Archive of ‘Uncategorised’ category

I believe …

I want to live in a Country:

  1. With no private (aka public) or faith schools. All post-16 education delivered separately from ages 5-16. Free post-18 educatoin / training for all those who want it
  2. All psychiatric wards to be mixed-sex
  3. Membership of a larger currency union and defence force
  4. A citizen’s income
  5. Free of nuclear weapons; No standing armed forces
  6. Ownership of 2nd properties made financially punitively expensive
  7. A President elected by the people for a single period of 5 years




New Beginnings

I see it is fully 9 months since my last post – made when i was in a fully blown Manic state of mind. Time is a great healer and i think i have come out the other side of the intervening depressive months a stronger person.

I am currently a voluntary patient in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital having been admitted on Monday February 27th, 2017 – with the specific plan of undergoing a series of ECT treatment; treatment that my extensive historical health records dating back some 38 years has been shown works for me.

I have never quite believed in ECT but given how long i had been rumbling along the bottom I was persuaded to give it a try. By the time of my admission last week’s Friday ECT list was already full so my first session went ahead as scheduled on March 6th – monday.

I will never forget the feeling as the general anaesthetic permeated up my left arm. But then a surprise – when I came around I was informed that although they had tried four times they had been unable to induce a seizure. The logic being that the PreGabalin medication i have been taking for my anxiety is also used as an anti-epiletiic.

Tuesday started with a full and frank conversation with my psychiatrist, and then a whole series of little incidents. To cut a long day short by the end of the day i had flipped, i no longer felt depressed. I started using Facebook again (ever since its arrival on the scene i have been an enthusiast – indeed I would descrbe it as my main support network)

By Thursday Friday’s ECT session had been cancelled and I was granted 2 hours passes off the ward. In true “patients taking over the asylum” style I have been  trying to fix long standing problems on the ward. To date we have

  • bought a chess set (£6 oin Amazon)
  • bought a new scart cable so the DVD player works (£1)

My first chess partner has now been discharged but others play too (it being a male only ward)

I could do with a bike to get around the city but all in good time. I will be seeing my psychiatrist again on Monday and fully expect to be discharged within a week. My father Michael flies to Shanghai for a week from March 23rd so it will be good to have some time with him at home before he leaves.

My mother Lily is now the proud owner of an expensive new delux wheelchair which will revolutionise her comfort.

I have chosen to leave all my blog entries and facebook posts from my past – i need to accept my past if i am to move forward and rediscover an optimistic view of my future. As my father says:

It is better to be an optimist proved wrong and a pessimist proved right


Thank you.

Thank you to all the psychiatrists who for the last two hundred years have devoted their professional lives to helping look after people with mental health issues. People like me, who from time to time hit the rocks in their journey through life.

But now your very existence as a profession – i would suggest – is up for scrutiny.

Your BOOK – the DSM, on which you base your diagnoses, is yours. You write it, you debate it, you revise it.

Without any psychiatrists, there would be no DSM, and i suggest no Mental Illness.

Of course, with complicated lifestyles and many relationships to navigate, we, the people will continue to have mental health issues – just like we have physical health issues. But the days of prescribing mediation to deal with these mental health issues, is, i suggest coming to an end.

I am currently detained under a short-term detention – one that can last for up to 28 days. And the psychiatrist is applying to a tribunal for a Compulsory Treatment Order to enable him to continue to treat me – with a daily dose of a white pill.

I know the pills do not work.

How can i be so sure?

Because I have discovered,that the Nation State is not logically consistent. If it was, why would an individual, who has done nothing wrong, committed no crime, be locked up when in perfect health, just for asking to see a psychiatrist.

That my views are deemed delusional by not one, but now six psychiatrists, simply confirms my knowledge.

  • I am outside the very system that i belong to. #contradiction

Mankind and the global society has has built over thousands of years is one of conflict. Everywhere we look there is conflict.

  • between nations
  • between individuals
  • between groups
  • between religions

We can, and hopefully will – transition quickly into a new world order.

  • Of Peace
  • Without psychiatrists – without mental illness
  • With soldiers becoming helpers
  • Where religion sits happily alongside a faith in your fellow man
  • Of equality – real, not perceived

As John Lennon wrote in the words of his famous song – Imagine
Lennon - Imagine

How do we get there – to be honest i do not know, but to not try would be inexcusable.

Cloning Pa

A few months ago, whilst visiting Cece & Giles Hemmings I was very impressed with the bust of Giles that Cece had created; like size and very life like.

We got talking and i had the idea that perhaps i could commission Cece to do a similar bust of my father. But during the conversation the idea of 3D scanning and printing cropped up.

