On recent news coverage of Palestine and Israel
I made a throwaway collage on 27th February for Ephemera for the former story about how a pro-Israel lobby group made a London hospital take down art work by children from Gaza as they felt ‘threatened’. I am still struggling to find words to explain how rage-full I feel in response to that. That people representing one of the most belligerent, violent, and militarised countries on earth could consider children’s artwork threatening is an egregious farce and an abuse of the English language. What they did not want was for anyone outside of Gaza / Palestine to know the reality of those children’s lives. That the hospital would capitulate to this lie of vulnerability disgusts me.
Today I read the historian Simon Schama calling for British Jews to condemn Israel’s ‘shift to the right’. Whilst I welcome anyone, especially Jewish people, calling attention to the atrocities daily committed by Israel, I can’t help but feel angry about how late the article is to anything resembling morality.
For a long time now, it has been impossible to say anything even remotely supportive of Palestinians without being called an anti-Semite, to the point that the word barely has any meaning any more. (Rather much like the pandemic has rendered the term ‘anti-vaxxer’ utterly meaningless.) But I know what I saw and experienced when I visited those lands, and what I saw was one group of people being violently and systematically suppressed, harassed, and victimised by another as a consequence of a history they had no part in. It is because of what I witnessed happening to Palestinians that my heart and sense of justice will always be with them. They are owed everything by us, and have been for a long time.
Anyway, point is, I felt prompted to go back and read some of the entries from my old blog about my trip to Palestine and Israel. I have been meaning to go through that old blog and either re-open parts of it or re-post parts of it to here. I am going to go with the latter (for now) and post eight old entries: six from the trip in 2006, and two from a protest I was at in London a couple of years later. I will repost them with their original publication date, so they are not going to appear at the top of this blog. However, I will post them all to the category Palestine and Israel so they can be easily found.