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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Manufacturing anti-Semitism out of its opposite

In Zionist Newspeak Caryl Churchill’s 7 Jewish Children is anti-Semitic


an anti-Semitic poster
Doublespeak is the use of a euphemism to disguise or obscure the truth of something.  For example the term ‘collateral damage’ is used to minimise the deliberate murder of civilians, when bombing civilian areas, by describing them as 'collateral' or incidental to the war itself.  The term ‘peace keeping’ is another favourite for the waging of war.  The renaming of the Ministry of War as the Ministry of Defence is yet another example of the phenomenon of using language to invert the meaning of something.  It is close allied to Orwell’s concept of double think, the ability to hold two mutually exclusive ideas at the same time inside one’s head.
Caryl Churchill - author of 7 Jewish Children
In the past few months the Zionist movement and its tabloid mouthpieces, not least the BBC have waged a campaign to persuade people that opposition to racism in Israel is in fact the same thing as anti-Jewish racism (anti-Semitism).  Who would know, because it is never reported in the mass media, that over half Israel's population wish to expel Israel's Palestinian citizens (never mind the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza).

Over the summer there were attempts to smear Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite, when it became clear that he was likely to become leader of the Labour Party.  This campaign was led by the right-wing former editor of the Daily Express and current editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard.  Ironically it was not so long ago that Pollard was defending the anti-Semitic Polish MEP Michal Kaminski and the even more virulently anti-Semitic Latvian MEP Robert Zile on the grounds that whatever their views about Jews they were both devoted supporters of Israel.  [See Pollard's article in The Guardian, 9.10.09. Poland's Kaminski is not an antisemite: he's a friend to Jews, and also The Hypocrisy of Jeremy Corbyn’s Accusers - Stephen Pollard Jewish Chronicle Editor & Apologist for Europe’s anti-Semitic politicians   Michal Kaminski the Polish Zionist & anti-Semite that Jewish Chronicle Editor Stephen Pollard Just Loves] 

Photo of an injured child - comparing this to Jewish suffering is 'anti-Semitic'
In recent weeks there has been a vigorous and determined campaign by sections of the media and right-wing Labour MPs such as John Mann and Louise Ellman to portray supporters of the Palestinians and opponents of Zionism as anti-Semitic.  This has reached ludicrous heights with the attempt to portray the Palestine society at York University as ‘anti-Semitic’ for daring to show the play 7 Jewish Children by Caryl Churchil.  The play, which is on the Guardian website is a sensitive and quite brilliant attempt to relate, through adults discussing what to tell and what not to tell 7 Jewish children, at different periods of time.  The concern of the adults is both to inform and not to frighten and the phrases ‘tell her’ and ‘don’t tell her’ are repeated throughout the play.  The last line in the play is ‘don’t frighten her’.  The time periods change from hiding a Jewish child in an unnamed ghetto under Nazi occupation, to the murder of her relatives by the Nazis, to the immigration to the State of Israel by a Jewish family in post-holocaust Europe to their coming to terms with Arabs in Israel and an increasingly hardline, racist attitude to the Arabs who live there. 
Criticising Israeli bombing and the murder of children is 'anti-Semitic'
‘Tell her this wasn’t their home’ is how they explain the expulsion of the Arabs from Israel.  The death of Rachel Corrie explained by ‘Don’t tell her not to look at the bulldozer, Don’t tell her it was knocking the house down’.  The attacks on Gaza are dealt with by through not informing her ‘Don’t tell her about the family of dead girls’  and then immediately contradicting itself ‘Tell her we killed the babies by mistake’  ‘Tell her about the family of dead girls, tell her their names why not,’ and then the final Zionist rationale ‘Tell her there’s dead babies, did she see babies? tell her she’s got nothing to be ashamed of.  Tell her they did it to themselves. Tell her they want their children killed to make people sorry for them.’ 

Comparing this to Jewish suffering is 'anti-semitic'

That is indeed what the Zionists say as some form of rationalisation for their crimes. They are ‘forced’ to kill Palestinian children.  It has disturbing echoes of similar Nazi justifications.  They too were ‘forced’ to kill Jewish children. It was Golda Meir who once said that 

We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”  (although Harvey Rachlin in Ha’aretz has searched in vain for any evidence that she actually said it!).  

Caryl Churchill’s play was written at the time of Operation Cast Lead when over 1,400 Palestinians were killed in Gaza by Israel’s war criminals, hundreds of whom were children. 
Howard Jacobson - sees anti-Semitism everywhere
Although the more simple Zionists like Howard Jacobson assert that it is ‘pure Jew hatred’ it is strange that they are unable to produce even one quote from the play that would back up their assertions.  The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the associations between the Jewish experience of suffering in the second world war and the Palestinians experience of suffering is too close for comfort.

Below is the typically stupid and bombastic article which one has come to expect in the Jewish Chronicle and beneath it is a response from 6 Jewish and Israeli supporters of the play at York University.  I have also included the dialogue in the play itself so you can judge whether it is anti-Semitic or not.

