Monday night was AsaJews night out in London.
AsaJews tend to define their Judaism by their total opposition to Israel and preface their criticisms with “As a Jew….”
The event was put on jointly by Greenbelt, Amos Trust and ICHAD (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions).
A small audience of 30, decimated by the tube strike, was packed with members of jfjfp (Jews For Justice For Palestinians), including Glyn Secker, who captained the recent Jewish Boat to Gaza.
Yohav, who gives tours around Jerusalem, and Julia, who is studying at SOAS, belong to Young Jewish Voices for Peace.
Julia believes Israel is a fascist state “sometimes worse than apartheid South Africa, sometimes better than apartheid South Africa”.
She said that just like there shouldn’t be any Muslim states Israel shouldn’t be a Jewish one and she welcomed the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
She told us how the German Jewish community is quite conservative, that people are scared to speak out against Israel and that she is famous in Germany for her anti-Israel activism.
Yohav said that he never quite fitted in as a teenager and was always looking to rebel.
He feels there can be a two state solution because Israelis and Palestinians are very nationalistic. However, he hopes that the two states will eventually become one.
He also welcomed the growing BDS movement which, he hopes, will pressurise Israel to leave the West Bank and Mick Davis’ comments in the Jewish Chronicle which, he feels, will encourage diaspora Jews to speak out more against Israel.
Clare Short told us about her time spent during the summer helping to rebuild Palestinian homes. I cannot recall her helping to rebuild Israeli hotels or restaurants blown up by Hamas suicide bombers.
But for just £2000 Amost Trust will take you to Palestine next April so you too can help rebuild a Palestinian home.
On numerous occasions Short referred to Israel as an apartheid state. After the meeting I tried to explain to her the difference between Israel, which has to take severe security precautions, and apartheid South Africa.
But she kept quoting Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak and Jimmy Carter, who all “said the same thing about Israeli apartheid”.
I explained Hamas’ expressed intention in their Charter to killing Jews.
But while Short can give you verbatim accounts of controversial comments by Israelis like Avigdor Lieberman she is conveniently ignorant about the wording of the Hamas Charter.
She thinks we should speak to Hamas like we spoke to the IRA and the South African apartheid government and hoped for a two state solution although “time is running out”.
Meanwhile, other AsaJews were speaking at Queen Mary College, London.
They were Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, a school-teacher, and Mike Cushman, of JBig (Jews For Boycotting Israeli Goods).
Naomi can regularly be found in supermarkets imploring shoppers not to buy Israeli products.
The most sinister aspect about this talk though was the letter sent by Queen Mary Palestine Society to Queen Mary Jewish Society:
Dear Members of the Jewish Society,
The Queen Mary Palestine Solidarity Society would like to invite you to an event we are holding on this coming monday. If you could send out this invite to your members that would be great, details of the event are below. Hopefully we will see some of you soon.
QM PSS EVENT 29/11/2010
Why Jews and all others should boycott Israel – two Jews speak out
Monday 29th November • 5pm – 7pm • David Sizer LT, FB ground floor
David Sizer LT, Francis Bancroft Building, Ground floor
The Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel is gaining more and more support across the world and even within Israel!
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG) ~ Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi is a school teacher,former Reuters journalist and secretary of J-BIG.
Mike Cushman, British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) ~ active BRICUP committee member and a founding member of J-BIG. He has spoken and written extensively in support of Palestinian rights.
Naomi and Mike will discuss why support for BDS is important for Jews as well as all others. They will describe the history of Israel’s actions that makes this call both moral and essential. They will talk about how attempts to describe BDS as anti-Semitic are not only false but also put all Jews, supporters and opponents of Israel’s actions at risk. They will describe the different aspects of BDS activity including the academic, cultural and consumer boycotts and the need for institutional divestment.
FB link – http ://www . facebook . com/?search _terms=QMUL&page=1&sk=messages& tid=1053439673870#!/event . php?e id=172058469490391
Sadly, JSocs can probably expect to receive more of these unappreciated emails.