Over the past few days, I’ve been watching a Channel 4 – Arte France TV production called The Promise. When my hosts suggested we watch the four feature-length episodes together, I knew that someone else had recommended the drama to me a while ago, but I couldn’t remember who…
The film tells the story of Erin, an English student who accompanies her best friend, Eliza, to Israel where Eliza is about to commence her military service with the IDF. As Erin prepares to leave, her mother tries to prevent her, saying she doesn’t wish her daughter to be caught up in a war zone. At the same time, Erin’s grandfather, Len, is seriously ill in hospital. Whilst helping to sort her grandfather’s belongings, Erin comes across Len’s diary which describes his experiences as a British paratrooper in Palestine after the Second World War.
The film is based on documented historical fact. We are shown scenes from Len’s diary as the action switches from the similarly tense violence of early Jewish occupation to the disgrace of the present day Zionist entity, as seen through the young woman’s eyes: Erin is on a mission to find the family of Mohammed, her grandfather’s Arab servant, and return the key of their house in Haifa before it was stolen from them by invading European Jews.
Erin’s journey of discovery puts her in great danger. She learns that Mohammed’s family first became refugees in the fields they had tended on the hillside above Haifa; the trail then takes her to Hebron and finally to Gaza where she finds Mohammed’s daughter. The film concludes with Erin’s return to England where she is able to assuage her grandfather’s life-long guilt.
In late 2014, following the last Israeli offensive on Gaza known as Protective Edge, an acquaintance from Glossop, Derbyshire (where I have been based for the past five years and where I also lived for a brief period after I graduated from Liverpool University in the late 80s), Kasey Carver and I organised several benefit gigs in aid of Palestinian children. We called our initiative Glossop For Kids In Gaza. Artists, musicians and activists came to Glossop Labour Club to donate time, creativity and knowledge in aid of this crucial cause.
The support we received was sufficient to raise several hundred pounds for MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians) . The gigs were generally well attended although it was clear from the start that we were preaching to the converted.
As well as the Glossop For Kids in Gaza benefit gigs, I was also active in town’s Labour Club as a folk musician. Two Christmases running, I accompanied carols on the piano and, throughout the rest of the year, regularly jammed with other musicians at the various weekly or monthly folk sessions.
Kasey Carver is a Glossop Labour Club committee member. She is fully aware of the two-year long institutional harassment of me by Zionists. Because of my involvement, the social club has been equally targeted on Twitter by my abusers. Carver is also the person who recommended I watch The Promise.
In an email shortly after New Year, Carver claimed that her fellow committee member and my fellow musician, Matt Hill (The Quiet Loner, a former banker turned singer-songwriter whose work consists of Americana-style socialist protest songs) was worried about the impact of anonymous Zionist trolls on the Labour Club’s Twitter timeline.
In short, Carver and Hill were apparently policing my tweets. A week later, I received an email from the Labour Club banning me from the building.
Seeing ‘The Promise’ helped me to put Carver and Hill’s betrayal of me into perspective and finally react to being banned. Both are ‘anti-Zionist Zionists’ and typify everything that is wrong with the British left today. Not only did they betray me; like so many other nominal leftists, Carver and Hill have also betrayed the very values which they claim to stand for.
In 1947, British troops withdrew from Palestine leaving the Arabs – in the words of Len’s diary – in the shit. In 2016, Carver and Hill are repeating the same pattern. Neither needs to work for a living: gum-chewing Carver was pensioned off in her late 40s from her academic post at Bolton University, reportedly after threatening one of her bosses with a sexual harassment case; Hill seemingly made enough from his banking career to be able to record several CDs in an attempt to become the north west’s version of Billy Bragg, albeit with a rather dodgy American accent.
Glossop Labour Club can go fuck itself. Excuse my French, but I am the one being thanked by Deir Yassin Remembered, not them. Carver and Hill might as well get matching Star of David tattoos. Who needs enemies when you have friends like that?