Monthly Archives: August 2011

Israel’s supporters out in force in Trafalgar Square.

Lord Nelson keeps a watchful eye over Israel's supporters today.

Lord Nelson keeps a watchful eye over Israel’s supporters today.

Israel’s supporters came out in Trafalgar Square today to show sympathy with Israel as rockets continue to rain down from Gaza and to wish a happy 25th birthday to Gilad Schalit who is in his sixth year in isolation in Gaza having been kidnapped by Hamas from Israeli soil when he was 19.

There were some tremendous speeches.

Hasan Afzal, of British Muslims for Israel, said he supports Israel because it is “the only country in the Middle East where Muslims have freedom and democracy”.

Joy Wolfe urged the crowd to ignore media lies about Israel and described Israel as a home for people of all religions.

She went on to call for an end to the double standards of the United Nations and some British MPs and said that Gilad Schalit probably doesn’t even know that today is his birthday and probably feels as if he has been forgotten. But she said that no one will rest until the Red Cross gets access to him and every government in the world is calling for his release.

It was an excellent afternoon arranged at very short notice by the British Israel Coalition and supported by Stand With Us.

It made a change from the previous Sunday’s terror rally at Trafalgar Square where the rhetoric called for war with Israel and signs called for Death to Israel. It’s a shame there wasn’t a similar pro-Israel rally at that time.

But with that in mind the Zionist Federation is arranging a counter-demonstration this coming Thursday from 6pm till 8pm outside the Royal Albert Hall where the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is playing at the BBC proms.

It is in response to a Palestine Solidarity Campaign anti-Israel protest. Some sort of disruption is also expected to take place inside the Hall while the orchestra is playing.

Nearest tube stations are South Kensington (District, Circle, Piccadily lines) and High Street Kensington (District and Circle lines).

It will be an opportunity to defiantly wave Israeli flags in the faces of all those whose sole desire in life is to see the Jewish state destroyed.

Clips and photos from today’s pro-Israel rally:

A sign for Lauren Booth to drool over.

A sign for Lauren Booth to drool over.

Remembering the Fogel's whose throats were slashed by a Palestinian terrorist while in their beds.

Remembering the Fogel’s whose throats were slashed by a Palestinian terrorist while in their beds.

Four simple words that could do so much for peace in the Middle East.

Four simple words that could do so much for peace in the Middle East.

And free the Palestinians from Hamas also.

And free the Palestinians from Hamas also.

Dogs support Israel too.

Dogs support Israel too.

Appreciating a pavement artist's work.

Appreciating a pavement artist’s work.

The chap in gold was seen having a cheeky cigarette five minutes later.

The chap in gold was seen having a cheeky cigarette five minutes later.

A good way to keep warm.

A good way to keep warm.

Happy birthday, Gilad.

Happy birthday, Gilad.

Lauren Booth: “Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt must liberate Jerusalem”.

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

“It is time, Brothers and Sisters, for Al Quds to be liberated. For Islam and people of the world who wish to pray there to the one God. And we say here today to you Israel, we see your crimes and we loathe your crimes. And to us your nation does not exist, because it is a criminal injustice against humanity. We want to see Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt go to the borders and stop this now. Liberate Al Quds! March to Al Quds!”

These were the words spoken by Lauren Booth (Tony Blair’s half-sister-in-law) at the Al Quds Day terror rally organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission in London’s Trafalgar Square yesterday. She had just pledged her support for Hamas. See clip:

And here are the words of another speaker:

“You can’t take an army, which is a nation’s army, a terrorist nation’s army, and defeat it with sincere small fighters. It needs some of those states around to release their armies to burn that land and then that region will see peace like it had in the past. Because the only time that land has seen peace between Muslim, Christian and Jew living side by side was when sincere Islamic rulers ruled with justice.”

Here’s the clip:

Al Quds Day was creatively subtitled “End the Siege, End the Occupation, End the Israeli Apartheid”, but for brevity they might just have subtitled it “End Israel”.

