We're not celebrating
's anniversary Israel
Wednesday 30 April 2008
In May, Jewish organisations will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of
In April 1948, the same month as the infamous massacre at Deir Yassin and the mortar attack on Palestinian civilians in
In July 1948, 70,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes in Lydda and Ramleh in the heat of the summer with no food or water. Hundreds died. It was known as the Death March. We will not be celebrating.
In all, 750,000 Palestinians became refugees. Some 400 villages were wiped off the map. That did not end the ethnic cleansing. Thousands of Palestinians (Israeli citizens) were expelled from the
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
We will celebrate when Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful
Cllr Jonathan Bloch
Prof. Haim Bresheeth
Dr. Linda Edmondson
Brian Fisher MBE
Yael Oren Kahn
Prof. Adah Kay
Prof. Eleonore Kofman
Prof. Yosefa Loshitzky
Prof. Emeritus Moshe Machover
Miriam Margolyes OBE
Dr. Brian Robinson
Prof. Steven Rose
Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead
Prof. Frances Stewart
Letters: We're not celebrating
's anniversary Israel
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk at 12.44 BST on Wednesday 30 April 2008. It appeared in the Guardian on Wednesday 30 April 2008 on p33 of the Editorials & reply section. It was last updated at 12.44 BST on Wednesday 30 April 2008.
Caribbean Cold War"
When the International Court of Justice in the Hague in 1986 found the US guilty on eight separate counts of gross intervention in the affairs of a sovereign state (Nicaragua) and asked it to make reparation for all injury caused, the US simply told it to bugger off, asserting that its actions were outside the province of any international court.
Even the poor old United Nations has condemned the
Here are three short extracts from Duncan Green's book Silent Revolution. This is the first: '10,000 delegates of the World Bank sat down to dinner. The dinner was catered by Ridgewells at $200 per person. Guests began with crab cakes, caviar, creme fraiche, smoked salmon and mini beef wellingtons. The fish course was lobster with corn rounds followed by citrus sorbet. The entre was duck with lime sauce served with artichoke bottoms filled with baby carrots. A hearts of palm salad was offered accompanied by sage cheese souffles with a port wine dressing. Dessert was a German chocolate turnip sauced with raspberry coulis, ice cream bon bons and flaming coffee royale.' The wine list isn't mentioned.
Here is the second extract: 'The tiny adobe house is crammed with gnarled Bolivian mining women in patched shawls and battered felt hats, whose calloused hands work breaking up rocks on the surface in search of scraps of tin ore. The paths between the miners' huts are strewn with plastic bags and human excrement, dried black in the sun.'
This is a Bolivian woman speaking: 'In the old days women used to stay at home because the men had work. Now we have to work. Many of our children have been abandoned. Their fathers have left and there's no love left in us when we get home late from work. We leave food for them. They play in the streets. There are always accidents and no doctors. I feel like a slave in my own country. We get up at 4am and at 11 at night we are still working. I have vomited blood for weeks at a time and still had to keep working.'
No doubt after dinner the World Bank delegates discussed the Bolivian economy and made their recommendations.
This monstrous inequality is precisely what inspired the Cuban revolution. The revolution set out to correct such grotesque polarisation and was determined to ensure that the Cuban people would never have to endure such degradation again.
It understood that recognition of and respect for human dignity were crucial obligations which devolved upon a civilised society. Its achievements are remarkable. It constructed a health service which can hardly be rivalled and established an extraordinary level of literacy. All this the
There is the question of human rights. I myself don't believe in the relativity of human rights. I don't believe that 'local conditions', as it were, or a specific cultural disposition can justify suppression of dissent or the individual conscience. In
I am a trustee of the Vanunu estate and a defender of his right to speak. I must therefore logically defend, for example, Maria Elena Cruz Varela's right to speak also. Socialism must be about active and participatory debate.
However, the wrinkled moral frown of the
There exists today widespread propaganda which asserts that socialism is dead. But if to be a socialist is to be a person convinced that the words 'the common good' and 'social justice' actually mean something; if to be a socialist is to be outraged at the contempt in which millions and millions of people are held by those in power, by 'market forces', by international financial institutions; if to be a socialist is to be a person determined to do everything in his or her power to alleviate these unforgivably degraded lives, then socialism can never be dead because these aspirations will never die.
Red Pepper Magazine 1996.