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Proletarian issue 34 (Februrary 2010)
Jack speaks out against Israeli zionism
Transcription of Jack Shapiro’s speech at a meeting in January 2009, during the bombardment of Gaza.
Comrades, one of the things that you have got to guard against in the next few weeks is the terrible propaganda machine that the Israelis have constructed not only in Israel but also in this country. I’ll give you one example of what terrible fascist kind of talk goes on.

The foreign minister of Israel is a woman called Tzipi Livni. Be warned against her. She’s definitely a fascist type. She made a statement to The Times yesterday that people shouldn’t be worried about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, because the warehouses are full of food; they are full of blankets; they’re full of medications. But Hamas is not letting them be distributed because their interest is only in the misery of the people of Palestine, and Hamas for political reasons is not allowing all this wonderful stuff that the Israelis have allowed through to be distributed.

Now, with propaganda of that kind, you’re back to where the Nazis were in the thirties, telling everybody the terrible lies that led to the holocaust, which is now being copied on the Palestinians by the victims of the holocaust who eventually landed up in Israel. Why these people who have experienced the holocaust in their own lives are willing to inflict it on the people of Palestine, who took them in and allowed them to become part of the country, is impossible to understand.

But the propaganda machine is going to convince you that everything is OK. Just leave it to the Israelis; they’ll look after the Palestinians very well.

They will look after the Palestinians all right, because one of the things they want to do is to make sure that there are no Palestinians. As a matter of fact, Golda Meir, who was one of the prime ministers of Israel, once was asked: What sort of peace is there going to be in Israel? Well, she said, there are no Palestinians so we’ve got nobody to negotiate with. She just dismissed them as nonexistent.

Now, if you can be as blind as that, and carry on the kind of propaganda of the kind that Tzipi Livni gets on to, you’ll understand that the public are going to be very heavily fooled. It’s up to us comrades who are clearer in our minds, with an understanding of what’s going on, that we spread the word that these lies are just what they are – lies.

And our members of parliament should be told that they should stand up in the Commons and denounce what is going on in Israel. One hundred and thirty-seven resolutions have been passed by the United Nations since 1948, and Israel hasn’t kept a single one of them. We must denounce this.

They talk about Hamas being a terrorist organisation. The terrorism of the F-16s flying over the country is a form of terrorism that nobody can imagine. They fly so low over the country that the kids are frightened out of their wits. The terror that goes on, the Israeli terror, is going to be geared up, is going to be stronger and greater because, with the resistance that Hamas is putting up, the Israelis want to gear up the measure of fighting.

And you’ve got politicians all over the world talking about Hamas and a few rockets targeting one or two towns in Israel and they put this on the same level as Israel flying over and dropping one-ton bombs on people’s houses. Eleven children and four women in one house were killed with just one bomb. How they can compare that with the small rockets that Hamas are shooting into Sderot and Ashkelon I really don’t know.

If we are clear in our minds as to what is going on in Gaza, and understand that the Israelis are trying to wipe out the Palestinian people so that they can take Gaza for themselves, we make sure that we spread the word to everybody so that people don’t believe the lies that they are being told about this thing.

This kind of attitude about the Palestinians is not new. It started in 1948. It was never the intention of the Israelis to allow a Palestinian state. They ignored the fact that Palestine existed at all. They wanted to take the country for themselves, and they are still of that mind. We’ve got to make sure that people understand that zionism is the equivalent of Nazism. There is no difference between the two ideologies. Both of them are dependent on the destruction of other people and maintaining of themselves.

What these Israeli young men who are flying the F-16s must be thinking about when they drop a one-ton bomb on a house to kill 11 people and destroy a whole family, with just one bomb! I really don’t understand these modern young men who are flying these wonderful machines.

We have got to make sure, comrades, that Hamas is given the kind of support that maintains its integrity, maintains its willingness to fight, and gives them the militancy which we would like them to have to fight back in Israel.

This is not the first time that Israel has tried to destroy another country. Look what they did in Lebanon. And the Lebanese people under Hizbollah fought back against them and kicked them out of the country.

You wonder why, with all the tanks surrounding Gaza and the F-16s flying across, why haven’t the Israelis moved in? Is it perhaps because they remember what happened in Lebanon, and they’re a bit afraid that Hamas will send its rockets against their tanks and explode a few tanks and cause a bit of misery for the Israeli people themselves? Is it that which is in their minds, preventing them from encircling Gaza and wiping it out?

I hold out no hope for the transition in America from Bush to Obama. This is the testing ground of what the future holds as regards America in relation to Israel and Palestine. Over the last 10 days, Obama has had plenty of opportunities to give some indication that he would change course from Bush. But there’s no change of course. Obama is not going to change.

I think the support for the Israelis will continue in the same form as it did with Bush, perhaps with a few smarmy words coming out from him, but that will be the whole change. So people should not believe that there is a possibility that either Obama or Gordon Brown is going to change their tune and say anything decent that would reflect at least the decency of most of the British people, who, when they are told the truth, will turn round and demonstrate, as they did today.

Comrades, we have a very heavy burden on us to stand firm – as we tried to stand firm in the thirties when Franco overwhelmed the people of Spain. We fought back against Franco. The International Brigades went to Spain to try to help the Spanish people fight against Franco. They didn’t succeed, but eventually, with Stalin’s help, the fascists were routed and cleared out of Europe and the war against fascism was won.

It requires a lot of determination and strength, and we have a big job to do in convincing the people around us that the lies that the Israelis are pouring out are lies; that the solidarity that we must express must be expressed with the Hamas people, who were properly elected by their own people; and that we want to see the possibility that Israel should withdraw from Gaza, and withdraw from the West Bank, and allow the West Bank and Gaza and East Jerusalem to become a Palestinian state without any regard for what Israel believes should be the future.

We should establish our future for Palestine, not the Israeli future.

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