Cross posted by Richard Millett

Antony Lowenstein

Antony Loewenstein is an Australian anti-Israel activist who describes himself as “a non-practising atheist Jew”. He has just co-written a book with Ahmed Moor called After Zionism.

Here’s the blurb for the book:

After Zionism brings together some of the world’s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonisation of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably.This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Diana Buttu, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.

Last night Loewenstein and Moor spoke at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London to promote the book.

Loewenstein told the audience of about 150 that “Zionism cannot be reformed, reframed or changed. Zionism actually is the issue here. Although it is probably very hard to imagine in 2012 the idea of a Middle East country called Israel that’s not a Zionist state, the truth is that it was impossible equally to imagine a South African country that wasn’t wracked with apartheid.”

Both Loewenstein and Moor are big supporters of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Moor was, incidentally, born in Gaza and is now at Havard doing a Master’s in Public Policy.

Loewenstein said that getting bands and musicians not to go to Israel to perform is “a tool, not an endgame”. It was, he said, a way of telling Israel that “if you choose to behave in this way you’ll not be treated as a normal state.”
Moor said he sees BDS as a way of empowering Palestinians in the diaspora.

Loewenstein described the Israel Lobby in the UK as “very powerful” while Moor said he thinks that American Jews are turning away from Israel, preferring what happens in Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm to what is happening in Jerusalem. He said he thinks Israel is not an important part of their lives anymore.

He mentioned one of his Harvard colleagues who returned from a Birthright tour of Israel who wrote a scathing piece about how Birthright was intended to mislead and how it alienated her further from Israel.

It was all the usual standard anti-Israel rhetoric.

But, during the Q&A Jonathan Hoffman asked Loewenstein how many people Loewenstein thinks should die for this one-state solution, that Loewenstein wants so much, to come into existence. The idea being that Israelis are not going to vote themselves out of existence, so presumably such a state could come about only by force involving more bloodshed.

You can hear the audio below. Loewenstein isn’t answering the question so he is pressed further by Hoffman as to how many Loewenstein thinks should die. At 2 mins. 35 you can hear Frank Barat, the Chairman, say “200,000″ (here is more on Barat) but at 2 mins. 45 you can hear Loewenstein say “Six million. That’s my answer. Write that down.”

What sort of individual comes out with such an answer? Mocking the Holocaust seems to be becoming de rigeuer within anti-Israel activism. Here is someone calling herself Jane Green back in October last year.

Maybe “six million” was randomly plucked out of thin air by Loewenstein. That seems doubtful. Hopefully, he will be pressed further on what made him say such a cruel thing when he returns home to Sydney, Australia. The irony is that you can hear Loewenstein demand that Hoffman be more respectful.

Here’s the audio. It includes Ahmed Moor’s answer to Hoffman in which Moor demands Jews gives up their “privileges” in Israel. At least Moor had the courtesy to seem slightly ashamed of Loewenstein’s answer:

Antony Loewenstein audio – “Six million should die”

Here is Jonathan Hoffman’s take on last night: How many have to die to achieve ‘One State’?