Vivienne Porzsolt

Vivienne Porzsolt writes that she is filled with pity for Jews who are driven by post-Holocaust trauma they lose connection with their humanity and reason in relation to Israel and to the Palestinians as human beings.

Sydney Festival artists support BDS campaign

There has been an overwhelming response by artists to the call to boycott the Sydney Festival over its partnership with apartheid Israel, writes Vivienne Porzsolt.

Walter Kaufman was his own man, a survivor, ‘at home in homelessness’. Vivienne Porzsolt recalls the remarkable life of a left-wing writer and unionist.

 

It has long been common to falsely label critics of the Israeli government as “antisemitic”. Vivienne Porzsolt argues why this is a problem.

Guests Sam Wainwright (Socialist Alliance councillor) and Vivienne Porzsolt (Jews Against the Occupation) discuss the 2021 ALP policy conference.

Longstanding Jews against the Occupation member Pat Zinn was driven by a deep sense of compassion and concern for her fellow human beings, writes Vivienne Porzsolt.

The issue of just treatment of asylum seekers is close to my heart. I am Jewish and the child of refugees who fled the Nazis. As a child of immigrants in Australia, I was picked on for being “different”. My life of activism for social justice is rooted in this history. I am driven by a passion that all human beings should be included, should be valued, should be embraced. Inclusion is a fundamental value for me. When we look at what this country is doing to people incarcerated in our detention centres, what other word can we truthfully use besides “cruelty”?
The article below is based on a speech given at a Socialist Alliance forum on July 20 in Sydney after the thousands-strong rally against Israel's assault on Gaza. *** I have been an activist for justice in Israel-Palestine for 25 years. My parents were refugees from Hitler and I have drawn from them a strong humanist ethic. I have visited Israel-Palestine many times and worked along side fellow Jews and Palestinians and international activists in actions to alert the world to the situation of the Palestinians.
We recently suffered the very sad loss of Mick Goldstein. Goldstein was a stalwart of Jews Against the Occupation (JAO), who campaign for the rights of Palestinians. Like Bernie Rosen, whom we lost earlier this year, Goldstein was in the proud Jewish tradition of the international socialist left. The mass participation of Jewish people on the left was largely decimated by the Nazi Holocaust, and lamentably, it has been overtaken by a reactionary Zionism which has now come to dominate Jewish communities around the world. But activists like Goldstein reminded us of what once was.
Dr Mazim Qumsiyeh is Palestine’s leading intellectual. His recently published book Popular Resistance in Palestine is a meticulous history of non-violent resistance in Palestine since Ottoman times. A professor who teaches and does research at three Palestinian universities (Bethlehem, Birzeit, Al-Quds), Qumsiyeh previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke and Yale Universities. He is also chair of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between Peoples.
I am working with the International Women’s Peace Service (IWPS) based in the village of Deir Istiya in the Salfit area in central West Bank. A lot of this area has been taken over by the Israeli settler colony of Ariel. IWPS work in solidarity with the local people and has received a number of plaques in appreciation of their work over many years. We were privileged to be invited to the celebration party for the homecoming of 21 year-old Ahmed Shtawi after seven-and-a-half months imprisonment. He was arrested on March 16 after a vicious attack by an army dog.
The problem with censorship is

Once again we have seen the spectacle of the Jewish leadership banning dissenting Jews from their annual festival of ideas, Limmud Oz. Organisers of this year’s conference held last weekend in Melbourne told the co-ordinators of a workshop on a new book, Beyond Tribal Loyalties, that their session would not be included.