A while later the concept matured; I would get the existing bust of my father – which is on show at the Newton Institute in Cambridge 3D scanned, and then a copy made. At the time although i knew little about the process i was thinking of a 3D print.

The Director of the Institute was happy with the original being scanned – having checked with the original scupltor – as he would hold copywrite of the piece of art.

A quick web search identified someone local to Cambridge who could do the 3D scan – it proved to be quite a quick but impressive process to observe.

As the project evolved the final destination of the cloned bust went on its own journey.

  1. Clone to be loaned to the Royal Society of Edinburgh – of which Michael was President
  2. To be given to the Norwegian Royal Family with the intention that it would be passed on to the Abel Prize organisers  for display.
  3. And finally, to be given to the Royal Society


{post to be expanded once access to laptop is back to normal}

From Conflict to Peace

This blog post is nothing more than an honest update on where i am in life, both physically, and mentally. It cannot be too long because the battery on my laptop will die – and i cannot get it recharged here in the Murray Royal Hospital – once dead, i have to wait until my good friend Trish comes in, takes it home, and recharges it for me,

So yes, i am in a psychiatric hospital – i was sectioned first in london in the early hours of May 10 – after i walked into an A & E dept and simply asked to speak to a psychiatrist (psych) at about 9pm the day before.

Having been sectioned, i was then driven in an ambulance to Edinburgh, where i was admitted into the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for ~60 hours, before being driven to Perth – where i am in the Moredun Ward.

My health is fine – though going downhill – because i cannot get any exercise, nor fresh air in my bedroom. And i guess also because absolutely everything is done for you. No meals to cook, no washing up to. No cleaning to do, …

the NHS in Scotland is doing an excellent job looking after me – i have no complaints against any individual – my battle is with THE SYSTEM.

By SYSTEM – i mean the whole establishment of the NATION STATE – in my case both the UK and SCOTLAND, since devolution muddies the water.

Our modern NATION STATES are logically inconsistent. That someone who asks to see a psych in person, then gets locked up for probably at least 28 days proves the point.

We, the PEOPLES of the world needed psychs for 200 years. And i have nothing but praise for those who have chosen that as their vocation. But, NOW, their usefullness is coming to a close. It is like the emperor with no clothes.

I get it – and am now living in the new world of the future – the one John Lennon wrote about in his song IMAGINE. A beautiful world of PEACE, with no MILITARY, no MENTAl ILLNESS, no COUNTRIES, etc. Dig out a Youtube version and listed to it in peace and quiet.

My me – well that is not the question that needs to be answered now.

So where does the power lie if we are to dismantle the NATION STATE – with all 7+ PEOPLE of the WORLD, living in a real / digital GLOBAL VILLAGE.

For my own thinking i am using the word TRIBE

We are belong to various TRIBES – one of which will probably be your current NATION STATE. But here is the key – you get to allocate your global vote to which every TRIBE you belong to – call it your VOTE TRIBE.

The rest is technology – if we make it our top priority – alongside global problems like hunger, climate change, etc. there is no reason within a relatively (in terms of man’s presence on earth) period of time, have a real world democracy.

Yes there will be problems to sort out – but those in the future will not be decided in courts – but through mediation.  Courts are old school, conflict.

Thousands of people have tried to crack – THE PROBLEM of mankind to date. I believe there are reasons why it fell to an unemployed maths teacher to crack it – but now is not the time to be distracted.

The most important first step is for the countries of the world, through the existing UN, to call for and sign up to a GLOBAL CEASE-FIRE – covering all conflicts between NATION STATES.

Once in place – surely there are 1000s of PEOPLE more qualified than myself to build the NEW WORLD.

Obviously i am happy to help – to serve, as required.

We can and will do this – the only question is how long it is going to take – given that it entails all those currently with POWER giving it back to the PEOPLE.

In PEACE and <3



three beautiful minds

This post is about 3 people:

  1. Michael Francis Atiyah (1929- )
  2. Marin Ros Tumadottir (1982-2016)
  3. David Michael Atiyah (1958- )

Marin was found dead, in her flat, on March 28th, 2016 – having spent essentially the last 11 weeks in first Reykjavik’s psychiatric hospital, and then a rehab centre.

I last saw Marin on Sunday, January 10th – I flew over 3 days before at very short notice when she started talking about going into hospital on a voluntary basis. By talking I mean through social media – our relationship was a virtual one. I have 4,500 text messages we exchanged since I came out the Royal Edinburgh Hospital myself in June 2015.

