|Yitzhak Luden stands in the Yiddish community center(photo: Alon Aviram) 14th November 2012|
|First session on the Bund with Tony Lerman and David Rosenberg|
|Member of the audience contributing to debate|
|Panel for last session|
Jews 4 Boycotting Israeli Goods AGM & National MeetingI have often found myself thinking, as I have another AGM or meeting to attend, that I’m doing it more out of a sense of duty than because I really want to be there. And then having gone I wished I hadn’t!
|Naomi introduces Antony Lerman and David Rosenberg|
|The film 'Bundayim' produced by Eran Torbiner|
|Bund leader in Israel|
The film showed a group of about 60 people who were steadily growing older and dying off, with very few young people joining them. Zionist nationalism, the idea that the Jewish worker has more in common with the Jewish capitalist and boss, the fundamental idea of the Zionist concept of the ‘Jewish people’ was antithetical to the idea of socialism. The Bund in Poland had organised autonomously, because of the particular oppression suffered by Polish Jews, but they also worked closely with the Polish Socialist Party to tackle the common enemy. The Bund in Israel kept the memory of socialism and international solidarity alive.
Today the Zionists friends are those such as Michal Kaminiski MEP for the Law & Justice Party whose was opposed to Poland apologising for the pogrom by Poles in Jedwabne in 1941 when up to 600 Jews were burn alive in their homes and synagogue.
Afterwards there was a panel consisting of Tony Lerman, founder of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research, former member of the academic Jewish establishment and recent author of the Making and Unmaking of a Zionist. http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/review-making-and-unmaking-of-zionist.html and David Rosenberg, Secretary and founder member of the Jewish Socialists Group.
|Audience discussion in first plenary|
David Rosenberg gave the background to the Bund in Poland describing how the Zionists and anti-Semites were agreed that Jews did not belong in the country where they had been born. How in the fight against anti-Semitism, the Zionist groups were entirely missing with the exception of Left Poalei Zion, a group which I would characterise as non-Zionist.
|Mad Mel P in all her glory|
After a break there was a further panel discussion arising out of the production of a new 4 page pamphlet, Zionism and Antisemitism: Racist Political Twins which detailed how, ever since the Zionist movement was formed, it has worked hand-in-glove with anti-Semites. Michael Deas of the Boycott National Committee was ill but his place as Chair of the discussion was taken by Michael Kalmanovitch of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Organisation.
|John Rose, author of Myths of Zionism, speaking - Michael Kamanovitch of IJAN to his left|
|2nd plenary with speaker from Anarchists Against the Wall|
|Speaker from Anarchists Against the Wall|
|Sue Blackwell speaking|
Group, which was set up by the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council to fight the academic boycott. It is possible that all that money came from donors in the UK and only went through bank accounts in the UK. David Hirsh in his evidence denied that the money came via the Fair Play Campaign Group, though he did not deny the figure of 50K - he estimated it was spread
over 3 years.
I spoke last and began by noting that when I had ‘come out’ as an anti-Zionist at the tender age of 16, there had been no role models. There were virtually no Jewish anti-Zionists around and none that I knew. Today, as this conference demonstrated, Jews in increasing numbers were rejecting Zionism and the racism and chauvinism it stood for.
|Tony Greenstein - speaking in the last session|
In the evening we had a cabaret act from Melanie Philips aka our very own Debora Fink and then the noted Palestinian musician Reem Kilani performed as did other Palestinian artists.
|Audience members dancing to the band|
I also touched on the 'Zionisation' of the holocaust. How according to Zionist ideologues like Anita Shapira, the 'Princess of Zionism', Jewish history could only be understood on 'national' ground. So only Zionist historians based in Israel could understand the true meaning of the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis, even though it had taken place in Europe not Palestine.
|Reem Kilani - the noted Palestinian musician - was abled to come at the last minute and perform|
|Leila contributes to debate|
Moshe Machover, a founder of Matzpen, gave a very moving and inspiring tribute to his late comrade Akiva Orr, who died on February 9th 2013. Akiva who had been born in Berlin in 1931 and come to Palestine in 1934, was the child on non-Zionist parents. Akiva had served in the Israeli navy during the 1948 war but see little action but he had later joined the Merchant Navy and been one of the leaders of the 1950-1 Seaman's Strike in Israel when the Israeli navy was deployed to defeat the strikers. Their enemy was Histadrut, which owned both the main shipping line (Zim) and was also the workers' trade union. The strikers were castigated as no different from the fedayeen (guerillas). Akiva became a noted speaker and authored 'The UnJewish State'.
|Leila and Mad Mel P|
|Entertainment in the evening|
|Entertainment was provided in the evening by a band|