British-born anti-Zionist Israeli Jewish writer, Susan Nathan, 62, currently living in India’s Kerala state has been a target of pro-Israel Hindu extremist groups since she arrived in India 18 months ago. Recently, Kerala state government has asked her to leave India after her visa expires. Susan came to India for medical treatment and took residence in Kozhikode, a Muslim-majority hometown of Muslim student leader Abu Bakr, former vice-president of banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The group was banned in 2001 for having links with anti-India groups in neighboring Pakistan. Last month, Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh extended the ban for another two years.
Susan Nathan has challenged her deportation at Kerala High Court. The two-judges bench has not issued its verdict as yet.
Susan made Aliya (the so-called “divinely ordained mission of every Jew to return to Holy Land”) to occupied Palestine in 1999 and settled in Tel Aviv, Israel. She worked there as an English teacher. After disgusted by Israeli mistreatment of its 20% Arab Muslim and Christian citizen – Susan took residence in an Arab village Tamra, in northern Israel in 2003, becoming the only Jewish person living among 25,000 Muslims. From there she began her anti-Zionist regime activism. Nathan became an outspoken pro-Palestinian advocate, appearing in Sweden and the US in forums such as the Swedish Human Rights festival and the Stockholm Olof Palme Centre, as well as forums sponsored by the Arab American Association. Nathan writes extensively for the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet on issues related to Israel. During her stay in Tamra, Susan published her first book, ‘The Other Side of Israel‘. In the book, she fearlessly exposed the neglect, oppression, entrenched segregation and discrimination faced by the indigenous Arab population in Israel. In a resounding, unwavering voice she revealed to the world the little known intangible wall that existed between the Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs and demanded for equality and justice for all Israel citizens irrespective of their religious and cultural differences. The book has been translated into nine languages, including Malayalam, the dialect of Kerala.
Susan, who suffers from severe post traumatic stress disorder as result of her stay in Israel – came to India for treatment and finish her second book.
In a recent interview with Niranjalli Varma, copy Editor ‘doolnews‘ (India) – talked about her case, her predicament, her house arrest and her political views regarding Israel, Iran and the world at large.
Comparing her harassment at the hands of Indian police with the persecution she faced in Israel and the former White-ruled South Africa, she said: “What is going on now is nothing when compared to what I have faced in my life, be it in South Africa or Israel. This is nothing. This is like Winnie the Pooh’s tea party. There was no problem in extending my visa and there is no problem in extending my visa again. There is some kind of concoction from the side of the police.”
“What most people don’t understand is that if you are Jewish there is tremendous freedom of speech in Israel. I can say, Israel- my country, is a true democratic country for the Jews only,” she added.
“Many of us in Israel let our voices be heard. We will not support a fascist government. However, many people are still afraid to stick their head out as they are worried as to what would happen to them,” said Susan.
Regarding US-Israel problems with the Islamic Republic, Susan Nathan has this to say.
“I am supporting Iran. I come from a country (Israel) that the world knows has nuclear armaments. How can I deny the same right to develop nuclear power to another country? How do we know for certain that the nuclear power is not meant for peaceful purposes?”
Susan believes that western media has been propagating lies about Iran and its president Ahmadinejad for calling for “Wipe Israel off map” or “we will push the Jews into Sea”.
“I think it’s very wrong for any government Jewish or otherwise to become hysterical over what people say. It is not what people say that matters it is what people do. Therefore I am taking it all very calmly. That’s what I suggest the rest of the world should do too,” said Susan.