Placards, see below, were held up which read:

Israel Your Days are Numbered
Death to Israel
Down down Israel
For World Peace Israel Must Be Destroyed
The World Stopped Nazism, The World Must Stop Zionism
We Are All Hizbollah

Yellow Hezbollah flags were everywhere with the flag’s usual gun emblem, which is especially menacing considering that the head of Hizbollah has said that Jews are descended from pigs and apes and that if all the Jews in the world gathered in Israel it would save Hizbollah the trouble of going after them elsewhere.

I felt that the rhetoric and placards were nothing short of incitement to racial hatred and violence, not just against Israel and its citizens, but against the many Israeli tourists and residents in the UK as well as British Jews, and non-Jews, who wish to express support for Israel.

Had similar threats been made against Britain the police would have acted. They can still act as they were recording footage.

But there is no point filming and doing nothing. When will we start to see arrests for incitement?

More photos from yesterday:

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

As Israelis bury their dead, scenes from London…..

As Israeli families were still burying their dead after yesterday’s murders anti-Israel activists arrived at the Israeli Embassy in London to show support for the Palestinian terrorists that carried out the atrocity.

They repeatedly called for Israel’s destruction and after they started to surround me I was told by the police, under threat of arrest, to stop filming (clip 1 below).

From the clips you get a sense of the vileness of the crowd that had gathered. I also seem to have acquired a rather unattractive stalker (clip 4).

But the most sickening sight was that of the Neturei Karta, who passed me as I was walking back to get the train, en route to the Israeli Embassy to join in. Even the day after eight of their fellow Jews were murdered the “Rabbis” couldn’t lay low.

And this just an hour before the beginning of Shabbat.

Neturei Karta on way to Israeli Embassy.

Neturei Karta on way to Israeli Embassy.

Israeli Embassy, London, under guard.

Israeli Embassy, London, under guard.

Videos:

clip 1: Stopped from filming under threat of arrest.

clip 2: Intimidation by an anti-Israel activist.

clip 3: Calling for Israel’s destruction.

clip 4: The Stalker.

clip 5: Calling for Israel’s destruction again.

clip 6: And calling for Israel’s destruction again.

Yachad’s continued support for calls to boycott Israeli settlements is dangerous.

Hannah Weisfeld, the director of Yachad, has written a piece for this week’s Jewish News stating that:

“Yachad is giving voice to a large number of British Jews. When the Knesset passed the anti-boycott bill a few weeks ago (primarily for the purpose of targeting those that make a political statement by calling for boycotts of West Bank settlement produce), Yachad released a statement explaining that while we don’t support boycotts, we support the democratic right of Israelis to make a political stand through their purchasing power. That statement; reprinted on the front pages of Ha’aretz in Hebrew and English, reflected the concerns of a swathe of UK Jews, including the editor of this paper.”

But there is a very fine line between supporting the right to call for boycotts of settlements and actually supporting boycotts. In fact calling for boycotts is far worse than the boycotting itself.

I have no problem with someone taking a private decision to boycott the settlements.

But what goes along with the calling for boycotts is a demonisation of settlers, which contributes to continued Palestinian violence against them.

Weisfeld’s mindset is one of “democracy trumps everything”. She is supported in this view by LibDem Friend of Israel’s Matthew Harris who says that “Freedom of speech must allow Israelis to call for a boycott of settlement goods.”

But we don’t have unlimited freedom of speech in the UK where, for example, you wouldn’t get away with gratuitously screaming “Fire!” in a crowded cinema. It would put lives at risk as people ran for the exits.

Meanwhile, Weisfeld is putting lives at risk by wanting to allow the settlements and settlers to be demonised via calls to boycott them.

And anti-settlement rhetoric quickly spills over into anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric, as we regularly see in the UK.

But if Weisfeld is so keen on fixing Israel it’s Israel where she needs to live, not the UK, so she can persuade more Israelis to vote for anti-settlement parties. She could even set up her own political party.

