UK Jewish anti-Zionists decry Israel's 60th

Claim Israel founded on terrorism, massacres, dispossession, compare Israeli policy to Holocaust.

Naqba celebrants (photo credit: AP [file])
Naqba celebrants
(photo credit: AP [file])
A day before Holocaust Remembrance Day and a week prior to Israel's 60th Independence Day, a group of approximately 100 UK Jewish anti-Zionists have published a statement in Britain's The Guardian newspaper declaring their opposition to the policies of the State of Israel. The article, published in Wednesday's Guardian under the title "We're not celebrating Israel's anniversary", accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing, violating international law, and denying Palestinians "their human rights and national aspirations". The statement continues to call on the Israeli government to end the embargo on Gaza and grant the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Signatories include playwright Harold Pinter, award-winning actress Miriam Margolyes, British Radio 4 broadcaster Mike Rosen, Daniel Machover, the lawyer who filed charges of 'war crimes' against IDF reservist Doron Almog and Haim Bresheeth, the University of East London academic who issued the call for an academic boycott of Israel. While the authors call the celebrations of the state's founding in the light of the Holocaust "understandable", the statement goes on to call Israel "a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land" and draws direct parallels between the last 60 years of Israeli policy regarding the Palestinians, and the Holocaust, quoting critic Edward Said's claim that "what the Holocaust is to the Jews, the Naqba is to the Palestinians." "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," said the statement. It went on to cite the Deir Yassin massacre of 1948, mortar attacks on Palestinians in Haifa square, and "Plan Dalet", which it claims ordered the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Palestine. No mention was made of any aggression, hostilities or responsibility on the Palestinian side, only calling for a time "when Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful Middle East".