It is my view that “the system” that she trusted to help her, failed her – indeed you could even go as far as to say it killed her.

Since her death i have been hit by 4 exocets (no offence to the French intended)

  1. on March 29th, whilst in Eugene, Orgeon, USA visiting an old friend, i received an email from Marin’s mother Allyson informing Marin had died
  2. within a couple of days Marin’s parents let it be known that i would not be welcome at the celebration of Marin’s life to be held in Reykjavik on April 8th
  3. on April 21st i received a lengthy email from Allyson in which i learnt for the first time that Marin was a drug addict and that the money i had been giving her, far from helping her and her two boys, had contributed to her death which is expected to be confirmed as an accidental drugs overdose
  4. on May 2nd i received a 3 line email indicating that, due to visa problems, my job offer to teach maths at UWCCC from Aug 1, 2016 had been withdrawn.

I should stress I have nothing but praise for all the lifelong efforts Allyson and her husband, Marin’s father, Tumi made to help Marin. Everyone did their upmost to help her – if collectively we made one mistake, it was that we did not come together to form one support team.

CheekyLippy was an idea that I, together with Adelin Cai, came up with for Marin’s friends around the world to join in with the celebration on April 8th.

Friends were asked to draw red lipstick hearts on their cheeks, take a photo, upload it to the net – from where Adelin and I would pull it down. The intention is for all the photos to be printed into two hardback books – one for each of Marin’s two young sons.

Whilst not yet complete, the photos can be viewed here.

I visited Reykjavik from April 24th – 26th, mainly to meet with Marin’s younger sister, Anna Kristin, who I overlapped with at RCNUWC 2001-02. It was a stressful, emotional and nearly fatal 48 hours.

{i drove on the wrong side of the road, only overting a fatal crash at literally the last second when i saw the smoke emerging from the trucks brakes}

Ever since her death I have been exploring in my head how best I might mark Marin’s passing. This blog post is the conclusion of that intense five weeks of thinking.

Global society is constructed around Nation States.

Each state maintains itself through a number of different components of “the system”

  • government
  • health
  • legal
  • military
  • education

As explained by Alan Carter in his book: A Radical Green Political Theory, any attack on one part of “the system” is perceived as an attack on the State, and all the other components come to its aid. The survival of the State being paramount. More important than truth.

The system is logically flawed. Mathematics exists as the language of science, and mathematicians spend their lives proving theorems. Once proved, and the proof is accepted as true by others, the theorems is deemed true. For ever. By everyone.

For example, this year’s Abel Prize is being awarded in a couple of weeks to Andrew Wiles for his proof of Fermat’s last theorem.

Here is a simple proof that Global Society’s System of Nation States is logically flawed, and accordingly wholesale reform is required.

  1. The National Health Service of the UK follows the medical model of mental illness.
  2. Everyone in the UK has mental health – and psychiatrists fit everyone into their model, using the DSM – the American classification of mental disorders.
  3. I do not fit their model.
  4. Therefore the model is flawed.

My NHS records, extensive large folders covering notes from numerous admissions to different hospitals, record that I have a bipolar diagnosis.

That means nothing more than I have exhibited the symptoms listed on a particular page of the DSM.

Throw the DSM away. Turn the psychiatrists into life coaches. Each of us is an individual, with their own journey through life. It is normal to experience highs and lows – but love from family and friends is the answer, not pills and ECT treatment.

I suggest that in many occasions it is the very relationships within families that are the root of stress; why not setup an App – called Parent Swap. Just like you might look for a Council house to swap. My father is the only person, out of 7 billion alive today, with whom i can not have a simple discussion. Any difference of opinnion explodes into a volcanic eruption within about 3.5 seconds.

John Geddes, of Oxford University, admitted in a talk to scottish psychiatrists (CPD), that, and I quote, having been in the audience:

All mental health diagnoses are works of fiction

I prefer not to be defined by a work of fiction. Humans are complex biological objects.

Welcome to a brave new world. I will continue to think – and stand willing to help society reform itself from within. I suggest this is the beginning of the end of the Nation State. It should be a global society centred around the individual.

  • All men and women are equal.
  • We all belong to numerous Tribes
    {a tribe being defined as a group of people who trust each other, purely through ownership of the tribe}
  • Each Tribe is entitled to create its own structure, rules of membership, etc.
  • Simply define one of your Tribes as you main tribe, introduce online voting, and you have a global society, one person one vote. One legal system. No more war. No more killing innocent women and children.

