Train drivers’ union publishes article calling Zionism ‘racism’

An article in Aslef's monthly journal describes Israel as a settler-colony practising apartheid and ethnic cleansing


Britain’s trade union for train drivers has published an opinion piece by one of its members stating that Zionism, the Jewish movement for self-determination, “is racism”.  

The article, which is printed in the most recent edition of Aslef's monthly journal, is an extract from a speech delivered last month at the union’s annual assembly of delegates.

The piece condemns Britain’s trade union movement as historically “complicit” in its “support of Zionism” and describes Israel as a settler-colony practising apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

Hussein Ezzedine, the secretary of Aslef's Edinburgh no.1 branch, who delivered the speech, said: “The narrative must change, and we should avoid the intentionally misleading narrative which is – at best – of an ‘insoluble and complex conflict’, with both sides responsible. 

“It isn’t. It is, actually, very simple. There is an occupier and an occupied…

“Let us be clear – Zionism is racism.”

Commenting on the article, Board of Deputies President, Marie van der Zyl, said: “Aslef's Jewish members will be very concerned to see the union publishing such a one-sided and offensive tirade against Zionism, totally ignoring the 4,000 year relationship of Jews to the land of Israel and their right to self-determination following genocide in Europe and persecution in the Middle East.

"It is also a disgracefully biased perspective of the Israel-Hamas conflict which fails to mention let alone condemn the terrorist group against whose rockets Israel was defending all its citizens.”

A Jewish member of Aslef, who did not want to be named, said he found the material “sickening”, adding: “I’ve never denied to anyone at work that I’m Jewish if the subject has come up, but I don’t shout it from the rooftops either; I don’t like that I now have to consider how I would respond if this caused the topic to come up in our mess room.”

A separate opinion article in the Aslef journal addresses “the sad fact” that there “is (a) loss of lives on both sides”. 

The article considers a two and one-state solution as potential paths forward for the region, concluding “a referendum would have to be called to let the people decide their future”.

A spokesperson for Aslef told the JC: “The article is a personal piece by Hussein Ezzedine on a page called ‘Platform’, where members express a personal opinion. 

“There is another piece on the facing page which calls for a two-state solution.”

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