By Jewish Chronicle Reporter,
February 25, 2016

A pro-Palestinian student group co-run by the son of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, has performed a play widely described as antisemitic as part of Israel Apartheid Week.

York University’s student Palestinian Solidarity Society staged two productions of “Seven Jewish Children – A Play for Palestine” on Thursday afternoon.

Tommy Corbyn, who is studying electrical engineering at York, is the society’s events manager.
The play, written by Caryl Churchill as a response to an Israeli attack on Gaza, was first performed in 2009. In seven short scenes, totalling only 10 minutes, it examines modern Jewish history.

The JC’s theatre critic described the work as antisemitic, highlighting a moment when one Jewish character appears to be glorifying in Palestinian suffering.

Author Howard Jacobson described it as “Jew-hating, pure and simple”. 

The play at York was a joint production by the Palestinian Solidarity Society and another group, the Antigone Collective.

Israel supporters issued flyers opposing the production, asking if York University “supports antisemitic culture”.

In a statement, the university Jewish Society condemned the staging.

The society added that in rejecting opposition to the event, York students’ union had showed a lack of concern about antisemitism on campus.

The staging was one of a series of events mounted by students across the country as part of the annual anti-Israel campaign at universities. Other activities included stunts such as the construction of mock Israeli military checkpoints and talks by anti-Israel propagandists backing an academic boycott of the country.

Jewish students have responded by mounting an initiative under the title “Building Bridges” designed to promote dialogue about Israel’s positive role in the world.

Responding to the JC article , the Jewish members of the York Palestine Solidarity Society have released this statement

To whom it may concern,

We are Jews and Israelis who work and study in York. Some of us were in the audience for the recent performance of Caryl Churchill’s ten minute play Seven Jewish Children at the University of York; others were involved in its production and acted in it. All of us are committed to seeing a just peace in Israel and Palestine.

Some of us have only attended Palestinian Solidarity Society events, others are ordinary members and committee members of this university society. It is clear to us that the society is committed to fighting racism and prejudice in all its guises, in particular intolerance of Palestinians in Israel, as well as Palestinian prejudice against Jews. One audience member, Dr. Lisa Peschel, a lecturer in York’s theatre department who conducts research on Jewish ghetto theatre, said, “This play does not claim to be a balanced and objective look at the entire range of Israeli political opinions, but it accurately represents certain voices in Israeli politics while acknowledging Jewish suffering as well. It addresses a humanitarian crisis that urgently needs to be discussed.”

As Israelis and Jews, some of us have personal experiences of being labelled antisemitic because we have expressed criticism of the abusive and intolerant attitudes of many Israelis, or of Israeli policies, towards the Palestinian people. Our support of an occupied, oppressed people is often mistakenly perceived, particularly by those Jews who identify as Zionist, as anti-Semitic sentiment.

To equate criticism of Zionism with anti-Semitism is not only dishonest, it also has an adverse effect for those Jews who do suffer actual intolerant, anti-Semitic abuse which should be taken seriously. Moreover, this misplaced accusation calls into question our own Jewishness, which we find an offensive gesture.

Finally, we would like to make it clear that Tommy Corbyn, son of the leader of the Labour Party, had nothing to do with organising, producing or even promoting the play.


Maddie Boden
Eran Cohen
Edmund Dable-Heath
Hagar Geula
Juliana Morrison
Adrian Tellwright

7 Jewish Children

Tell her it’s a game
Tell her it’s serious
But don’t frighten her
Don’t tell her they’ll kill her
Tell her it’s important to be quiet
Tell her she’ll have cake if she’s good
Tell her to curl up as if she’s in bed
But not to sing.
Tell her not to come out
Tell her not to come out even if she hears shouting
Don’t frighten her
Tell her not to come out even if she hears nothing for a long time
Tell her we’ll come and find her
Tell her we’ll be here all the time.
Tell her something about the men
Tell her they’re bad in the game
Tell her it’s a story
Tell her they’ll go away
Tell her she can make them go away if she keeps still
By magic
But not to sing.

Tell her this is a photograph of her grandmother, her uncles and me
Tell her her uncles died
Don’t tell her they were killed
Tell her they were killed
Don’t frighten her.
Tell her her grandmother was clever
Don’t tell her what they did
Tell her she was brave
Tell her she taught me how to make cakes
Don’t tell her what they did
Tell her something
Tell her more when she’s older.
Tell her there were people who hated Jews
Don’t tell her
Tell her it’s over now
Tell her there are still people who hate Jews
Tell her there are people who love Jews
Don’t tell her to think Jews or not Jews
Tell her more when she’s older
Tell her how many when she’s older
Tell her it was before she was born and she’s not in danger
Don’t tell her there’s any question of danger.
Tell her we love her
Tell her dead or alive her family all love her
Tell her her grandmother would be proud of her.