Kurt Hahn left four legacy organisations

  1. Outward Bound
  2. The Award Scheme
  3. Round Square Schools
  4. United World Colleges

Through the years, I have worked with all four. I attempted to persuade the Royal Society of Edinburgh to hold a one day conference here in Edinburgh during the first wek of July 2016, with Prince Philip being the keynote speaker.

In their infinite wisdom the idea fell on the fallow ground leaving me to answer the question I suggested the conference might ask itself:

If he were alive today, what would Kurt Hahn do?.

I put it to you that he would:

  • put the fight against Climate Change on a war footing
  • institute a biopsychosocial model of mental health
  • move away from the Nation State to a global one person one vote world society

No more flying around for education until you have your first degree. And yes, that means closing down the United World Colleges and Round Square schools, and any other school that flies its students in each year.

Revolutions can come from within. If this one doesn’t – well – i leave it to the reader’s imagination to consider where society might end up.

Where does my father fit into this blog post?

As one of only two people to have ever held the posts of President of the Royal Society, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh he is “the system”.

I am happy to take questions on my ideas, but will only appear once to debate the validity of them. At a time and place of my father’s choosing.

I trust William Duncan will on this occasion allow me to bring the one person i would like on my team – my dear mum, Lily.

Dad: well done, i would never have reached these conclusions without your love and care since i was born 57 years ago.

Feel free to bring along your lieutenants.

Vegetarian nibbles please – and no alcohol nor ties allowed around necks. Ties can only be worn as belts. Colourful clothes please, no grey suits.

I have written my own version of Elton’s Candle in the Wind song – entitled #CheekyLippy. Elton himself wrote his Diana version whilst bereaving. You can watch his only public performance of this version at the funeral here.

I hope to be invited to the annual graduation ceremony to be held in Flekke, Norway, on Saturday, May 21st. Perhaps, if Philipp Huchler is able to play the piano for me, together we can perform the world premiere of #CheekyLippy. Unless Elton is free.

My singing isn’t really up to a four verses – i’ll just aim for the first one if the whole college will join me in singing the last three.




My name is David Michael Atiyah; born Cambridge, UK. 20/11/1958

My mother,  Lily Atiyah, and my father Michael Atiyah were/are both mathematicians, and I also have a maths degree from Cambridge University, UK

Now aged 57, I have long history of mental illness – as defined by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, to whom the British people have outsourced those whom they find “different”

I went up to Cambridge University aged 17, aspiring to follow in my father’s footsteps. My father himself went up to Cambridge aged 20.

Immature, not knowing  what  a girl looked like when I arrived, I survived the first two years of my three year course, but was struggling by Christmas ’78. Looking back that was simply a natural response to realising that I wasn’t coping, at the high level I chose to set for myself, with the final year’s courses.

Society’s response was to lock me up, and more or less throw away the key. In an act of despair, whilst in a toilet, I set fire to my jeans.

Whilst my memory is fuzzy, I inflicted a significant burn on my leg – requiring a stay in the burns unit of another hospital. I was then sent home – the short period of time in a “normal” environment being sufficient to improve my mood.

Long story – not relevant now, but I then crafted a career as a maths teacher; never successful, never staying very long, never really making networks of friends.

Christmas ’97 – from Aiglon College in Switzerland – a school that markets itself as the most expensive school in the world – i headed out to Starehe School in Kenya, having fundraised to be able to donate them the latest DELL server. Even the President didn’t acquired one yet.

I took Lariam as an anti-malarial drug – one that is now banned. Result = Mania on return to Switzerland, not that I knew what Mania was at the time.

I once more fought back and after a period playing the databases for the Maths Dept @ Bristol University, I arrrived to run the computers and teach maths at the Red Cross Nordic United World College in Flekke, Norway in Aug 2000.

Summer 2003

Every picture tells a story – right?


Like most people, i don’t own many original pieces of Art. I am lucky enough to have a beautiful Colin Lanham painting of the UWC-USA campus – which was a trade for a bike, and one or two others by my grandparents – but i think this is my favourite – not just because it is a selfie

June 2003 – the mania of my bipolar diagnosis kicked in big time whist i was in New Mexico. A week in the local hospital before i was deemed well enough to fly back to Edinburgh escorted by my father’s cousin Dick who flew in from San Diego to pick me up – like a DHL package – and escort me home.

Back in Edinburgh – still pretty much as high as a kite – i planned to attend the evening service at St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile. (the main tourist drag). Like some others, religion only seems of any interest when i am manic.

But I never made the service – i got talking to one of those street portrait artists, and the above was the result. My only request i seem to remember was for the William Wallace / Mel Gibson painted blue face.

