90 year-old twins take greater risk-supporting free speech on Palestine

Ralph and Frank Land at their 90th birthday party
  • For their 82nd birthday Frank and Ralph Land jumped out of a plane for charity
  • For their 90th birthday they challenged the British Jewish establishment for justice for Palestinians

Frank and Ralph Land arrived in Britain from Berlin in April 1939 aged 10 as refugees from Hitler’s Germany, travelling with their parents. Both have had distinguished careers.

For their 82nd birthday they performed a joint parachute jump and raised £14 000 for various charities including pancreatic cancer research.

They have marked their 90th birthday on 24 October by issuing the following statement:

“We deplore the attempts to silence critics of Israel by false and malicious accusations of antisemitism. We know what antisemitism looks and feels like from our Jewish childhood in 1930s Berlin.

The relentless attacks on Jeremy Corbyn for his support for Palestinian rights are a disgrace and bring no credit on the Jewish organisations, mass media and Labour MPs who mount them.

As long-time members of the Labour Party we welcomed the election of Jeremy as leader and look forward to a Labour Government committed to social justice and combatting inequality and injustice in Britain and across the globe. This includes both ending austerity at home and working towards recognising the rights of Palestinians and the ending the establishment of illegal settlements in the occupied areas.

We call on all members of the Labour Party and especially all Labour MPs to work in unity towards these goals”

 

For more details contact:

Mike Cushman

 

Notes for editors:

  1. Ralph Land CBE was awarded his honour for his work in promoting British exports, particularly to post-communist Eastern Europe and Russia.

Ralph has been active in many charities.

  • He was president of the Rotary Club of London 2009-10 (at the age of 81), designing a long-term charity Strategy for them, helping to arrange speakers at their weekly lunches. He is the current holder of the Neville Shulman Charity Cup for Rotarians and the holder of a Paul Harris award.
  • He has been since 1992 a trustee of HealthProm, a UK-registered charity which seeks to raise the standards of health-care in the countries of the Former Soviet Union
  • He was or is a Trustee of the Hamlet Trust, BESO, the BBC World Service Trust, the LEO Foundation, and has been an advisor to the Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation, founded and chaired the British Consultancy Charitable Trust 2006-11
  1. Professor Frank Land is internationally renowned as a leading Information Systems researcher. His early career involved working on J Lyon’s LEO: the first business computer. He founded he Information System Department at the London School of Economics and was appointed as Britain’s first Professor of Information Systems in 1982.
  • In 2003 Frank was awarded the Association for Information Systems’ LEO Award, for lifetime exceptional achievement. The highest honour in the Information Systems field.
  • Frank has been awarded an honorary doctorate in science and the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) award for distinguished service. He has served as technical advisor to House of Commons Select Committees examining IT in the UK.
  1. Ralph and Frank are both full members of JVL – Jewish Voice for Labour

Comments (19)

  • Stephen Sparrow says:

    Happy Birthday, Frank and Ralph, you are an inspiration to us all. I look forward to your hundredth birthday when, I hope, we shall all be living in a kinder, more compassionate Britain, led by a socialist government working for the many not the few.

    True love,
    Somersetspadger

  • Pauline Walker says:

    I am not a Jew and thankyou very much for speaking out on this way!

  • Barbara Corr says:

    Happy birthday Ralph and Frank- and thank you for what you are doing to help the Palestinians. You give me hope that a better world is possible.
    love
    Barbara

  • Larry Morrow says:

    Great work & courage to help show the difference between being Jewish & being a Zionist- the difference between daylight and dark!!!

  • glyn mills says:

    Indeed may I echo those words and say what a positive example you set for the young following your footsteps.
    I’m not a jew but when I read of people like yourself I can only praise and feel an affinity with your actions and others like you. Peace love and best wishes from Wales.

  • Susan Dugmore says:

    Happy Birthday Ralph and Frank ??
    You are an inspiration to us all. ?
    Thank you so much for speaking out in support of Jeremy and all who fight for the human rights of our Palestinian brothers and sisters.
    Heres hoping that a Labour government will soon be in place led by Jeremy Corbyn as our Prime Minister overseeing a kinder, fairer and more just society. ?

  • Michael Mohan says:

    Two voices of exceptional charity, thank you Ralph and
    Frank, happy birthday to you (who’s the oldest?)
    ??????

  • Sylvia Cohen says:

    Uplifting, brilliant piece! All the best to both of you for your birthday

  • Susan Armstrong Robinson says:

    Congratulations. Thank you for speaking out. It has been such a distressing time but you have brought some healing.

  • Darcy says:

    Happy birthday Ralph and Frank.
    It’s great that you have spoken out about the atrocities committed by Israeli authorities on Palestinians. I wish there were more like you,
    Humanitarian.

  • Binnie Yeates says:

    Well said, Frank and Ralph. I am Jewish, and have struggled myself with trying to dissociate what the Israeli government has been doing to the Palestinians from the accusations of anti-semitism.

  • Irene Tait says:

    Hats of and many happy returns to these wonderful men. The wisdom and experience of their age, then and now, has no bounds. JC4PM

  • Janis Garbutt says:

    Totally inspiring well done to you both.

  • Victor Boulos says:

    I would like, if I may, to wish you both a very happy birthday and many returns of the day. Although I am not a UK citizen, I was moved by your statement in support of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. You rightly point out the distinction between antisemitism and justifiable criticism of Israeli attacks on Palestinians’ human rights. Critcism of Israel by Corbyn is no more anti-semitic than is criticism of Likud by Haaretz. Corbyn’s detractors can go jump from on high like you did.

  • Nieves Blake says:

    First of all, I wish you a very happy birthday. Secondly I thank you for your honesty in recognising the unfair accusations about Jeremy Corbyn and to try to help and unite the Labour party. But most of all for recognising and speaking out on the terrible injustices perpetrated on the Palestinian people and why criticising the perpetrators does not mean one is anti their race or religion, just anti their actions. It takes courage to do that and thankfully more Jewish people are doing it. Looking forward to your 100th. birthday.

  • E. Christiansen says:

    If those two old men came back to Berlin to speak there they would immediately get intimidated and silenced. No SA would beat them up, but the cancellation for the room to give their talk might be cancelled as “Gemany must not give room to antisemitism”. Mudslinging against all critics of Netanyahu has now become a standard issue in Germany. The term invented for that is “Israelbezogenener Antisemitismus” – Antisemitism related to Israel. The dogma is that is it antisemitic to talk bad about Netanyahu’s policy as only antisemites would be interested in doing so. The greatest part of the German public and the judicial system gives in under that threat.

  • John Garrett says:

    Heartfelt thanks to you two wonderful people for bringing the voice of sanity into the arena of Labour’s so-called ‘anti-Semitism problem’.

  • Deborah Knight says:

    Frank and Ralph are perfect examples of civilised humanity. Thoughtful, compassionate, insightful, intelligent. Happy birthday to you both.

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