saying.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â? Golda Meir had also told him on camera that, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThere was no such thing as Palestinian.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â? And according to Hart, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHer statement represented ZionismÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s official line on the matter; a line that was accepted and repeated parrot-like by IsraelÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s unquestioning supporters everywhere.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â?
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, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIf 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.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt 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 peopleÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦Chosen 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.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â?
He said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIf any body accused me of being anti-Semitic, I would say ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“Sir/Madam, You are eluded!ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ And if any body says to me, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“OK Alan Hart you are not anti-Semitic but what you say and write seems anti-Semitic.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ I reply, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“That canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t possibly be so because my main message is to the Gentiles among whom most of the world Jews live. And that message is: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“DonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t blame the Jews who live among you for what a hard core of Zionists are doing in Israel.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ So, donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t anybody dare to accuse me of being anti-Semitic.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â?
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 pulled.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œMany 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 notÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â?. 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 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œone stateÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â? 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 of Judaism.
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 HartÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s speech Professor Ilan Pappe said that there was no Jews Diaspora in the world. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIf there is any Diaspora it is the Palestinian Diaspora who have to return to their land.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â? 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 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œaliensÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â? (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.