I don’t recognize the hat, but still have the rucksack. Seems to remember i gave the guy £20 – but to me it is priceless remind of a literally crazy few weeks of which i only have a few memories.



Edward Atiyah

Like most people, I had two grandfathers. Two very different people, from different parts of the world who led completely different lives – and whom i would guess only met on the one occasion – my parents wedding.

Edward would i presume find it strange that his wikipedia page concentrates of a single paragraph written in his auto-biography.

He died in tragic circumstances – of a heart attack whilst speaking at an Oxford Union debate on Oct 22nd, 1964. I publish below the full text of the speech he was planning to give.

I find it timely on two accounts:

  1. the current immigration crisis from the Middle East to Europe – Edward was an immigrant himself. might i suggest that his, and the contribution of his immediate family to British society have been positive?
  2. given the current BDS campaign supporting the Palestinians, against their cccupying power, Israel – well, apart from the names of one or two African countries, what has changed in the intervening 51 years?

A PDF of the Speech can be downloaded here

Mr. Edward Atiyah’s Speech

On Arab Boycott and Israeli Aggression

Mr. President, Sir,

I should like to begin by thanking you most warmly for the honour you have done me in asking me to speak tonight—to speak on the Paper. It is an honour which I prize highly, for when I was an undergraduate at this University many years ago I failed to persuade any of your illustrious predecessors of that time to accord me this great mark of favour. And I failed, Mr. President, after all but achieving a meteoric success in my first term.

One evening your distinguished predecessor of that term invited me to the Presidential reception after a debate in which apparently I had made a certain impression on him by defending him against a scurrilous rumour that while on a visit to the United States he had swapped his non-existent wife for a mythical Ford car.

And to my intense delight he asked me if I would like to speak on the Paper the following week. Naturally I said I would. Then he told me what the motion was going to be. I promptly said I wanted to speak against it. “It’s a pity,” he said. “I’ve got two speakers lined up for this side and I had hoped you would speak on the other.”

Chagrined beyond words but a martyr to my prin­ciples, I begged to be excused, and so the Paper—this alluring, noble, parchment which emblazons the names of this Society’s great orators, eluded me, and never came within my reach again, except once when I had the modest distinction of appearing on it as a Teller. Forty-two years were to elapse, Mr. President—a substantial slice of any man’s life except for Lord Russell and the former Dean of Canterbury – before I was asked again to speak on the Paper and on, for me, the appropriate side of the motion, which is that “This House Supports Arab Interference With Israeli Trade “. I only wish that I had the skill of Robert Louis Stevenson so that I might say with him, “If I have at all learned the trade of using words to convey truth and arouse emotion you have at last furnished me with a subject.”

There are so many misconceptions and misrepresenta­tions about the Arab boycott of Israel, and at no time were they so deliberately exploited and unwarrantably reiterated as during what has come to be known as the Mancroft Affair. The most pernicious and baseless of them all is that the Arab boycott of Israel is a wicked anti-Semitic manifestation. This is utterly untrue, Mr. President. It is untrue not only of the Arab boycott of Israel but of the entire Arab opposition and hostility to Israel, which has nothing whatever to do with anti-Semitism. Indeed it is one of the great tragic ironies of the Arab-Israeli conflict that the Jews should have done in Palestine a great wrong to a people that had never wronged them but had befriended them through the centuries.

The bitter Arab opposition to Israel today has nothing whatever to do with the race or religion of the Israelis. It is solely a political opposition to an act of political aggression and intolerable injustice. It is the natural, inevitable outraged opposition of an innocent indigenous people, of the long-established rightful owners of a country to alien invaders and colonizers. And the Arabs would have felt the same bitter sense of injustice and the same hostility towards these invaders and colonizers, whatever their race or religion. The householder does not have to be anti-Semitic and the burglar a Jew, for the former to object to his dispossession and eviction by the latter.

I trust therefore that we shall hear no more—at least in this House, Mr. President, of this entirely irrelevant and groundless charge of anti-Semitism, which the Zionists have so ably exploited against the Arabs and their supporters in this country that scarcely any criticism of Israel or the Zionist movement can be voiced here except by the very honest and very courageous—that, at one time, to defend the Arab cause in this country was to be damned as a Nazi—again an instance of supreme irony in a tragedy compounded of ironies ; for in Palestine it was not the Arabs but the Zionists who came with doctrines of racial exclusiveness and a policy and technique not easily distinguishable from Nazism in reverse.