Israelis are not going to be persuaded by Weisfeld while she is sat in her relatively safe and secure UK surroundings, however many British Jews she thinks might back her. Most Israelis are not interested in what relatively safe British Jews think.

In her article she names David Grossman, Meir Dagan, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak and “countless other military firgures” who back Yachad, but imagine the list of names who think that what Yachad is doing is dangerous.

If Weisfeld, and those who support Yachad, really want to make a difference to Israel then they should consider making Aliyah and put their money where their mouths are for once.

British Minister wishes to treat settlers like Dead Men Walking.

Alan Duncan MP, 2nd from right, in the British Embassy in the UAE recently.

Alan Duncan MP, 2nd from right, in the British Embassy in the UAE recently.

Is this Conservative government turning into one of the most anti-Israel in recent memory?

Alan Duncan MP, the Minister in charge of Britain’s international aid budget, recently visited the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”, as the Department for International Development, calls them.

He has produced this video of his visit which ranks alongside David Cameron’s “Gaza is a prison” camp jibe. Feel free to watch with sick-bag in hand:

He calls the wall a “land grab” and complains that:

“It hasn’t just gone along the lines of the proper Israeli boundary, it has taken in land which properly belongs to Palestine. So that’s not a security wall, that’s a perimeter wall trying to annex land that doesn’t belong to Israel.”

He delivers these lines with all the spite of a seasoned British anti-Israel activist, not a considered government minister.

Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the settlements, if the wall was situated on the “proper Israeli boundary”, as Duncan calls it, the settlers would be immediately exposed to the risk of having their sloats slit by the likes of Hakim Awad who murdered Udi and Ruthie Fogel and their three young children in their beds.

Does Mr Duncan really believe that all Israeli settlers should be dead men walking, for that is how he treats them?

Meanwhile, the distance of the wall from the “Israeli boundary” reduces the opportunities for suicide bombers to blow up Israeli restaurants, buses and discos and for Palestinian terrorists to snipe at Israeli civilians.

This also reduces the need for retaliatory attacks on Palestinian terrorist targets and, therefore, war.

As JFK said, “A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war”.

And as I understand it Israel’s eastern border is not a “proper Israeli boundary”, but merely an armistice line from 1949. Nothing has been agreed so, as it stands, Israel is not in breach of any law by positioning the fence where it has, subject to the decisions of Israel’s Supreme Court on its route.

As the short video progresses we see Duncan complain about the long queues of Palestinians waiting to go through security checks before going into Israel to work. Does he really expect Israel to let them through without stringent security checks?

He continues to express his hatred for the settlers when he accuses them of stealing water from the Palestinians. Finally, we come to the scene with which no anti-Israel video would be complete; that of a Palestinian baby.

Here Duncan talks of a “financial crisis”, but Page 23 of the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2011 shows that the Palestinians received the second most amount of aid for any country between 2000 to 2009 at US$7.2bn, which is second only to Sudan at US$8.9bn.

While, ElderofZiyon shows that, on a per capita basis, this figure far outstips any other country, including Sudan, by a mile.

Duncan should ask why there is still a “financial crisis” when the Palestinians receive such huge amounts of financial assistance. Where has all the money gone?

Duncan’s pre-Parliamentary career was as an oil trader where he made millions.

And his website states describes him thus:

“A respected voice on the Middle East within the party, Alan continues to travel extensively in the region.”

Considering he doesn’t know the difference between an armistice line and a border and doesn’t seem to have too much of a problem with settlers having their throats slit, “respected” is not a word I word use to decribe our Minister of State for International Development.

And being the Arabist he is, one should question whether he should be in charge of an international department in the first place.

 

Jody McIntyre gone from the Indy, the HuffPo. and Channel 4.

Jody McIntyre; gone from the Indy, HuffPo. and Channel 4 for possible incitement to riot.

Jody McIntyre; gone from the Indy, HuffPo. and Channel 4 for possible incitement to riot.

