Thursday 28 December 2023

Zionists or Bundists


"What fuels antisemitism is murdering children by the thousands under the banner of the Star of David while insisting that your actions are inseparable from all Jews and the totally of Judaism.” Caitlin Johnstone

Zionists claim that Israel represents world Jewry. That is a lie. It is a political ideology that has represented Western imperialist interests from the start. The founder of Zionism at the end of the 19th century, Theodor Herzl, wrote to Cecil Rhodes, founder of the white settler colony named after him and said, “You are being invited to help make history. It does not involve Africa but a piece of Asia Minor, not Englishmen but Jews … I turn to you … because it is something colonial ..” Chaim Weizmann, who succeeded Herzl added that “Should Palestine fall within the British sphere of influence and should they encourage Jewish settlement … we could develop the country, bring back civilisation and form a very effective guard for the Suez Canal.”

There has always been Jewish opposition to Zionism amongst both religious and secular Jews. The main theological opposition to Zionism stems from the Hasidic community and the smaller Haredi organisation. Secular opposition was first organised as part of the Jewish Bund in Russia and Poland. Today their descendants are at the forefront of Jewish resistance to Zionism and its genocidal policy of ethnically cleansing occupied Palestine of Palestinians. In The USA Jewish Voice for Peace have been at the forefront of actions in support of Gaza and the Palestinians, closing bridges, occupying Congress. snd filling the NYC streets. In the UK Jewish Voice for Labour and Jews for Justice for Palestinians have been joined on demonstrations by the recently formed Black Jewish Alliance.

You can find out more about Zionism v The Bund here.

Tuesday 12 December 2023

The Gaza Music School


I received this email from Sima Khoury Odeh on behalf of the Gaza Music School ( after I wrote to them about the murdered violinist, Lubna Alyan.

Dear Mr. Wilson,
On behalf of our colleagues in Gaza, I am replying to your email because they can not reply to you. Thank you for your email and for your feelings. It seems that the word "human" can be used for some people but must not be used for many who take part, approve and support the genocide on Gaza killing innocent people including babies, children and people like Lubna and Dr. Alareer who simply tried to help their community and live a "normal" life.
Our branch in Gaza - the Gaza Music School, was established in 2008 and since then it has been affecting the lives of thousands of Gazans under siege specially children and youth through music education, community outreach programs, festivals, concerts seasons and music activities. Since October 2023, we have been in contact with our teachers, students and their families as well as all musicians in Gaza. A lot of them have lost family members, friends, neighbours, homes and a lot of things they loved and cherished. Most of them are displaced now, lacking basic needs.
While we appreciate the power of the people who have been requesting the governments to pressure Israel for ceasefire with no success until now, we hope support from friends like you to influence your community showcasing the massacres and the genocide through human stories would have a stronger effect on the peoples and their governments. Check out what a previous colleague wrote about Lubna and her story with music.

The conservatory also launched a campaign in support of the music community in Gaza hoping to collect funds to support them as the needs in Gaza are immense and the support Gazans get is scarce and not enough to meet the needs. Hence, the music community needs direct support.
As the level of destruction and killing is unprecedented, people are displaced with hundreds of thousands living in tents, UNRWA schools or probably in the streets in Rafah (South), the genocide is still not stopping. It has not been easy to plan any activities while we are sure that music would definitely help traumatised children and families. If and when the situation allows, some musicians might conduct interactive music activities for children in schools and shelters. Some areas are very dangerous. Other areas allow a person to move in the vicinity of two kilometers which is not safe either.
We pray the genocide and bombardment on Gaza stops immediately. The needs will be immense but the most important is to stop the genocide and then we all need to work together with our friends and partners to try to bring back music to Gaza or what is left of it.
Together we can make a difference in the lives of young Palestinians through music specially in Gaza which needs us now more than ever.
Gaza in our minds,
Sima Khoury Odeh
If you are a musician, music teacher or just want to help the Gaza Music School in the future, please contact me at
David Wilson, former director Pavarotti Music Centre, Mostar

Friday 8 December 2023

Killing musicians and poets



To the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music – Gaza branch

Dear Edward Said National Conservatory of Music

So many thousands are being murdered in Gaza and in occupied Palestine. I have read that on the 21st November 2023, a  14 year old student of yours, violinist, Lubna Alyaan, was killed along with 45 members of her family. 


She joins Refaat Alareer, a writer, poet, and professor, also killed with all his family.He taught literature and creative writing at the Islamic University of Gaza and cofounded the organisation ‘We Are Not Numbers’, which connected experienced authors with young writers.

“My heart is broken, my friend and colleague Refaat Alareer was killed with his family,” Gazan poet Mosab Abu Toha wrote on Facebook. “I don’t want to believe this. We both loved to pick strawberries together.”

Alareer had said  that he refused to leave northern Gaza as it was his home. Now, along with Lubna and so many others, it is his grave.

All victims of this genocide are in my thoughts, but as a writer with experience of what it means to try and continue with culture in the middle of barbarism , your student and Refaat Alareer are central to my sorrow and anger .

David Wilson, former director, Pavarotti Music Centre, Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Refaat Alareer's last poem published only days before he was killed