But to return to Lord Mancroft and the Arab boycott. Lord Mancroft was not on the Arab black list because he was a Jew. In fact, the Arabs did not know that he was a Jew until Zionist propaganda in this country blared out the fact. He was on the black list because he was known to have wide financial and commercial dealings with Israel, to have a direct interest in the Israeli economy, to be helping to strengthen and promote it and therefore to be strengthening and developing Israel’s war potential. And this Mr. President, is the only criterion by which the Arabs apply their boycott. They do not boycott any individual just because he is a Jew, or any firm because it has Jewish capital or Jewish directors. They only boycott firms and individuals who by their trading and financing activities are helping the Israeli economy and increasing Israel’s military strength. For the Arabs consider themselves as being still at war with Israel. The loss of Palestine in 1948 was the loss of a battle not of the whole war, seen in the perspective of history, as a struggle only just begun and to be pursued relentlessly until the great wrong done to the Arabs has been righted and their inalienable right to Palestine restored.

I submit, Mr. President, that an economic boycott is the most civilized and humane way of conducting such a struggle. It does not involve violence. It does not destroy human lives or even property. It is infinitely preferable to military action. And in this case it is the only weapon left to the Arabs. Nor are the Arabs the only people in the world to have resorted to such a weapon in similar circumstances. In fact boycott sanctions are internationally recognized as a justifiable means of bringing pressure to bear by individuals or countries against a state or regime which they regard as hostile to them or whose policies they find repugnant to accepted international morality. The United States is boycotting Cuba and even trying to prevail on her allies to do the same, while many people in this country and elsewhere have strongly advocated a boycott of South Africa. So there is nothing unusual or outrageous about the Arab boycott of Israel.

This boycott, however, was heavily attacked and misrepresented in this country during the Mancroft Affair on other phoney grounds than those of anti-Semitism. You were told, Mr. President, that the Arabs were trying to interfere in domestic British issues, that they were trying to dictate terms to British firms and that the British Government could not possibly submit to this kind of interference and blackmail. All this, Mr. President, was pure nonsense. In applying their boycott the Arabs are not interfering in the domestic issues of other countries or trying to dictate terms to foreign firms. Indeed, the Arabs have no means of doing that even if they wanted to.

They have no power to interfere or dictate or compel. They can only withdraw their custom from firms that are unwilling to accept the terms of the Arab boycott. And surely trade is a free and contractual affair. You are free to trade where you wish and with whom you like. The Arabs are free and the foreign firms are free. And it is perfectly legitimate for the Arabs to say to foreign firms: ” We will not trade with you if you wish to take part in promoting the Israeli economy.” And the foreign firms are free to choose. If they choose Israel, if it is in their interest to choose Israel, they are free to do so, and the Arabs are free not to trade with them. It is as simple as that.

And now, Mr. President, having shown that the boycott is itself a legitimate and permissible weapon to use, I shall proceed to show that the cause in which it is being used by the Arabs is a just and moral cause. For this surely is the decisive test. This cause, the Arab cause in Palestine, which has gone by default time after time because the Arabs were not there to make their voice heard or because they were not strong enough to make their will felt by those who took the decisions, while the Zionists were able to do both—this cause is morally and legally unassailable, being based on indispu­table facts of history and geography and rooted in the deepest instincts of humanity and the most elementary notions of right and wrong. When the project of creating a Jewish national home—later to become a national state in Palestine—was first conceived and canvassed, Palestine, in the words of Mr. Arthur Koestler—and I cannot quote a Jewish source of greater integrity—Palestine was by every possible definition an Arab country.

Over 90 per cent of its population were Arabs. Its entire complexion, character, and ethos were Arab. It was an integral part of the Arab world indistinguishable from Syria or Iraq. It had been so for 1,300 years. And that for me, Mr. President, is not only the beginning of the argument; it is also the end of it. If Palestine was an Arab country, it had the right to remain an Arab country as the vast majority of its people wished. And every step in the long, tortuous, equivocal, prevaricating, conspira­torial, discreditable process which took it away from its people against their wishes and their right of self-determination, and gave it to a host of foreign immigrants coming from the four corners of the globe to make in it a national state for themselves was wicked, outrageous, and utterly invalid.

