Zionists attack Palestinian writers, free speech

March 3, 2023
Palestinian writers Susan Abulhawa (left) and and Mohammed El-Kurd (right) have been falsely defamed for alleged “anti-Semitism”. Festival director Louise Adler (centre) is standing firm against such criticism. Image: Green Left

Acclaimed Palestinian writers Susan Abulhawa and Mohammed El-Kurd, invited to the Adelaide Writers’ Festival in South Australia, have encountered a storm of false defamation from Zionists, pro-Zionist mainstream media and pro-Zionist politicians.

Abulhawa and El-Kurd have been falsely defamed for alleged “antisemitism” and “hate speech” for criticising the century-long genocidal abuse of indigenous Palestinians by Zionists. Abulhawa has also been falsely defamed for her pro-peace views on the Ukraine war.

Publisher Louise Adler, who is the anti-racist Jewish Australian Festival director, is standing firm.

Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism. A large body of anti-racist Jewish scholars condemn racist Zionism, Israeli Apartheid, Apartheid Israel and the century-long and ongoing Palestinian genocide.

Anti-racist Jewish United States scholar Professor Bertell Ollman, from New York University, said: “The Zionists are the worst antisemites in the world today, oppressing a Semitic people as no nation has done since the Nazis.”

Likewise, anti-racist Jewish Canadian writer Naomi Klein said: “There is a debate among Jews — I’m a Jew by the way. The debate boils down to the question: ‘Never again to everyone, or never again to us?’ … [Some Jews] even think we get one get-away-with-genocide-free card … There is another strain in the Jewish tradition that say[s], ‘Never again to anyone’.”

Famed anti-racist Jewish and non-Jewish writers and scholars Tariq Ali, Russell Banks, John Berger, Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk, Eduardo Galeano, Charles Glass, Naomi Klein, WJT Mitchell, Harold Pinter, Arundhati Roy, Jose Saramago, Giuliana Sgrena, Gore Vidal and Howard Zinn have condemned “[Israel’s] long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation”.

Indeed, 25% of US Jews and 38% of those under 40 say that Israel is an apartheid state. 

The false defamation and attempted censorship of the acclaimed Palestinian writers is symptomatic of a wider malaise in Zionist-subverted and “look-the-other-way” Australia.

Three out of eight state and territory governments (Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia), two out of 43 universities (Melbourne University and Wollongong University), the federal government and the Coalition opposition endorse the anti-Jewish antisemitic holocaust-ignoring International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism that has been rejected by scholars and more than 40 anti-racist Jewish organisations around the world.

The IHRA definition is anti-Jewish and antisemitic because it falsely defames anti-racist Jewish critics of Israeli apartheid as antisemites.

It is anti-Arab and antisemitic because it falsely defames anti-racist Palestinian, Arab and Muslim critics of Israeli Apartheid as antisemites. It also near-comprehensively ignores about 70 other genocides and holocausts, other than the Jewish one, and including others in World War II.

Australia is one of 35 members of the all-European and mostly NATO and EU IHRA. Shockingly, all but four IHRA members voted “no”, with Australia, the US and Ukraine, on the annual UN General Assembly Anti-Nazi Resolution last year that condemns Nazism, neo-Nazism and related racist obscenities. Even Apartheid Israel voted “Yes” for the UNGA Anti-Nazi Resolution.

What can we do?

Those supporting Apartheid Israel must be exposed as unfit for public life. The world must apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Apartheid Israel and its racist supporters.

Decent anti-racist and anti-Apartheid Australians simply cannot vote one for either Labor or the Coalition. Abolition of foreign ownership of Australia’s media would stop its present mendacious subversion by the fervently Zionist US Murdoch media empire.

Free speech and truth are core values of good universities, and academic staff and students around Australia are protesting this worsening threat to democracy and academic free speech.

[This is an excerpt from Gideon Polya’s “Abulhawa, El-Kurd, Palestine & Ukraine: Zionists Attack Australian Free Speech”, published in Countercurrents on February 28.]

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