Could Ethnic-Cleansing, Land-Theft, Exceptionalism, Invasion and Occupation ever be Legitimate?
I would like to share with my readers a superb letter * from Anne Candlin which was sent to Patrick Darnes (member of the Executive of the PSC), responding to his reply to her earlier letter in which she was urging PSC to give support to Southampton Conference .
From: Anne Candlin
To Patrick Darnes
Subject: Article on Southampton Conference [ IS THIS THE END OF THE TWO-STATE SOLUTION? ]
Date: 17 March 2015,
An article about the attempts to get the Southampton University Law School to cancel their conference on Israel and International Law. It includes a short piece by Gilad Atzmon asking “why PSC has been silent?” and we might all ask why PSC has been silent on the issue of the legitimacy of Israel : this is the first time such a conference has been planned and it is long overdue. 67 years of campaigning have not prevented continuous war against the Palestinian people and the theft and destruction of their land. This week Netanyahu stated that if he is re-elected there will be no Palestinian State.So there we have it – he has finally admitted what we have long known – only the Jews of Israel have the right to the land and the Palestinians are expected to disappear, regardless of International Law or UN resolutions, regardless of common decency.
So PSC can forget their two-state solution. It never was “a solution”. Just for a joke, Netanyahu will get the tax-payers of the international community to pay for his continued policing, destruction and massacre of the Palestinian people.
So is this Conference not urgently needed? Should not the international community’s failure to enforce the Law be of primary concern to us?
From: Patrick Darnes
To: Anne Candlin
Cc: ‘Elizabeth Morley
Date: 18 March 2015,
Permission was not given to publish
Anne’s Letter *
From: Anne Candlin
To Patrick Darnes and others
Date: 19 March 2015,
Thank you for your reply. We must be careful about describing Gilad’s query concerning PSC’s response to the conference as an “attack”. Gilad has neither attacked nor smeared PSC, but raised a question about a matter of some importance. He should not be marginalised for wishing to move Palestinian Support Campaigns towards a more useful analysis. PSC has contributed considerably to raising awareness about Palestine. However, all campaigns need to have ultimate aims and goals. What have been the aims and goals of PSC? Justice for the Palestinians? Palestinian Self-Determination? but how do a suppressed and imprisoned people achieve Justice or Self-Determination when their oppressor successfully defies every Law granting them Justice? how do the people of present-day Gaza achieve the elusive ideal of Self-Determination when they lack even the basic necessities of life such as freedom, control of their own finances, economy, water-supply, electricity, food, housing construction, personal movement, etc? does this not become a fanciful academic concept when applied to people bowed down with intolerable suffering while the world stands by?
So, we have to focus on the oppressor, and remove his power to behave vindictively to crush his fellow human-beings.
To remove his power we have first to ask: from whence does his power derive? first, from the illegal establishment of a state facilitated by people who had no right whatsoever to grant another’s land to him against the will of the inhabitants of that land; second, power has been enjoyed through the systematic exploitation of events in history, the details of which urgently need to be reviewed and re-interpreted and which actually occurred long after Zionist plans to take over Palestine; thirdly, his power derives from the external military, financial, religious, moral support and legal impunity given to that State. Has PSC made an honest analysis of all these areas?
It is patently obvious that Israel cannot and should not exist, nor continue to exist, as a Jewish State. It can only do so by existing outside the requirements of the Law and by unacceptable demographic and geographic manipulation which deprives Palestinians of their right to exist.Such a State threatens not only Palestinian rights, lives and land, but threatens the value of International and Human Rights Law and therefore the security of all people on the planet. If the international community allow Jews to get away with such behaviour, it means that, theoretically, anyone else can do the same. I have read PSC statements defending Israel’s “right to exist” but is PSC fully aware of the impossibility of this position? i.e/ the incompatibility between living within the requirements of the Law and maintaining a Jewish State.
Sympathy and encouragement could be given to those, like Gilad, who have explored these matters at a deeper level, questioning the nature and identity of Jewishness itself, questioning power and claims based on “race and ethnic identity”, questioning the use of such power to intimidate and undermine national and international institutions.
The Conference, one hopes, will raise some of these questions, and maybe help to re-direct the aims and goals of those bodies working to support Palestinians and help those working for the non-selective enforcement of International Law. None of my comments, or Gilad’s comments, are directed at threatening or smearing PSC, but rather helping to clarify goals so that we may all give more useful support to Palestinians.
From Elizabeth Morely
To Anne Candlin and others
Thank you so much for articulating what many of us feel. People have several times told me that Gilad should be shunned because he “divides” the PSC. My answer to that is that those who succumb to the division have to look inside their own hearts and minds for the reason. I am devoted to the Palestinians, to justice for them, not to the PSC. And as long as devotion to the Palestinians is what drives all of us – and I believe it is what drives Gilad too – how can we waste time on the present-day equivalent of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
From Gilad Atzmon
To Anne Candlin and others
Interesting discussion and thanks for sharing with me.. Patrick’s comment makes it clear that my criticism of the psc was well grounded.. We are dealing with a self centric institution ..how sad.. Needless to mention that by the time I published my criticism I didn’t find any support for the conference on psc official website.. If the psc is now moving in the right direction I ll be delighted to give it publicity..please advise me where I can find such a psc’s statement .
From: Elizabeth Morley
To: Patrick Darnes
Subject: One thank you; and some complaints
Following on from our three-way email exchange last week (between Anne, you, me), I would like to say how pleased I was to see the publication of the Statement in Support of the University of Southampton in PSC’s last Update.
All the same, it doesn’t totally make up for earlier disappointments. For instance, we all know about the Bishop of Guildford banning Rev Stephen Sizer from speaking or writing on the Middle East, yet I can find no record of this on the PSC website. This silence was all the more surprising, given that two years ago PSC publicised Michael Connarty’s speech in Stephen’s defence at a sitting of PACE. As late as 6 November 2014, the Weekly Update was still crediting Stephen for photographs used. I cannot believe that PSC now agrees with the charge that Stephen is “anti-Semitic”.
Earlier this month I copied to PSC some emails about the curator of James Morris’ “Time and Remains” photographic exhibition at Theatr Clwyd Cymru in Mold being subjected to Zionist intimidation, leading to the removal of the captions for most of the final week on the grounds that they were alleged to be “political”. Once again, I was disappointed that PSC did not report this.
Then there was the cancellation at two days’ notice of Gilad Atzmon’s concert at the RNCM scheduled for 5th March. In this case I suspect PSC had no objection anyway because it has itself declared Atzmon persona non grata – wrongly in the view of many. But is that sufficient reason not to put it on record that behind-the-scenes Zionist machinations have silenced an artist who in his own way struggles for justice for Palestine? It should have been possible to make it clear with an intelligently formulated statement that PSC opposes the principle of such intimidation.
Another example: On 7th March FoA were obliged to change the venue of their annual conference at short notice when Imperial College cancelled the event. It gave no reasons but the alleged statement by a spokesperson [“It’s not anything that any of the speakers has ever previously said, it’s what might be said at the conference”] leads one to suspect Zionist interference.
I know PSC has a lot on just now [when did it not?] and is working at full capacity. But would it not be possible in future to mention all such cases of known Zionist intimidation as they occur, in the Updates, however briefly, just Who, What, When?
It cannot be right that the groundswell of support for free speech in the wake of the tragedy in Paris should serve only one side and not the other. I know PSC is not able or even willing to enter into public disputes with the BoD, the Jewish Leadership Council, the CST and the many local FoIs. But what reason can there be for letting their activities go unnoticed and unrecorded in the Updates?
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