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Friday, 3 September 2010

Conference on Jews and Palestine: - Our role in the solidarity movement

Saturday September 4, 2010
The Magdalen Centre, Eversholt Street, London NW1


11.00 Registration

11.15 Welcome Deborah Fink

Introduction - Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi

11.30 Panel discussion with:
Haim Bresheeth, filmmaker, Chair of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of East London, member of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP)

Antony Lerman, former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research

Moshe Machover, founding member of the Israeli socialist organization MATZPEN, mathematician and professor emeritus, Kings College London

Mike Marqusee, activist and writer. Latest book: If I Am Not For Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew

1.30 Break for light lunch

2.15 Workshop discussions:

Jews and Palestine:

1. Making Jewish solidarity with Palestine more effective and coordinated

Leaders – Mike Cushman, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi

Facilitator – Jonathan Rosenhead

What are the strategic objectives of BDS and the overall movement?

How do we relate to the various campaigning organisations, Jewish and otherwise?

How can we structure our involvement more effectively in future?

2. Combating the Israel lobby and its definition of anti-Semitism

Leaders – Sue Blackwell, Tony Greenstein

Facilitator – Diana Neslen

How does our understanding of Zionism influence our solidarity strategies?

What is our relationship with mainstream Jewry?

3.45 Plenary: Report back from workshops

4.45 Future planning

5.30 Conference ends

There was a time, when I was 16 and an anti-Zionist that I wondered if I was the only Jewish anti-Zionist. Jewish anti-Zionists were as rare as an Israeli cabinet minister who hasn’t been investigated and/or indicted for rape, sexual molestation or corruption.

Today British Jews have begun, in common with Jews internationally, to wake up. Zionism promised security but has made them insecure. Israel claims that it is a ‘Jewish’ State and commits its war crimes in the name of all Jewish people.

It is no surprise that the leading light in the lunatic asylum that goes by the name of the Zionist Federation, Jonathan Hoffman, literally dances down the road, campaigning with a neo-Nazi and racist member of the English Defence Leagues ‘Jewish’ Division, Roberta Moore.

Everywhere in Europe, with the solitary exception of the Hungarian Jobbik Party, fascists, neo-Nazis and other assorted right-wingers display Israeli flags and commend their attacks on Mulims.
The Latvian Freedom Fatherland Party commemorates the Latvian Waffen SS, which did its best to guard the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto and to ensure their deportation to Treblinka, is nonetheless an avid supporter of Israel and its MEPs are welcome guests in Israel.

The leader of the European far-right parties, Michal Kaminski of the Polish Law & Justice Party, opposed any apologies for the July 1941 burning alive of hundreds of Jews in the village of Jedwabne. But Michal too is a best friend of Israel. As are all the best anti-Semites.

As Disapora Jews wake up to the fact that their traditional enemies may still hate them but they love Israel, it is beginning to dawn on them that Zionism is, as its opponents always said, anti-semitism in Jewish clothing.

And as Jews play a leading role in the Boycott movement, we can proudly say that we are making the movement kosher and making absurd the idea that to support the Palestinians and oppose anti-Zionism is 'anti-semitic'. As the Jewish Chronicle reported in an article 'Blair Adds His Backing' (22.6.07.) after the passing of a Boycott motion at UNISON National Conference, at which I spoke, 'Deputies gave vent to their anger - particularly towards Jews who supported the move...'

Zionism, which claims to represent all Jews, hates the idea that some Jews retain the principles that motivated their predecessors into confronting Oswald Moseley's British Union of Fascists. Whilst the Zionists hold hands with the EDL and assorted racists,
we oppose racism wherever it comes from.

Tony Greenstein

Come to the Conference and join others in supporting the victims of Zionism.

Zionists Federation representatives intent on disruption (i.e. J Hoffman and his anti-Semitic friends) are NOT welcome to the conference and will not be admitted.
We welcome anyone who wishes to debate the issues regardless of their views (fascists of course excluded).

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