September 27, 2010

Jewish boat to Gaza supported by Miliband's mum

I think there has been a certain amount of relief in leftish, anti-war and Palestine solidarity circles that Ed Miliband beat his brother, David, in the contest for leader of the UK's Labour Party. Brother David was implicated in the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, the torture of rendition victims and he was an ardent supporter of the State of Israel whilst in office and never uttered a critical word after leaving office. I'm not expecting much better of brother Ed really but at least brother David has been punished for his unprincipled opportunism.

Ok, all that is by the by. I have heard many times that the mother of the Miliband brothers and the widow of their father, legendary British marxist, Ralph Miliband, is an activist with Jews for Justice for Palestinians. Her name is Marion Kozak. I don't know if that's her original name or if she remarried.

Anyway, the Jerusalem Post is finding it all rather fascinating in the context of this Jewish boat, Irene, to Gaza and some of the "talkbackers" are in apoplexy over the news.
Jews for Justice for Palestinians, the British organization which organized the boat sailing for Gaza on Sunday, has over 1,600 signatories including Marion Kozak, the mother of recently elected Labor leader Ed Miliband, according to its Web site.

In an interview over the phone from the UK, Naomi Wayne, a co-founder and acting treasurer of the left-wing group, confirmed Kozak's support and laid out her organization's manifesto.

"Our slogan is Rabbi Hillel's quote that which is hated by you do not do to your neighbor," she said. "We want the end of the occupation and for Israel to sit down and speak with all the Palestinians. We believe the occupation itself is a violent act...What we are hoping to do by sending the boat is reach Gaza in a very peaceful and friendly way. We do not believe people should be locked in without being able to leave."

Jews for Justice for Palestinians was founded in 2002, at the height of the Second Intifada. Besides Kozak other well-known signatories include Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, actor and comedian Stephen Fry, and the late playwright Harold Pinter.
One talkback says of Ed's (and David's) mum, "she should never have survived the holocaust".


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