Paul Eisen

Paul Eisen

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

The Most Satanic...Ms Deborah Fink

The Most Satanic…Ms Deborah Fink
 November 2006

On the 16th November the following article appeared in the London Jewish Chronicle:

Jewish pro-Palestinian in hot water for ‘Satanic’ Israel jibe
By Simon Rocker

The head of Jews for Justice for Palestinians has dissociated the group from claims by one of its activists that Israel is a  “Satanic state.” Deborah Fink posted the comment on an anti-Zionist weblog, writing: “Israel does not deserve to be called ‘The Jewish state.’ It should be called ‘The Satanic state.’ I really don¹t see the point [of] doing anything else other than boycott it in every possible way.”

But Dan Judelson, elected last month as JfJfP chair, told the JC that Ms Fink’s remarks were ‘incompatible’ with her responsibilities within the group  (which include the role of recruitment officer.) The matter would be discussed at its monthly meeting on Sunday.

"Deborah Fink is not a member of the newly elected executive committee of JfJfP,” he stated. “As such, she speaks only for herself.”  He said she had confirmed that she had posted the remarks online.

JfJfP organises and supports protests against Israeli policy towards the Palestinians and was behind an advertisement in The Times signed by more than 300 British Jews denouncing Israeli actions in Gaza.

I know Debbie Fink. She’s a lively, attractive and pleasant person –and a tireless activist for Palestinian rights. She's an accomplished soprano soloist, a professional with a successful career. She has a distinguished record both creatively and as an activist. In 2003 Deborah sang at the London Deir Yassin commemoration and in 2005 she pretty much single-handedly put on and performed at the fabulously successful event, “The Skies Are Weeping” in memory of Rachel Corrie. She has the potential to become a bridge between an increasingly embattled and ghettoized Jewish solidarity movement, and the rest of humanity.

But Deborah has fallen victim to a sickness which seems particularly prevalent amongst many Jews and Zionists – the tendency to dump the person immediately to your ‘left’. (Note: the word ‘left’ in this context is a total misnomer – but you know what I mean)  

It is this tendency (in this case, on the part of the Jewish Socialist Group and Jews against Zionism)  which has turned the UK-based Jewish solidarity group Just Peace-UK, from being a collection of perfectly decent, likeable and well-meaning Jewish activists into the cold, intolerant and hysterical entity it has become.

We see it all the time. The Board of Deputies and the ADL dump Engage, Engage Dumps Jews for Justice for Palestinians and Not in My Name, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and Not in My Name dumps Jews Against Zionism and the Jewish Socialist Group and, I’m proud to say, they all dump me.

But I, along with Israel Shamir, Gilad Atzmon, Jeff Blankfort, Henry Herskovitz , pretty much the entire Jewish membership of Deir Yassin Remembered, and, I’m sure very many other similar Jews and ex-Jews, dump no-one.

Paul Eisen
November 2006