9 April 2002
Zionist Organization of America
(via ZOA website)
Regarding the website article by your president, Morton Klein, who claims the story of the Deir Yassin massacre is Arab propaganda and is not based on research, I'd like to refer you to an alternative view written by the Peace Mid East Dialog Group on http://www.ariga.com/peacewatch/dy.
I find your president's denial of Deir Yassin disturbing, and it reminds me of the denials of the holocaust by pro Nazis. Would he also deny IDF complicity with Sabra and Shatilla? Can he explain why many prominent Jewish people, including some Rabbis, took part in ceremonies throughout the UK to commemorate Deir Yassin Day?
UNISON is the largest labour union in the UK with over 1.3 million members, from all backgrounds, including Jewish, all of whom work in the public services. I am a member of the National Executive Council of the union and of its International Committee, and I recently visited Jordan, Israel (Tel Aviv and Jerusalem), Palestine (Gaza City, Jerusalem and Ramallah) and Egypt, as part of a delegation from the union to meet union leaders and politicians in these countries. We wanted to express our solidarity with workers on all sides and our support for a political solution based on UN resolutions. After all, that was how Israel came into being.
There have been many atrocities committed over the years on all sides and no doubt more will be until both sides decide to find a political solution.
I understand the horror and anger felt by Israelis at the suicide bombings. We've had plenty such incidents over the years in the UK. Indeed, we were made acutely aware of these feelings during our visit. However, I cannot accept the disproportionate response of the Israeli government, and IDF attacks on civilians, journalists and medical staff, which are reported here daily.
Through its current actions Israel is losing a lot of its traditional support in the UK, and there is now developing a campaign to boycott Israeli products, which is gathering support in the labour movement here and in other European countries.
Instead of spending a lot of energy and resources decrying the Palestinians and their leaders, I think it would be helpful for people to understand what positive solution you propose to the current crisis and how to avoid the complete isolation of Israel.