Britain had no right to issue the Balfour Declaration promising one people a national home in the country of another. And the implementation of this promise in thirty years of British rule and occupation in Palestine was a cynical outrage on the rights and interests of the vast Arab majority who were denied the right to self-determination and held down by the force of British arms so that Jewish immigrants could enter Palestine in increasing numbers with the object of colonizing and appropriating it. Even the resolution of the United Nations in 1947, proposing the partition of Palestine between the Arabs and the Jews, lacks the authority and validity which the Israelis wish to attribute to it as the charter of their existence. The United Nations General Assembly has no authority whatever to impose solutions or decisions. It can only make recommendations to its member states, and the word “recommendations” implies that the member states may reject them or offer alternatives. And it is certain that in recommending the partition of Palestine the General Assembly did not intend that its proposals should be carried out against the wishes of the Arab majority, for that would have been a violation of the U.N. Charter itself. The intention of the General Assembly was obvious from the fact that a built-in condition of its partition scheme was an economic union between the Arab and the Jewish state. Such a union obviously required Arab consent, and the Arabs did not consent, and so the whole scheme fell to the ground. In fact the recommendations of the United Nations were not accepted by any of the parties con­cerned. The United Kingdom refused to play the role of midwife to partition, as envisaged in the scheme. The Arab states unanimously and vehemently rejected it. Even the Jews failed to abide by many of its major provisions such as the internationalization of Jerusalem.

In other words the partition scheme, which came out of the General Assembly stillborn, was quickly buried by all those to whom it had been recommended and the Israelis proceeded to seize Palestine, or as much of it as they could by force. The General Assembly send out Count Folke Bernadotte to mediate between the Arabs and the Jews. He saw that the frontiers of the partition scheme were impracticable and proposed certain modifications in them. He was murdered by the Israelis. So let us hear no more, Mr. President, of this worthless argument that Israel is a legitimate child of the United Nations.

But you will also hear, Mr. President that seven Arab states launched an aggressive war against Israel and invaded her at the moment of her birth. What happened, Sir, was that the Arabs of Palestine, the rightful owners of the country, helped by their fellow Arab states around them tried to resist the final accomplishment of this naked aggression. From the beginning of this deplorable story the Zionists and not the Arabs have been the aggressors, the Zionists have been the invaders and the Arabs the invaded, the Zionists have been the attackers and the Arabs the attacked.

This is not a question of argument, Mr. President. It is a question of fact. Whenever the Arabs have fought it was to defend their natural, indisputable rights and lives and property in their own land. That was the case in 1948 when the Arabs from within and without Palestine fought to prevent the seizure of the country by the Zionists. That is the case today when the Arabs fight with the boycott weapon to prevent further Israeli aggression, and to regain their stolen land for its rightful people. For the Zionists or their supporters in this country to go on accusing the Arabs of aggression on every occasion, to go on representing the Arabs as the big bad wolf and Israel as the innocent lamb is only to echo the famous French saying :

“Cet animal est tres mechant, Quand on l’attaque il se defend.”

In the course of the fighting for Palestine in 1948 nearly one million of the Arab population of Palestine of a million and a quarter became refugees, losing their homes, their land, and all their property. You will be told by Zionist propaganda that they were not driven out by the Jews but left of their own free will and because their leaders instructed them to do so. This is untrue, and its untruth has been proved to the hilt by unassailable evidence. Some of these refugees—a tiny proportion—did leave as a matter of choice, hoping that a swift Arab victory would enable them to return to their homes before long. But the vast majority were either forcibly evicted by orders of the Jewish commanders from every area they occupied or terrorized into flight by such atrocities as the massacre of Deir Yassin, in which the inhabitants of a whole Arab village including children and pregnant women were deliberately slaughtered by machine guns.

In support of this assertion, Mr. President, I am not going to quote a single Arab source. I am not going to quote any British source: I am only going to quote the view recently expressed by a well-known Israeli Jew who himself took part in the fighting. Writing in the Paris newspaper Le Monde of 9th May of this year, this Israeli Jew, Mr. Uri Avnery, who edits a newspaper in Israel and leads a small political party of anti-Zionist Israelis, said, “I believe that during the third and last phase of the war (that is to say the Arab-Israeli war) the evacuation of Arab civilians had become a war aim of Zionism.”

There you have it, Mr. President. The Zionists wanted to get rid of the Arab population. In my opinion, and according to the logic of the Zionist programme, they had wanted this from the very beginning of their movement, because Palestine could not become “as Jewish as England is English” in the words of the late Dr. Weizmann himself, if there was in it a large Arab element, if indeed that element was the majority at the beginning. Also, the Zionists wanted to bring in more and more Jewish immigrants, and they could only do this if they succeeded in driving the Arab population out. And drive them out they did. Arab property estimated at £500 million was thus seized by the Zionists, homes and lands belonging to nearly one million Palestinian Arabs.

