Here are Keith Hammond’s thoughts on Holocaust Memorial Day
Yesterday was the day we all remembered the Holocaust and yet it was business as usual for the propaganda machine of Israel that respects nothing but its own sordid aims. The Goldstone Report was accused of blaming the victims of Gaza’s rockets for the 22 days of hell dropped on the people of Gaza in 2008/09. The accusation was made, surprise, surprise on the grounds that the Report was just another expression of anti-Semitism. If there is the possibility of there being any truth in this accusation then it should be investigated. But not by Israel! Let the Report be referred to the ICJ immediately for full investigation where every detail would be taken seriously … Everything that is in it should be discussed at the highest levels of international law … Israel should back all other demands that the Report be scrutinised at the Hague … then lets see who really remembers the Holocaust, the ethnic cleansing and the crimes against humanity that led to the Nazi death camps!
We all know that this is not going to happen and this is why it is important for the UCU to keep up the pressure, keep discussing support for Palestine. Universities are going through a nasty period at the moment but it we cannot speak out on Israel then how can we speak clearly about the injustice of opposing job losses? We should be discussing the progress made on the boycott because it is all part of the same defence of fundamental labour movement values. No one could accept the twisted distortions that were being put out yesterday by the Israelis on the Goldstone Report just as we should not being accepting even a sniff of job losses in the Universities and Colleges. I know we can only fight on so many fronts at any one time but compromising on one invariably leads to compromise on others and so I think we have to push things everywhere we can … No compromise with Zionists or University Department closures.
Yesterday for me was a good opportunity to really remember the Holocaust and all those good people who went to their deaths because they refused to accept the kind of reasoning that is put in circulation now by Israel and its man in No 10 Gordon Brown. Our union looks a little confused right now simply because biggies are coming at us … We are having to say what matters to us … and all these postings are about how we get stuck in. But we should never be fooled in thinking that opposing Zionism and battling for jobs are separate fights. They are both important because they are very much part of the same battle … I was in Egypt over Christmas and the New Year and I saw what happens to unions and jobs the minute a compromise is made with Zionism. It was very nasty.
Keith Hammond tutors in European philosophy and the postcolonialist writings of Edward Said in adult education. He also teaches on Modern Educational Thought as part of the Faculty’s postgraduate programme and supervises Masters students.
This email was sent to the UCU Activists list and is reprinted here, without his permission