WHEN the state of Israel was founded in 1948, it met with wide support across the world.
The “Big Four” anti-fascist wartime allies — Britain, France, the US and the Soviet Union — declared themselves in favour of the United Nations plan to establish a new homeland in the Middle East that would offer a safe haven for the Jewish people.
As the evidence of genocidal nazi barbarism was uncovered and broadcast far and wide, few people felt anything but the deepest sympathy for a people treated so atrociously, not only by the nazis but by other European powers through the ages.
Today, the state of Israel remains an established fact, recognised as such by almost every other sovereign country.
Yet its people do not live in peace and security, nor will they until their Palestinian hosts and neighbours enjoy the national rights demanded for them also by the United Nations since 1947, but which they lost when Israel was founded on their territory.
Since then, Israel has seized more land by force from mandated Palestine, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon, preventing the establishment of a viable and secure Palestinian state alongside its own.
In such circumstances, it is understandable that many people in London may not share newly elected mayor Sadiq Khan’s enthusiasm for celebrating the creation of modern Israel.
Indeed, given Israel’s unparalleled record for violating UN conventions and resolutions, while periodically massacring large numbers of Palestinian civilians, there is a strong case for all kinds of sanctions against the Israeli government and state until it begins complying with international law.
As Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Jewish Socialist Group in Britain point out, together with their courageous comrades inside Israel itself, our abhorrence of anti-semitism does not require silence when it comes to speaking out against the callous oppression of the Palestinian people.
Farewell to Bennett
IT IS not immediately clear why Natalie Bennett is standing down from the leadership of the Green Party of England and Wales.
Alongside former MEP and now MP Caroline Lucas, she has led the transformation of the Greens into a serious electoral force in British political life.
The recent elections in England and Wales confirmed the steady progress being made by the party in both countries, despite the uneven revival of the Labour Party’s left-wing credentials under Jeremy Corbyn.
So far, unlike many of their continental colleagues, the Greens in Britain have not abandoned extra-parliamentary campaigning, nor have they embraced big business profiteering, nuclear weapons and imperialist war.
However, the Green Party’s conversion into a leading cheerleader for the European Union, despite EU treaty commitments to Nato and “free market” capitalism, is a cause for concern.
Like her Labour Party counterparts, though, Bennett has displayed none of the passion of the genuine convert.
It is to be hoped that her successor restores a more critical approach to the EU-IMF-Nato alliance, whatever the result on June 23.