Hi Laura,

The points you raise in your article prompted me to write another of my own by way of response but then I realised that I would be playing into the hands of the enemy. The last thing the defence of Palestine needs is a surfeit of dissent among its supporters. So I thought I would write to you directly and explain my reaction to your piece in deLiberation.

The first point you raise is the apparent futility of street protests. I tend to agree that most of the time they achieve very little, especially as the corporate news media either ignore or misreport them. That said, we do have a monthly rally here in Auckland at which we distribute pamphlets containing factual information which, in many cases, are eagerly sought. I really believe in the value of disseminating verifiable accounts of the history and present conduct of the war against the Palestinian people. Each individual who receives this information has family, friends and associates with whom they communicate. I have, since 1947, personally witnessed the change in the climate of public opinion towards the Zionist enterprise, not least among European Jews.

The problem that non-Jewish Westerners have with calling Jews “Jews” has been created by circumstance and the history in Europe of contempt for the Jew. I remember early in the Second World War my mother’s slight regard for Jews. I also remember her shocked face at the end of the war after she and my father had seen the special documentaries screened in cinemas (adults only) concerning the German death camps. Jew! The word itself had become an insult. As a non-Catholic I went to a Catholic grammar school in Highgate from the age of seven. Before the days of mass immigration to Britain I had the uncommon experience of sharing my school days with Indians, Italians, one German, French and Jewish schoolboys. It was, for some reason, the custom (and still is) for some Jews to send their children to Catholic schools. I led a very sheltered life in those days – there was not the slightest hint of racism at school. I had close friends amongst the Indians because I had a great love of Indian culture, especially Indian classical music and dance. 

All that came to an abrupt end when my family broke up and I found myself suddenly out of school and in a hostel (arranged by my mother) for boys on probation and ex-probationer National Servicemen on leave. It was then I first encountered racism but the insult had changed from “Jew” to “Arab”. Predominantly Muslim, Arabs were, by definition, according to many people, especially in the British Army, “filthy”. This, at a time when the British bathed once a week, whether they needed to or not! Just over a year later I joined the Fleet Air Arm (Royal Navy). A 16-year-old boy, I was allowed to sign away the next thirty years of my life! I encountered anti-Arab sentiment in the Navy but not to the extent that I had witnessed amongst British soldiers. Fortunately for me and the defence of the realm, at age 18, I was invalided out of the Navy. A year later I left my mother’s house in Wales and made my way back to my beloved London purposely to find flamenco and become a guitarist – which I did. 

Flamenco and Spain brought me to a great appreciation of the 800 years of Andalucian civilisation and Arab culture. I had been brought up at home with recordings of Arab and Indian music as well as Western classical and folk music. When it comes to race and racial descriptions I become very wary. I am English, born and bred. But I cannot bear to think of myself as purely English, I feel my Celtic ancestry in my bones also and so I feel very much part of the British Isles as a whole. But then my upbringing and career tied me to so much even wider cultural tradition that I realise, as Albert Einstein pointed out, all human beings are related to each other.

But back to referring to Jewish organisations as Jewish. I feel reluctant to do so and only do it when occasion demands. Why? Because the Zionist enterprise would have been long gone and forgotten had it not been for British and Western Imperialism that encouraged and sustained it. I for one will not blame the Jews for Zionism, any more than I will blame the Germans for Nazism, the British people for the invention of concentration camps and hut taxes in Africa, or the American people for US atrocities both at home and around the world.

Many Jews may bear some responsibility for allowing themselves to be persuaded by Zionist propaganda to support ethnic cleansing and war crimes – but are they any different from the rest of us who live in societies that commit war crimes? I am British and, in spite of my personal philosophy, might very well be regarded as an enemy by victims of Western barbarity in Iraq and Afghanistan. The real criminals are the selfish materialist ruling elites around the world and their subservient news media. Zionism’s back is against the wall and its last ditch defence is to foment dissent amongst the movements that are opposed to it.

We should be having these discussions in private. I am shocked to hear that the PSC does not welcome Palestinians as members. I shall write to them to find out more. Our movement here in New Zealand is very glad of its Palestinian members. One of them is a European, every much a refugee as his Arab compatriots. Remember that Israel denies Palestinian identity and history by insisting on calling Palestinians “Arabs”. The majority of Palestinians are Arabs, of course, but the term “Arab” is used by Zionists with politically-motivated racist intent. We should think carefully about the language we use because our enemies have the upper hand when it comes to mass propaganda. We should never say or do anything that helps them divert world attention away from Zionism’s ideologically-driven racist war crimes.

Best regards,



I’m thinking of adapting this theme for an article on the subject. The personal reflections made above are purely for your information to help you understand my thinking.



Today he has written to me with a response he got from the PSC to the claim that they dont welcome palestinian members and here is the response they got.

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