The Guardian’s Seumas Milne cynically exploits a Holocaust survivor

Seumas Milne’s Yom HaShoah Tweet was a few days late, but it seems that his delay in honoring the millions of Jewish victims was merely the result of the Guardian assistant editor’s patience – waiting for just the right opportunity to  cynically exploit the words of a Holocaust survivor to advance his own political ends.

Yesterday, Milne Tweeted the following:

The link takes you to the blog of Richard Silverstein – who recently was exposed shamefully using rhetoric to impute Israel-Nazi analogies – where he cites a survivor named Havka Folman-Raban, who said the following in a ceremony attended by Israeli youth at the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum in northern Israel:

Continue the rebellion.  A different rebellion of the here and now against evil, even the evil befalling our own and only beloved country.  Rebel against racism and violence and hatred of those who are different.  Against inequality, economic gaps, poverty, greed and corruption.

Strengthen humanistic education and values of ethics and justice.  These too are [a form of] rebellion against alcoholism among our youth and the terrible phenomenon of attacks against the elderly.

Rebel against the Occupation. No–it is forbidden for us to rule over another people, to oppress another [people]The most important thing is to achieve peace and an end to the cycle of blood[letting].  My generation dreamed of peace.  I so want to achieve it.  You have the power to help.  All my hopes are with you.  If only [you could].

Folman-Raban was expressing her hope, in the context of a longer humanistic message about the need to overcome social and economic problems in the Jewish state (her “beloved country”),  that the occupation should end (as with the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict more broadly) in a decidedly peaceful manner.

Contrary to Folman’s-Raban’s message of non-violence, the “rebellion” Milne himself has ‘dared’ to imagine is not of the non-violent Gandhi variety but, rather, the bloody ‘resistance’ of Arafat.

On Nov. 20, Milne, in a column at ‘Comment is Free’, explicitly justified the murder of Israelis by Palestinian terrorists, while simultaneously arguing that, “as an occupying power” in Gaza, Israel DOES NOT have the right to defend itself.  Here are the relevant passages:

“So Gazans are an occupied people and have the right to resist, including by armed force (though not to target civilians), while Israel is an occupying power that has an obligation to withdraw – not a right to defend territories it controls or is colonising by dint of military power.

Even if Israel had genuinely ended its occupation in 2005, Gaza’s people are Palestinians, and their territory part of the 22% of historic Palestine earmarked for a Palestinian state that depends on Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem. Across their land, Palestinians have the right to defend and arm themselves, whether they choose to exercise it or not.”

A few days later, he spoke at a London rally, sponsored by ‘Stop The War Coalition, again inciting violence against Israelis.


Anyone familiar with the political stylings of Milne – who worked for the communist rag ‘Straight Left’ earlier in his career – would not be surprised that he’d shill for Hamas.  However, the mere predictability of his most recent apologia for Islamist resistance and abuse of Holocaust memory doesn’t render it any less odious.  

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