Sadly, neither the story itself, nor the primitive thinking behind the cancellations, is unusual. But the title of the article below by Robyn Rosen is rather new: “Zionists stop medical talk after campaign.” Why? Because it’s the headline in the UK-based Jewish Chronicle. Typically, the language of othering someone as Zionist, certainly in the context of criticism, is deployed by critics of Zionism. “Real” Jews are naturally Zionist (whatever that means) –so goes institutional Jewish thinking — so it need not be made explicit. It would be redundant.
This headline and the piece below seem to make room for the possibility that Zionists and Jews and even Israelis are not one and the same. Some say that the word Zionism is a dead brand. With behavior like this representing groups with the word Zionist in their name, it’s certainly understandable why. October 29, 2009:
Two lectures by Israeli-based charity Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) were cancelled after a Zionist organisation told hospitals holding the talks that they were “anti-Israel”.
A consultant at Fairfield Hospital in Bury, where the lecture went ahead, said: “The whole idea that PHR-I is antisemitic or even anti-Israel is ludicrous given that the organisation is overwhelmingly comprised of Jewish Israelis, of whom Miri is one.”
Miri Weingarten from PHR-I was due to give a lecture, entitled The Right to Health in a Conflict Zone, to three hospitals in Manchester, Liverpool and Bury last week.
But just hours before the lecture, the Manchester Royal Infirmary and Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool cancelled the event.
Karen Solomon, director of the Zionist Central Council in Manchester, sent more than 200 emails to members urging them to contact the hospitals. Continue reading