A Courageous and Outspoken Jewish Fighter for The Palestinianshttp://www.scottishpsc.org.uk/of the death of one of the unsung heroes of the anti-Zionist struggle. As I became more involved in the anti-Zionist struggle in the 1980’s, one name that kept reoccurring was that of Marion Woolfson, who became the honorary President of Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
By strange coincidence, just three days before her death, I wrote a long post on the destruction of the Jewish community in Iraq by the Zionists, who had planted bombs outside Jewish cafés and synagogues in order to stimulate emigration to Israel in 1950-1. In it I quoted extensively from Marion’s book.
Marion was one of that increasing number of Jews who consider their Jewishness as part of a long tradition of opposition to racism rather than the narrow-minded idolatory of state worship and bigotry against the indigenous population. Marion, you will be sorely missed.
Below is the Appreciation of Marion Woolfson and her immense contribution to the cause of Palestine Solidarity, in particular in Scotland where she was the patron of Scottish PSC.
|Palestinian-Jewish solidarity: Palestinian-Jewish solidarity: Marion Woolfson (78) and Nasra Affara (82) on an SPSC publicity stall, Princes St, Edinburgh in 2001|
Increasingly infirm over the last two years, Marion was bitterly frustrated by her increasing inability to contribute to the struggle against Zionist smears and slanders against the Palestinian people and those who supported their struggle for freedom.
When SPSC members were charged in 2008 with 'racially aggravated conduct' for activities in support of the Palestinian appeal for boycott of Israel, Marion lept to their defence: "Anyone who stands up for Palestinians is automatically accused of being 'anti-Semitic'. I am Jewish and proud to be Honorary President of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, an anti-racist group that opposes Israeli apartheid."
Marion's grandparents were penniless Jewish refugees who fled the massacres of Jews in Tsarist Russia, but Marion's father was wealthy and a pillar of Edinburgh society by the time she was born. Marion was very proud of her father, who was a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews before it succumbed to Zionism, and a man who during the thirties insisted against others who wanted to help only Jewish refugees that a project he sponsored should help all those fleeing Nazi Germany.
Marion was a foreign correspondent for several major UK papers and the author of several works, including The Story of a Palestinian, a biography of Nablus Mayor, Bassam Shaka, and a 1980 work on Jews in the Arab countries, Prophets in Babylon. This work is again timely reading when Netanyahu is trying to exploit the emigration of Jews from Arab countries, which Zionism successfully worked to achieve, in order to deny the rights of Palestinian that Israeli militias drove from their homes and lands.
Her small pamphlet on the racism and criminality of the JNF-KKL, the Jewish National Fund, exposed the scandal of this body being granted tax-exempt charitable status in the UK to enable it to carry out its activities in the Israeli programme of ethic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
Many of her Palestinian friends were assassinated, including poet Ghassan Kanafani, and Marion's was one of relatively few Jewish voices in Britain for many years painstakingly telling stories of atrocious Israeli crimes at considerable personal and professional cost to herself.
Marion described several times over the years her personal epiphany when she was a young woman on a visit to Israel and commented casually during a guided tour on the 'beautiful patterns' on the traditional Palestinian dress of a passing woman. The racist contempt and hatred this evoked from her Israeli guide set Marion on a political and personal journey that led one Israeli daily to call her 'the most dangerous anti-Zionist in Britain'.
That journey was filled with much sadness and loss, mixed with great courage and fortitude in the face of professional shunning, a violent beating in her home by a Zionist thug, and final vindication at the end of her life as Israeli crimes have aroused the anger of millions around the world, not excluding Britain and her native Scotland.
Marion was happy to be told that there was now strong competition for her title of 'most dangerous anti-Zionist' but we are all in the debt of those, the living and the dead, who fought at great personal cost against the Zionist programme to ethnically cleanse Palestine.
We stand on the shoulders of courageous fighters.
Chair, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign