British Jews Support Israeli War Crimes

The Jewish community in Britain seems to be over the moon. A survey that was published a few days ago suggests that British Jews are nothing but ‘peace lovers’. The Guardian was also quick to report that 77% of “British Jews favour a ‘two-state solution’ in Israel”.

In practice, this actually means that at least 77% of British Jews believe that millions of dispossessed Palestinians should continue to dwell in refugee camps and never be allowed to their homes, cities, and villages. I am actually far from impressed with British Jewry’s inclination towards peace.

Professor Dan McGowan pointed out recently that Israel and Palestine are in fact “one country with one water system, one electrical grid, one monetary system, one telephone system and one postal system. It is already one state, although half the population has lesser rights or none at all.” Bearing McGowan’s insight, I wonder what drives 77% of British Jews? Why don’t they really welcome Palestinian people to return to their land and enjoy exactly the same civil rights British Jews celebrate in the UK?

But a further question must be raised here. What is it that qualifies British Jews or any other Diaspora Jews to interfere or engage so closely with the fate of millions of Palestinians?

As it happens the Survey provides us with more devastating news. At the time we were devastated to find out that 94% of the Israelis supported the IDF’s murderous tactics at the time of Operation Cast Lead. As this new survey clearly reveals, the lack of ethics in British Jewry is far more concerning. Eighteen months after the massacre in Gaza and a year after the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict found Israel guilty of numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity, nearly three quarters (72%) of British Jews agreed that Israel’s action in Gaza in 2008 and 2009 was “a legitimate act of self-defence”. I believe that in practice this means that 7 out of 10 British Jews support Israeli war crimes and somehow dismiss the finding of a UN Fact Finding Mission. This is pretty scary.

The study, which was carried out by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, (JPR) found that Jews in Britain strongly identify with Israel, with nine out of 10 having visited the country. JPR’s executive director, Jonathan Boyd, said: “Fundamentally, we found that most Jews feel a strong sense of connection to Israel, and for many it forms an important, and even central part of their Jewish identity.”

For many years I have argued that within the Jewish secular discourse there is no ideological or spiritual dichotomy between the Israeli, the Jew and the Zionist. It is probably impossible to determine where the Zionist ends and the Jew starts. And yet, the notion that in Britain there is a minority community, the overwhelming majority of whom, support war crimes is pretty shocking, especially considering the devastating fact that every political party in this country is bankrolled by different shades of the ‘Friends of Israel.’

In comparison I wonder how the British public would react if they find out that 72% of the Muslim community supported the killings in Mumbai, 7/7 or 9/11. I guess that we all know the answer.

Gilad Atzmon, now living in London, was born in Israel and served in the Israeli military. He is the author of The Wandering Who and Being in Time and is one of the most accomplished jazz saxophonists in Europe. He can be reached via his website. Read other articles by Gilad, or visit Gilad's website.

16 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Mulga Mumblebrain said on July 16th, 2010 at 11:35am #

    But Gilad,you left out the best bit.This tiny ‘community’ not only approves, by a majority, of war crimes and the continued imprisonment of an entire people, but it also controls the UK state, through its money power. As anyone with eyes can see, Jewish groups whose prime loyalty is to Israel, not Britain,pull the strings in the media, politics and much of business.The same situation pertains in the US, Canada, Australia (where the PM, Rudd, was recently removed, in large part because he had annoyed our Zionist Lobby, who retaliated with threats of removing money contributions and their diversion to the Opposition) and throughout the West.That’s the real scandal, that and the fact that this unprecedented situation is routinely denied with practised mendacity.

  2. Derek said on July 16th, 2010 at 2:12pm #

    It is probably impossible to determine where the Zionist ends and the Jew starts.

    Seriously guys, could we have any better bait for the “anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism” crowd? (Or are they actually right in this case?)

    To say nothing of Mulga’s comment, which is full of typical “ZOG” bullshit.

    Crap like this isn’t helping all of the activists who constantly have to defend themselves against charges of anti-Semitism.

  3. teafoe2 said on July 16th, 2010 at 3:45pm #

    hmm… Well Derek, when was the last time you had to defend yourself against a charge of anti-Semitism? (sic)?
    Please tell us more about your lengthy trackrecord of anti-Zionist activism?

    Thank you so much;-D

  4. Rehmat said on July 16th, 2010 at 6:11pm #

    Gilad Atzmon knows the British has long been a ZOG. British along with the US and Russia played ‘midwife’ to the Zionist entity in 1948. Now Britain alon with the US are pushing Islamic Iran with back towards the Wailing Wall.

    Chomsky: The Iranian Threat

  5. mary said on July 16th, 2010 at 8:03pm #

    No doubt these British Jews will see that no crime was committed here.

    Apart from the killing of the mother and the wounding of the other women and the grandfather, what must life be like when you spend it under the gaze of the IDF in a watchtower 400 metres distant.

  6. tymlee said on July 16th, 2010 at 8:59pm #

    “What is it that qualifies British Jews or any other Diaspora Jews to interfere or engage so closely with the fate of millions of Palestinians?”

    While I agree whole heartedly with many of your observations, conclusions and opinions I find myself puzzled by that particular quote. Finding myself wondering if I had missed crucial information in the post, I re-read it three times which only resulted in confirmation of my original puzzlement. The kernel of the discussion was a “survey”. At no point was it clear how this survey pointed to close engagement or interference on the part of British Jews. Rather, it provided a landscape of their views not actions.

    Whereas the answer to the question posited by the author, regarding what qualifies British Jews “to interfere or engage so closely with the fate of millions of Palestinians”, is nothing qualifies them if the survey itself were to be used as the source for any answer.

