Tag Archives: Palestine

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika

Matthew Willman 008

One of my all time favourite songs and amongst the best written national anthems in the world, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, written in Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English, was the great emblem of defiance against the Apartheid regime and eventually united all peoples of South Africa within the ambit of her melody. No better time to post this than now, when Nelson Mandela, a giant of our times and a great advocate of the struggle of the Palestinian people has died.

“God bless Africa
Let its (Africa’s) horn be raised,
Listen also to our prayers,
Lord bless us, we are the family of it (Africa).
Lord bless our nation,
Stop wars and sufferings,
Save it, save our nation,
The nation of South Africa — South Africa.
From the blue of our heavens,
From the depths of our seas,
Over our everlasting mountains,
Where the cliffs give answer,
Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
In South Africa our land.” (video)

Image from here.


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Ed Miliband the Zionist?

Ed Miliband at LFP

Much speculation has been made of Ed Miliband, the man who many (myself included) feel will be the first Jewish Prime Minister of Britain.  Guido Falks tweeted an article from The Jewish Chronicle which says that Ed Miliband claims to be a Zionist. Let’s go through the exact words –

“I take anti-semitism very seriously. Any kind of de-legitimisation of Israel is something we should call out for what it is and not tolerate it. “I think the boycotts of Israel are totally wrong. We should have no tolerance for boycotts. I would say that to any trade union leaders.”

The Haaretz in it’s reports quite explicitly points out that when someone asked him if he was a Zionist, Ed replied – “Yes, I consider myself a supporter of Israel.” , however Ed was very careful not to say “Yes, I am a Zionist”.

Let’s be honest here, there is absolutely no way that Ed Miliband can become the next British Prime Minister if he antagonises the right wing pro-Israeli British media, let’s be honest about it, no if’s and but’s. If he takes an openly anti Israeli line the media is going to make sure that he will not be the next British PM and they will not rest until they do. If the British media was to somehow (as if by divine intervention) change their tune and become tacitly pro-Palestinian, then the Zionist lobby in the US will strain every sinew of its special relationship with London to ensure that Miliband does not become PM.

It was quite sad that the Stop The War Coalition with whom I side most of the time tweeted saying ‘Labour leader Ed Miliband establishes his pro-Israel credentials like never before & declares he’s a Zionist’. This I think is rather misleading, and at least the STWC should have been more considerate of whom they want to be friendly with.

About Ed Miliband, let’s establish a few home truths.

  • Ed Miliband was raised an atheist by his parents, his father was the radical Marxist intellectual Ralph Miliband and his mother Marion Kozac is a signatory for the founding statements of ‘Jews for Justice for Palestinians’.
  • Ed Miliband was elected leader largely due to the trade unions. Britains largest trade unions, UNITE and UNISON have both passed a motion to boycott goods from Israeli settlements.
  • In his very first speech as Labour leader, Miliband said this.
  • When Mossad used forged British Passports to carry out a failed assassination bid against a Hamas official in Dubai when his brother David Miliband was the foreign Secretary, there was very significant diplomatic friction between Israel and the UK.
  • Ed Miliband has been very openly attending events and supporting Labour Friends of Palestine, something neither of his New Labour predecessors did.

Compare and contrast Ed Miliband with Tony Blair and to a lesser extent Gordon Brown vis a vis the Israeli question and you’ll see that Miliband actually comes out uncontaminated by any Israeli links. Also, let’s not forget, contrary to what anyone might say, it was Miliband who took on the highly influential Israeli poodle that is Rupert Murdoch.

I don’t see how anything Miliband said yesterday can be spelled out as doom saying for the pro Palestinian activists. I think it is wise and indeed incumbent upon him to woo the Israeli lobby if there is any chance of him becoming PM.

It is only fair to him that he is judged on his record as PM, until then he deserves the respite.

Image from here.

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