“Within the borders controlled today by Israel (that is, all the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River) there already exists a single state. It has one electrical grid, one road system, one monetary authority, one postal authority, one water system, etc.” Dan McGowan
Following is Dan McGowan’s report of my first two public engagements in the USA (Rochester and Geneva). In these two meetings I shared platform with Rich Siegel, an incredible musician, a genuine humanist and a friend. In recent years Rich made an unusual journey. He drifted away from Zionism. He is now engaged in the deepest level of Palestinian solidarity activism. His voice is invaluable.
Following the impact of our recent collaboration, Rich and myself plan to tour around the world together and spread the necessary message.
A lot of videos and interviews will be posted on this page in the coming days. For the time being I will just mention that the change of mood in the USA is very encouraging . I am optimistic!!!
Atzmon and Siegel in Rochester and Geneva by Dan McGowan
The dialogue and jazz performances by Gilad Atzmon and Rich Siegel in Rochester and in Geneva were a great success in spite of Zionist attempts to silence them and our organization, Deir Yassin Remembered. Both events drew “a full house” with audiences saying how much they enjoyed meeting Rich and Gilad. Typical was one gentleman who wrote,” To hear your individual stories and your political analyses, combined with world-class music, doesn't get much better.”
The Rochester event was to have been held at the First Unitarian Church, but a simple protest from the local rabbi caused the church to roll over and cancel the event, with no compensation, a mere five days before its scheduled time on June 29th. Fortunately, Rochester Against War, offered us even better space at “The Flying Squirrel Community Center,” complete with audio hook ups. We are indebted to Brian Lenzo and Doug Noble for their support.
The Geneva event was a $100-head fundraiser at Billsboro Winery overlooking beautiful Seneca Lake. In spite of pressure on the winery to not host us and on local people to shun the event, we filled the space and raised $4,800. This is (almost) enough for two additional DYR Scholarships for young people wishing to study in Palestine. (One man drove over 300 miles from Boston just to hear Gilad.)
Both Gilad and Rich addressed the audience on their personal experiences of overcoming political Zionism. Gilad’s grandfather was a commander in the Irgun, the Jewish terrorist gang that committed the massacre at Deir Yassin. Rich was the president of a Zionist youth group as a teenager.
Both Gilad and Rich share my belief that within the borders controlled today by Israel (that is, all the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River) there already exists a single state. It has one electrical grid, one road system, one monetary authority, one postal authority, one water system, etc. etc. The problem is that over half the population within this existing state or those people that are non-Jews, have lesser rights or none at all.
Zionists refuse to recognize this simple fact, because they continue to dream of a state where Jews are in a majority and have superior rights to non-Jews. That dream is based, to a large extent, on “chosen-ness” or superiority to non-Jews or goyim, a more derisive term. And that obsession has led to the apartheid state that Israel/Palestine now is and to the racist transfers and ethnic cleansing plans that it currently employs.
Deir Yassin Remembered was proud to have hosted Rich Siegel and Gilad Atzmon. Hopefully we shall see them return next year, perhaps as the NTFADA Ensemble (see the pic above... check out the number plate)