Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Can I be a Jew without being tribal?
Introduction by Gilad Atzmon
When I met Paul Eisen back in 2001, he was the most respected Palestinian solidarity activist in Britain. At the time Eisen was the UK director of Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR) – an organization which memorialises the seminal massacre of the Palestinian villagers of Deir Yassin.
Eisen transformed the solidarity discourse. He managed to locate the Palestinian plight in general and DYR, in particular, at the very centre of the public discourse. He also managed to gain the support of the Palestinian and Arab communities - something most other Palestinian solidarity organisations have singularly failed to achieve.
But, in the proximity of Deir Yassin to the Jewish Holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem, DYR and Eisen found meaning. Jewish suffering was now firmly on the agenda and then the inevitable happened. Possessing of a sharp intellect and an incurably inquisitive disposition, Eisen crossed red lines.