Fury over Palestinian activists Israel Nazi jibe

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 18, 2010

Two Jews who are senior members of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign in Manchester have been criticised for making "monstrous" parallels between Israeli treatment of Palestinians and Nazi atrocities.

Last week, Manchester PSC chair Linda Clair, who is Jewish, wrote to the left-leaning Morning Star newspaper claiming Israel would eventually conduct a holocaust. She wrote: "The Israelis have massacred many thousands of Palestinians since 1947 and continue to do so.

"If knowingly bombing populated areas with white phosphorus does not stem from the same mentality as the gas chambers did, I would like to know the difference. Methods of mass killing have moved on since 1945. The effect is the same."

The previous week, her husband and fellow PSC activist George Abendstern, a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, wrote that Israeli Jews had "no regard for the indigenous people of Palestine and may yet turn to the 'final solution'." The letters were a response to an opinion article published in the newspaper by former Irgun member turned leftist peace activist, Uri Avnery.

Jewish community activist Peter Kurer, who escaped from Nazi Germany with the help of Quakers in the UK, has been campaigning to stop Ms Clair holding PSC meetings at central Manchester's Quaker Meeting House because of what he called her "extremist" views. "The comparison is monstrous. Whatever you say there is no comparison to Jews herded into gas chambers."

When asked to discuss her letter Ms Clair said she would not comment.

Manchester Quakers have rapped Ms Clair over her use of the Meeting House after she attempted to oust pro-Israeli Jews from attending a PSC speaker event she organised there in August.

Senior Manchester Quaker Margaret Gregory said the PSC was able to continue hiring its facility but said it had broken their policy of openness.

Last updated: 3:41pm, November 18 2010