Don’t tell her we’re going for ever
Tell her she can write to her friends, tell her her friends can maybe
come and visit
Tell her it’s sunny there
Tell her we’re going home
Tell her it’s the land God gave us
Don’t tell her religion
Tell her her great great great great lots of greats grandad lived there
Don’t tell her he was driven out
Tell her, of course tell her, tell her everyone was driven out and
the country is waiting for us to come home
Don’t tell her she doesn’t belong here
Tell her of course she likes it here but she’ll like it there even more.
Tell her it’s an adventure
Tell her no one will tease her
Tell her she’ll have new friends
Tell her she can take her toys
Don’t tell her she can take all her toys
Tell her she’s a special girl
Tell her about Jerusalem.

Don’t tell her who they are
Tell her something
Tell her they’re Bedouin, they travel about
Tell her about camels in the desert and dates
Tell her they live in tents
Tell her this wasn’t their home
Don’t tell her home, not home, tell her they’re going away
Don’t tell her they don’t like her
Tell her to be careful.
Don’t tell her who used to live in this house
No but don’t tell her her great great grandfather used to live in this house
No but don’t tell her Arabs used to sleep in her bedroom.
Tell her not to be rude to them
Tell her not to be frightened
Don’t tell her she can’t play with the children
Don’t tell her she can have them in the house.
Tell her they have plenty of friends and family
Tell her for miles and miles all round they have lands of their own
Tell her again this is our promised land.
Don’t tell her they said it was a land without people
Don’t tell her I wouldn’t have come if I’d known.
Tell her maybe we can share.
Don’t tell her that.

Tell her we won
Tell her her brother’s a hero
Tell her how big their armies are
Tell her we turned them back
Tell her we’re fighters
Tell her we’ve got new land.

Don’t tell her
Don’t tell her the trouble about the swimming pool
Tell her it’s our water, we have the right
Tell her it’s not the water for their fields
Don’t tell her anything about water.
Don’t tell her about the bulldozer
Don’t tell her not to look at the bulldozer
Don’t tell her it was knocking the house down
Tell her it’s a building site
Don’t tell her anything about bulldozers.
Don’t tell her about the queues at the checkpoint
Tell her we’ll be there in no time
Don’t tell her anything she doesn’t ask
Don’t tell her the boy was shot
Don’t tell her anything.
Tell her we’re making new farms in the desert
Don’t tell her about the olive trees
Tell her we’re building new towns in the wilderness.
Don’t tell her they throw stones
Tell her they’re not much good against tanks
Don’t tell her that.
Don’t tell her they set off bombs in cafés
Tell her, tell her they set off bombs in cafés
Tell her to be careful
Don’t frighten her.
Tell her we need the wall to keep us safe
Tell her they want to drive us into the sea
Tell her they don’t
Tell her they want to drive us into the sea.
Tell her we kill far more of them
Don’t tell her that
Tell her that
Tell her we’re stronger
Tell her we’re entitled
Tell her they don’t understand anything except violence
Tell her we want peace
Tell her we’re going swimming.

Tell her she can’t watch the news
Tell her she can watch cartoons
Tell her she can stay up late and watch Friends.
Tell her they’re attacking with rockets
Don’t frighten her
Tell her only a few of us have been killed
Tell her the army has come to our defence
Don’t tell her her cousin refused to serve in the army.
Don’t tell her how many of them have been killed
Tell her the Hamas fighters have been killed
Tell her they’re terrorists
Tell her they’re filth
Don’t tell her about the family of dead girls
Tell her you can’t believe what you see on television
Tell her we killed the babies by mistake
Don’t tell her anything about the army
Tell her, tell her about the army, tell her to be proud of the army.
Tell her about the family of dead girls, tell her their names why not,
tell her the whole world knows why shouldn’t she know?
Tell her there’s dead babies, did she see babies?
tell her she’s got nothing to be ashamed of.
Tell her they did it to themselves.
Tell her they want their children killed to make people sorry for them,
tell her I’m not sorry for them, tell her not to be sorry for them,
tell her we’re the ones to be sorry for,
tell her they can’t talk suffering to us.
Tell her we’re the iron fist now, tell her it’s the fog of war,
tell her we won’t stop killing them till we’re safe,
tell her I laughed when I saw the dead policemen,
tell her they’re animals living in rubble now,
tell her I wouldn’t care if we wiped them out,
the world would hate us is the only thing,
tell her I don’t care if the world hates us,
tell her we’re better haters, tell her we’re chosen people,
tell her I look at one of their children covered in blood and what do I feel?
tell her all I feel is happy it’s not her.
Don’t tell her that.
Tell her we love her.
Don’t frighten her.

Seven Jewish Children is Caryl Churchill’s
response to the situation in Gaza in January
2009, when the play was written.

Seven Jewish Children first published in Great Britain in 2009 by
Nick Hern Books Limited, 14 Larden Road, London, W3 7ST,
in association with the Royal Court Theatre, London
Seven Jewish Children copyright © 2009 Caryl Churchill Limited
Caryl Churchill has asserted her moral right to be identified as the author of this work
Typeset by Nick Hern Books, London
ISBN 978 1 84842 047 2
Performing Rights
Seven Jewish Children was first performed at the Royal Court

Theatre, London, on 6 February 2009.

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