A letter from Paul Grenville

Dear Nahida

I just read your piece, "You want a solution" so I have got one Palestinian perspective. I am English, born in 1956. I have never been to Palestine. But I know enough history to know that it was my nation who marched into Palestine in 1917 and gave a huge boost to the Zionist colonization which eventually made you homeless and stateless. This is my piece, below. It is on the site. I agree with your piece. It is better than mine. Ethically speaking, the Israeli state is a simple case of theft, murder and genocide. But it has only been partially "successful", unlike the American state, also founded as a result of the theft of land and the genocide of many indigenous peoples. So there is hope.

Just some questions. How can the "Zionist occupiers" give back the land and rebuild all the 500 destroyed villages and still live there? They will never never do this. I do not think the Zionists want a solution, as in peace. I think they can live with war, with torture, with genocide, and with the wall. I think they have to leave. They will only leave when things become too uncomfortable for them politically. This can only happen when the America stops financing its little colony. The defeat of Zionism will lead to an exodus of Zionists from the country. Jews who remain will not be Zionists. Palestinians will start to come home. There will be justice.

Then another question: who are the occupiers? 90% of the Jews who went to Palestine before 1948 were Europeans. They form most of the Zionist establishment today. After 1948 they recruited all the Arab Jews, Ethiopian Jews, Russian Jews, and so on. These are all profiting from the theft of Palestinian land and resources but mostly they are not the ruling class, the political Zionist elite. Today Jews can live anywhere in the world, free of persecution. There was never any need for a Jewish state: even today only 40% of the world’s Jews live there. The Nazi genocide of the Jews was a moment of history, a consequence of fascism. Did the European gypsys, also murdered by the Nazis in their concentration camps, get a state of their own?

I have just finished reading Hakim Kaneenah’s book "A doctor in the Galilee: the life and struggle of a Palestinian in Israel". I highly recommend it. He shows just what is possible for the Palestinians living right in the heart of the occupation state, in the Galilee. He also shows all the methods by which the Israeli state keeps the Palestinians in subjection, and how much collaboration is going on.

I shall keep my promise never to visit Israel. Being a tourist in a country signifies that you agree with what goes on there, and especially in the case of Israel, with its sickening worldwide media campaign, and a worldwide movement on its side,

with best wishes,  Paul Grenville                            



I shall visit Israel


I shall visit Israel when the olive trees are in bloom


I shall visit Israel when Arabs can marry Jews


I shall visit Israel when the fabrication of history has stopped


I shall visit Israel when Torah Jews are no longer beaten up in the streets of Jerusalem for reminding their fellows of the commands of Moses –


Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not bear false witness


I shall visit Israel when the speaking of Arabic in certain neighbourhoods no longer causes heads to turn


I shall visit Israel when the learning of Arabic is mandatory in school


I shall visit Israel when Arab and Jewish children all go to the same schools


But will it still be Israel?


I shall visit Israel when the 7 million refugees’ descendants have a country they can call their own


I shall visit Israel when the invaders have left or those who remain have made peace with the invaded (not the other way about)


I shall visit Israel when West Bank settlers have gone and no longer shoot to kill the natives as a patriotic duty


I shall visit Israel when the shooting of children has stopped


I shall visit Israel when the spirit of Fanon has moved the peoples to withdraw this dagger from the Arab breast


I shall visit Israel when the people of the Pale have fled to Europe as their colony collapses


I shall visit Israel when the hands of Generals and Rabbis are no longer choking the throat of Palestine


I shall visit Israel when the Wall has been torn down and all the other walls have gone


I shall visit Israel when the house demolitions have ceased


I shall visit Israel when to be born Palestinian is not a reason to be humiliated and spurned, hunted and spied upon


But will it still be Israel?


I shall visit Israel when Jews have stopped arriving from far away and calling it their land


I shall visit Israel when the expulsions of Palestinians have stopped


I shall visit Israel when Gaza is no longer the cruel laboratory experiment in slow genocide that it is today


I shall visit Israel when her planes have stopped bombing and strafing towns in Gaza and terrifying the people at night with sonic booms


I shall visit Israel when the Lebanon and Gaza have ceased to be testing grounds for bodies blackened and deformed beyond recognition by new weapons


I shall visit Israel when Israel has ceased to invade her neighbours on the slightest of pretexts and cause devastation


I shall visit Israel when 11,870 Palestinian prisoners and 51 Palestinian MPs have been released from jail and pardoned for acts or words of resistance


Against a state that for 60 years has been taking their country by force of arms, terror and the law of the powerful


I shall visit Israel when the routine practice of torture has stopped


But will it still be Israel?


I shall visit Israel when Lieberman has left the country


I shall visit Israel when the illegal villages have been made legal


I shall visit Israel when the Bedouin of the Negev are free to live as they wish


I shall visit Israel when Arab towns and villages have been granted the same status and funding as Jewish ones


I shall visit Israel when the land has been shared by all Semites


I shall visit Israel when the rich white Jews no longer freely water the lawns of their villas in Tel-Aviv,


Those on the West Bank have to buy their drinking water and the people of Gaza have nothing safe to drink at all


But will it still be Israel?


I shall visit Israel when the people of Gaza reach a great white city North of Jaffa, raise the flag and live there


I shall visit Israel when Al-Quds has become the capital


I shall visit Israel when the Jewish state has become an unhappy memory


I shall visit Israel when Nazi war crimes against the Jews are no longer the excuse for every imaginable cruelty in a land to which they came as uninvited guests and remained as conquerors…


I shall visit Israel when the name of Israel no longer causes fear and hatred of the Jews


Because Israel has vanished from the page of time


When these conditions prevail


I shall be happy to visit Palestine when the olive trees are in bloom

Paul Grenville  July 2008


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