The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign have announced that the trustees of Holocaust Memorial Day have pulled off mention of their events from the HMD website.
The SPSC are showing the play Perdition this week in events they have organised to mark the occasion. The work highlights the role that Zionists in Hungary had in collaborating with the Nazis. HMD claims this is "anti-Semitic".
The SPSC had advocated that everyone should engage positively with HMD. Here's their announcement:
Now the official Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website has pulled from its website announcements of seven Scottish events in three Scottish cities:
- an inclusive Round-Table discussions of the Holocaust, with Jewish, Gypsy, disabled and gay contributors.
- talks by Holocaust historian Lenni Brenner, to include the role of Zionist political groups in the Holocaust tragedy.
- rehearsed readings of Jim Allen’s play Perdition, a powerful dramatisation of a trial that rocked Israel, on the collaboration of some Zionist leaders with the Nazis in wartime Hungary. The play was first directed by Ken Loach, now one of Britain's greatest film directors.
Please call and email the Holocaust Memorial Trust to demand that the ban be rescinded and that space be allowed to discuss Palestine today, as well as the Zionist role in the Holocaust: Call Nick Joseph at 0845 838 1883 (cost of a local call from anywhere in the UK) and email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The SPSC organised the events to
- remind people of the scale, scope and insane dynamic of the Nazis mass killings of WWII
- discuss the flight of many Jewish Holocaust survivors from Europe after WWII to British-occupied Palestine
- show the links between the bitter tragedy of European Jews and the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine from 1948 to today
In a telephone conversation with Mick Napier, Scottish PSC Chair, on Friday afternoon, HMD Trust Chief Executive Officer Nick Joseph said he had received 'three or four complaints' across the UK and had then asked two distinguished academics to assess Perdition for the HMD. The two un-named 'distinguished academics' had decided, he said, that Perdition is 'anti-Semitic', as a result of which all seven events had been withdrawn from the website. Mr. Joseph told a subsequent caller, SPSC member Marion Woolfson, that the two authorities he solicited were none other than Martin Gilbert and David Cesarani, the two militant Zionists who led the slanderous attacks on Perdition when it first appeared in 1987. No reasons were given for the pulling of the lectures by Lenni Brenner or the inclusive round-table discussions on the Holocaust.
It is ludicrous to label Perdition, a play which dramatises a real 1954 Israeli libel trial, as racist. Perdition lionises some of its Jewish characters, and indicts others. Jim Allen's reference to the collaboration with the Nazis of the Zionist leaders of Hungary's Jews is, in fact, precisely the charge made against these same leaders by Jewish Auschwitz escapee, Rudolph Vrba:
"The Jewish leaders in Hungary, though knowing the truth, the detailed facts about Auschwitz, did nothing...Had they spoken, they might have changed the history books which record mournfully that 400,000 Jews were transported to Auschwitz and died without resistance. As an ex-prisoner of Auschwitz-Birkenau...I cannot emphasise sufficiently strongly that secrecy was the main key to its successful operation."
The 1954 trial's Israeli presiding judge, Ha'levi, found the Hungarian Zionist leader, Kastner, guilty of a betrayal of the Jewish masses through his collaboration with the Nazis. Judge Ha'levi went on to say that when Kastner accepted the Nazi offer of safe passage to Palestine for 600 Jews, whom he could nominate, 'Kastner had sold his soul to the devil.'
The charge of 'anti-Semitism' is mere dust in our eyes, a threadbare tactic to silence criticism of political Zionism, past or present. George W. Bush desperately tries to label all hostility to US crimes abroad as 'anti-American': we shouldn't fall for the same trick from political Zionists.
Full details at www.scottishpsc.org.uk