Sixteen years have passed since then, Mr. President, and these million Arabs are still living as destitute refugees in the surrounding Arab countries, succoured partly by the Arab states and partly by the United Nations, insisting on their right to return home and living only by that hope, supported in this demand and this hope not only by all the Arab states but also by the United Nations itself. Year after year since 1948 the General Assembly has by overwhelming majorities passed an annual resolution calling upon Israel to allow the refugees to return home and to offer compensation to any of them who did not wish to return. Last year this annual affirmation by the United Nations of the right of the Arab refugees to return to Palestine was sponsored by the United States and eighty-one nations voted for it. Against it there was the solitary vote of Israel. Yet, Mr. President, Israel has consistently refused and still refuses to take back the Arab refugees or offer them adequate compensation. How then can the Arabs regard the war with Israel as being over? How can they abandon the struggle to regain the stolen rights and property of the Palestinian Arabs? How can they accept this fait accompli as they are often urged to do by so-called realists in the West when the “accom­plishment” of this fact dispossessed a whole Arab people of its land and left it to rot in refugee camps?

Why should the Arabs accept such an iniquitous fait accompli of only sixteen years duration, when the its refused to respect the fait accompli of two md years of history and geography which had the Arabs the indisputable rightful owners of Palestine. Against that massive reality how can the its claim that they had a right to Palestine because the Jews had been in it two thousand years before? Let every nation look to its frontiers and to its title-deeds, own homeland today if such a fantastic claim is tolerated.

No, Mr. President, the Arabs will not accept this so-fait accompli with all the injustices and perils it has brought them. They will pursue their struggle against injustices and these perils until they have been red. And this is the justification of the Arab boycott of Israel which I am appealing to the House to support tonight.

For many years, for many decades the Arab case has gone by default. People all over the world did not know truth about it, about the Zionist usurpation of Palestine. But the truth will come out, and there is ample evidence mounting on every side that more and people and more and more countries are beginning realize what an appalling injustice was done to the Arabs, and to support the Arab struggle for the removal of that injustice. The most striking and massive example of this came lately in the joint communique issued by the Heads of State or Government of the non-aligned countries at the conclusion of their conference in Cairo. In this communique thirty-three non-Arab states stood solidly side by side with the Arab in affirming that, and I quote, “The conference condemns the imperialistic policy pursued in the Middle East and, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, decided to: (i) endorse the full restoration of all the rights of the Arab people of Palestine to their homeland, and their inalienable right f-determination; (2) declare their full support for the Arab people of Palestine in their struggle for liberation from colonialism and racialism.” These thirty-three non-Arab states who have thus pledged their support for the Arab cause include Burma, Ceylon, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Uganda, The United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, Yugoslavia, and Zambia.

These, Mr. President, are the leading countries of the non-aligned world and they speak for half the continent of Asia and almost the entire continent of Africa. Together with the Arab states they constitute nearly half the membership of the United Nations and they have all declared their support for what they consider a struggle against colonialism and racialism in Palestine. They have made it clear that in their view Zionism is a colonialist movement based on racial exclusiveness and thus they have linked the Palestine question with the world-wide issue of freedom, independence, and self-determination against the remnants of imperialism and the wrongful settlement on the land of one people by another. Their voice is not to be lightly ignored. For only if it is listened to will justice be done and peace and stability be restored to the Middle East. Real peace, Mr. President, not the peace which the Israelis are always pressing on the Arabs with protestations of innocence, good will, and a desire for friendly co-existence.

This peace which the Israelis offer the Arabs reminds me of a page in that admirable survey of English history, on which no doubt the Honour School of Modern History in this University is largely based – 1066 And All That. The page in question deals with the Zulu War. It consists of three eminently brief and telling chapters: Chapter I – War with Zulus, Chapter II – Zulus Exterminated, Chapter III – Peace with Zulus.

That, Mr. President, is the peace which the Israelis offer the Arabs today, having eliminated them from Palestine not by physically exterminating all of them as individuals, but by destroying them as a political entity and kicking them out of their country.

* This is the speech Mr. Atiyah was making when he died by heart attack on the evening of Thursday, 22nd October, 1964, in support of a motion “that this house supports Arab interference with Israeli Trade”, at the Oxford Union Society Debate.


Junior School – 1968

Margaret Road Junior School, 1968. Headington, Oxford

Margaret Road Junior School, 1968. Headington, Oxford

It would be fun to try and name and track down as many of my classmates as possible;

Back Row: Andrew Gibbons, ???, ???, Stephen Cook, Jonathan Forrest, ???, ???, Paul Teal, ???, ???

3rd Row: ???, ???, David Atiyah

2nd Row: James Brownlee

Front Row: ???, Simon Naylor,

Teacher: Mr Puddifat


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