It has been a bad two days for Jody “setting London alight” McIntyre. He was sacked as a blogger for The Independent newspaper in the wake of the London riots for tweeting:

“Be inspired by the scenes in #tottenham, and rise up in your own neighbourhood. 100 people in every area = the way we can beat the feds.”

And in an interview with The Huffington Post when asked if Footlocker was a valid target for the rioters he replied:

“On a personal level I think Brixton police station would be a better target than footlocker….I find it very difficult to condemn the looting myself. I feel sympathy when small cornershops and people’s homes are damaged but I don’t feel any sympathy for JD sports or M&S.”

Well, now Lucy Lips at Harry’s place reports that the HuffPo. interview has also been pulled and replaced with:

“Editor’s Note: The Huffington Post’s editorial policy prohibits the promotion of incitement to riot. It has been brought to our attention that some of the comments made by the interviewee in this article could be construed as inciting others to take part in unlawful activity. As such, we have removed this post.”

McIntyre was also due to have his own tv show starting on Channel 4 on August 18th called Bars For Change. Here is a peek from youtube.

It has also just been pulled.

As Lucy Lips says he will still have a home with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which, as we have seen, actually applauds rhetoric calling for London to be burned.

Meanwhile, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s anti-Israel demonstration will be taking place as usual outside Ahava this Saturday dragging even more essential police resources away from emergency situations across London.

Around 20 police officers have to present to stop anarchists from invading Ahava and intimidating its customers.

But if you have any spare Plasma TVs or Nike trainers please bring them down to Ahava and give them to the protesters. It could save an awful lot of London’s shop windows being smashed in.

Police protecting Ahava from Palestine Solidarity Campaign activists.

Police protecting Ahava from Palestine Solidarity Campaign activists.

Jody McIntyre’s dream of setting London alight comes true at last.

Jody McIntyre in One World's anti-Israel Freedom For Palestine video promoted by Lush.

Jody McIntyre in One World's anti-Israel Freedom For Palestine video promoted by Lush.

In January I blogged about Jody McIntyre’s speech at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign event where he said:

“I say this at a time when people across the Arab world are setting alight to themselves in protest against their governments. We must take inspiration from them this year when we set the streets of London alight.”

As you will see in the video clip below these sentiments were applauded by Palestine Solidarity Campaign chief Sarah Colborne, PSC chairman Hugh Lanning and the rapper Lowkey.

Since then McIntyre has been feted by the left-wing media.

He was profiled in The Observer newspaper, invited to blog at The Independent newspaper and has appeared on countless news programmes. In yesterday’s Huffington Post, when asked by Dina Rickman “Do you think Footlocker is the right target?” he replied:

“On a personal level I think Brixton police station would be a better target than footlocker….I find it very difficult to condemn the looting myself. I feel sympathy when small cornershops and people’s homes are damaged but I don’t feel any sympathy for JD sports or M&S”

His high media profile has gained him a following of over 10,000 people on Twitter. Not bad for someone who cut his teeth on political activism outside Ahava in Covent Garden where he advocated for a boycott of Israel.

However, yesterday he was finally sacked by The Independent for tweeting the following:

“Be inspired by the scenes in #tottenham, and rise up in your own neighbourhood. 100 people in every area = the way we can beat the feds.”

His Independent blog page now reads:

“Following his recent tweets and statements on the London riots, The Independent will no longer be taking blogs from Jody McIntyre”.

With London still smoking and livelihoods ruined after a night of rioting and scenes of people jumping from burning buildings you would think he would lay low for a bit but, unrepentant, he tweeted in the early hours of today:

“I would suggest young people hit the streets tomorrow with three central demands.”

One of those demands is for the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to resign “with immediate effect”.

Not only was McIntyre applauded by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, but he and Lowkey appear in One World’s Freedom for Palestine video, which is being promoted by Lush in the “Ethical Campaigns” section of their website.