    Since the topic of this post was a survey questioning opinions and not actions taken or policy proposed, perhaps the author has asked the wrong question. A more fruitful and logical question might be; why do they have these beliefs? It is evident, in fact, from the rest of the discourse, that this is the question the author was answering.

  7. Mulga Mumblebrain said on July 17th, 2010 at 12:45am #

    Derek-pull the other one,mate-it’s got bells on! No matter what criticism you make of Israel or Zionism, no matter how justified, you will be smeared as ‘anti-semitic’. It’s a reflex designed to intimidate and vilify.
    The question of Jewish behaviour is absolutely crucial to this question. Are you actually denying that rich Jews dominate Western politics, business and the media? If so, then you are wrong, as the evidence of our eyes shows. The rich, Jewish, Zionist political donors in the USA give 50% of political contributions in that notoriously corrupt system. That get near unanimity in supporting Israel in even its vilest crimes in return? Do you think that these Jewish donors are in fact, not actually Jews? The plain corollary of this refusal to criticise Jews no matter what they do,is that Jews are some sort of superior creature whose behaviour is, a priori, beyond reproach, everywhere and always, and that is bunkum,although it feeds the Jewish supremacists’ delusions of being a ‘Chosen Race’.
    Moreover the nature of Israel as a society and as an aggressive terror state, particularly these days, owes a great deal to the character of Judaism. Certainly there are fascist tendencies, from the days of Jabotinsky up to today. Then there is the peculiarities of Western settler states, and their intense hatred of the indigenous they wish to eradicate to gain their lebensraum. But dominating everything else in determining the character of the Israeli state in the religious element. The Zionists base their insane claim to the whole of Eretz Yisrael (take your favourite size) free of non-Jews or with non-Jews as eternal second-class citizens, on religious scriptures long exposed as myths. It’s a wunnerful way to run a world, hey Derek. Bet you’re not a Palestinian.
    Of course, while we cannot ignore the Jewishness of Israel, or the dominance of Jewish Zionist Lobbies in the West, or indeed the genocidal doctrines present in Judaic scripture, doctrines that have been asserted as state policy by influential fundamentalist circles (and which have certainly, been put into action)we must not, and I certainly do not, condemn all Jews as a group. That’s more the style of the Zionist, Jewish and non-Jewish, Islamophobes, who preach such virulent hatred of Islam and Moslems, hatred that has borne evil fruit in millions of killings over decades. No, I judge Jews, like all others,according to their behaviour, and when their behaviour,in my opinion,is wickedness pure and simple, I’m glad to say that I can summon sufficient moral courage not to be cowed by their vile abuse when they attempt to silence me. I think that there is a lesson here for you, Derek. Criticising the bad behaviour of certain Jews does not equal hatred of all Jews, not in a million years.

  8. mary said on July 17th, 2010 at 2:50am #

    This is the UK Chief Rabbi speaking to the group that produced the report.

    There is some schmaltz at the beginning worthy of Rabbi Lionel Blue and you get a Jewish joke or two.

    Then a lengthy section on anti-semitism, the increase of which always occurs after a millennium if you would believe that! One would think that Kristallnacht had come to the UK and of course he has no case for saying that it has increased.

    Criticism of the Occupation has increased in Britain and that is what he avoids mentioning. Knowledge of what goes on in Gaza and the so-called West Bank has obviously spread after the worldwide reporting of the attack on the flotilla. Stealing passports for use in assassinations has not helped the Israeli image either.

    The only thing he says that I agree with is the excessive mention of the holocaust and thereby Jewish victimhood.

    A cosy relationship with the former Archbishop of Canterbury, a Christian Zionist, is implied. The current AoC met with the Chief Rabbi and other Rabbis of Israel this year incidentally and he, Rowan Williams, has not publicly condemned Cast Lead.

    The report was funded by the Pears Foundation, themselves the main instigators of the holocaust ‘industry’ in the UK. They were the people that got NuLabour to introduce compulsory visits to Auschwitz by secondary school children.

  9. mary said on July 17th, 2010 at 5:13am #

    Trash from Associated Press. A good example of the use of the holocaust to carry the message that Jews are victims.

    IMHO there should be more dancing and less killing.

  10. Dustin Rios said on July 17th, 2010 at 5:21am #

    I’m confused. What War Crimes.

  11. mary said on July 17th, 2010 at 8:47am #

    Are you newly arrived on this planet Dustin Rios? If you had been around since 1948 (El Najba) you would have had ample opportunity to make a catalogue.

  12. mary said on July 17th, 2010 at 8:50am #

    Sorry for typos — s/be Al Nakba, Arabic for ‘The Occupation’.


  13. mary said on July 17th, 2010 at 9:24am #

    David Sketchley writes to the BBC on the deliberate mistake in their report on the JPR survey!

  14. Dustin Rios said on July 17th, 2010 at 9:45am #

    You have also failed to answer my question.

  15. Charlie said on July 18th, 2010 at 2:48am #

    Mr. Rios, the war crimes referenced in the article are listed in the Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which is often referred to simply as the “Goldstone Report.” It is available online at the website of the UN Human Rights Council here:

    Here’s an excerpt:

    “. . .the Mission finds that the conduct of the Israeli armed forces constitutes grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention in respect of wilful killings and wilfully causing great suffering to protected persons and, as such, give rise to individual criminal responsibility. It also finds that the direct targeting and arbitrary killing of Palestinian civilians is a violation of the right to life.”

  16. hp said on July 18th, 2010 at 9:23am #

    We’re all Amaleks now.

    As the Jewish Encyclopedia put it, “David waged a sacred war of extermination against the Amalekites,” who may have subsequently disappeared from history