The British train drivers union has published an opinion article by one of its members in its monthly journal accusing Israel of being a “settler-colony practicing apartheid and ethnic cleansing” and calling Zionism “racism.”
The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef) released the article in the print edition of its monthly journal. The piece is an excerpt from a speech given last month at the union’s annual general assembly for delegates, reported the Jewish Chronicle.
The article denounces the UK’s trade union movement as “complicit” in its historical “support of Zionism” and accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing.
The speech was delivered by Hussein Ezzedine, the secretary of Aslef's Edinburgh no.1 branch.
He said in his speech, “The narrative must change, and we should avoid the intentionally misleading narrative which is – at best – of an ‘insoluble and complex conflict’” where there are two sides.
“It isn’t. It is, actually, very simple. There is an occupier and an occupied… Let us be clear – Zionism is racism.”
An Aslef spokesperson told the Chronicle that “the article is a personal piece by Hussein Ezzedine on a page called ‘Platform’, where members express a personal opinion.”
They added, “There is another piece on the facing page which calls for a two-state solution.”
The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van Der Zyl, called the article a “one-sided and offensive tirade against Zionism totally ignoring the 4,000 year relationship of Jews to the land of Israel and their right to self-determination following genocide in Europe and persecution in the Middle East.”
She said Aslef’s Jewish members were very concerned to see the union publish the article.
"It is also a disgracefully biased perspective of the Israel-Hamas conflict which fails to mention let alone condemn the terrorist group against whose rockets Israel was defending all its citizens," she said.