Straight after McIntyre’s call for London to be lit up at the PSC event he goes onto say that “Palestine has been occupied since 1948″, which just goes to show the thinking behind the Freedom for Palestine song. It is not about ending “the occupation”, but ending Israel’s existence.

So, “ethical” Lush has shops in Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to work or drive, and it is promoting a video in which both McIntyre and Lowkey appear.

Quite incredibly McIntyre has just tweeted the following after taking some criticism:

“I have never supported looting local businesses + starting fires. Not in London, and not anywhere. Nice to have a scapegoat though?”

I also have three demands:

1. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign that applauded McIntyre’s sentiments and which recently hosted Sheikh Raed Salah, who has said that homosexuality is a crime, be shut down with immediate effect.

2. Lush stops promoting the vile Freedom for Palestine song and video.

3. We hear no more from McIntyre until he apologises for his comment calling for London to burn and for not condemning the looting.

Video:

Here’s McIntyre at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign event in January calling for the streets of London to be set alight. Sarah Colborne is sat next to him, Hugh Lanning is next and, finally, Lowkey. Watch for them applauding.

Sheikh Raed Salah at a recent Palestine Solidarity Campaign event.

Sheikh Raed Salah at a recent Palestine Solidarity Campaign event.

Lowkey in One World's Freedom for Palestine video promoted by Lush.

Lowkey in One World's Freedom for Palestine video promoted by Lush.

 

Thanks to cifwatch’s Adam Levick for the help.

Lush founder explains “anti-Israel” stance on LBC Radio.

Last Thursday on LBC Radio Lush founder Mark Constantine was asked by Nick Ferrari to explain his company’s stance on Israel (audio clip below).

To demonstrate Lush’s objectivity Constantine mentions a product called Olive Branch, which, he explains:

“is actually grown by the Palestinians, but processed by the Jews.”

Perhaps realising he had made an error he immediately says:

“what I love about all the Jewish community is the great debate. We are for debate.”

Nick Ferrari agrees with him and moves on.

I doubt Mr Constantine would have referred to Afghanis, Pakistanis or Iranians as “the Muslims”. But, Israelis have suddenly morphed into “the Jews”.

The more we find out about Lush the worse the situation is becoming.

Here is the audio recording:

Mark Constantine (Lush) – “the Jews”

And here is the actual LBC podcast. Constantine starts at 7 minutes in:

http://lbc.audioagain.com/player_popup.php?channel_id=90&user_id=0&sec_id=nosubscription&guid=2011-08/04/aa3c8ad04f6e028211551441216525b3

(thanks to Janet for spotting this).

Should Israel be in the Asian qualifying section for the World Cup Finals?

Israel at the 1970 World Cup finals in Mexico.

Israel at the 1970 World Cup finals in Mexico.

Last Saturday night the draw took place for the qualifying rounds of the 2014 World Cup finals and the Jewish Chronicle has published my piece about Israel being disadvantaged by playing in the European qualifying section, as opposed to the Asian qualifying section.

They put my piece up against an excellent one by Simon Griver, an Israel-based sports correspondent, and are conducting a poll: Should Israel be in the Asian World Cup group?

At the moment the “Yeas” have it 59% to 41%.

Thanks to CifWatch for the idea for my piece.

Champagne all round if my argument has continued to win out by next week.

Should Israel be in the European qualifying section for the World Cup finals?

No (me):

We know that most Middle Eastern countries refuse to play Israel, but this is contrary to Fifa’s “Say No to Racism” campaign and Article 3 of the Fifa statute, which states that discrimination on account of “ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason” is punishable by suspension or expulsion.

Those countries that object to playing against Israel should really be expelled from Fifa. But Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Qatar are set to begin their 2014 qualifiers.

Israel’s only appearance in the finals was in Mexico in 1970, when they competed in the Asia qualifying section. Which begs the question: how much better would Israel do if they were playing these far weaker Asian nations?

Israel is ranked 32 in the world. Of the 20 countries in the Asian qualifying section only two, Australia (23) and Korea Republic (28), are ranked above Israel. Had Israel been in the Asia qualifying section, they would have been seeded and, one imagines, would easily have overcome the likes of Iran (54), Saudi Arabia (92), Syria (104), Qatar (90) and Thailand (119). Thailand are there by dint of just beating Palestine (166) in the earlier elimination rounds.

But with Portugal (7) and Russia (18) in Israel’s European group, qualifying is going to be very difficult.

And what about next year’s Olympics? The Charter of the International Olympic Committee states that discrimination “on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise” is incompatible with the Olympic Movement.

But Iran will not compete against Israeli athletes. At the recent swimming world championships in Shanghai, an Iranian swimmer, Mohammad Alirezaei, withdrew from a breaststroke heat in which Israel’s Gal Nevo was swimming. He did the same at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Most likely the shame of losing to Israel is the primary motivation.

Yes (Simon Griver):

Israel’s chances of reaching the World Cup finals in Brazil in 2014 look slim after being drawn in Group F alongside Portugal and Russia.

Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg are also in the group. One UK bookmaker makes Israel 20-1 outsiders to top the group and automatically qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time since 1970, and 4-1 to finish second and thus take part in the play-offs, probably against one of Europe’s powerhouses.

It would be much easier for Israel to reach Brazil if Yossi Benayoun and co were playing in the Asia Confederation, which expelled Israel in 1973. Yet even in the unlikely event that Middle East peace materialises, Israelis would reject rejoining Asia out of hand.

Israel joined Uefa in 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which had routinely vetoed Israel’s candidacy. Some sporting associations such as basketball had even joined their European federations before the Soviet demise.

The odds of reaching the World Cup finals may have lengthened but European competition has its compensations. Israel also takes part in the Euro football championships as well as a wide range of other national competitions, and will host the Euro 2013 Under-21 championships.

More significantly, Israel’s club sides get to play in the highly lucrative Champions League and Europa League. Israeli fans can reminisce about Hapoel Tel Aviv dumping Chelsea out of the Uefa Cup, or Maccabi Haifa hammering Manchester United 3-0 in the Champions League.

In football, hope springs eternal and upsets are likely. Avram Grant’s Israel was only beaten on goal difference to a World Cup 2006 play-off place. Besides, Israelis think of themselves as being in Europe rather than Asia, and competitive visits by the likes of Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo help nurture the geographical illusion.

Lush: “We aren’t anti-Semitic”.

Lush flying the Saudi flag on their site.

Lush flying the Saudi flag on their site.

Here we go again. Yet another claim that “We aren’t anti-Semitic” by someone attacking Israel in the most crudest terms.

Lush’s website is still promoting a song that claims that there are “more than six million (Palestinian) refugees”, that Palestinians were forced from their homes and history, that Gaza is a prison camp, that the wall that keeps Israelis safe from suicide bombers is an “apartheid wall”, and that blames only Israel for violence and accuses it of racial segregation.

And they have just released another statement (see end) part of which reads:

Standing for the human rights of one does not undermine calls for the human rights of others. Likewise, criticising Israeli government policies is not akin to being anti-Semitic or anti the Israeli state. We do not tolerate racism or any other form of discrimination.

So Lush might not like it that Iranian gays are hanged for wishing to express their sexuality, or that women are not allowed to drive or work in Saudi Arabia or that Syrian civilians are being massacred en masse, it’s just that singling out the Jewish state is more important.

Lush even has shops in Saudi Arabia, so they are actually contributing to a government with a totally deplorable human rights record!

The statement continues:

“We believe that the occupation exacerbates violence in the region and therefore bringing it to an end is a vital step in the peace process.”

So it’s all about “the occupation”, stupid.

It has nothing at all to do with Hamas’ desire to kill Jews as stated in their Charter (Article 7), or that Hamas believes Israel is an “Islamic waqf” (Article 11), or that Hamas has no plans for any “peaceful solutions and international conferences” (Article 13), or that every Muslim’s duty is one of Jihad to fight the “Jews’ usurpation of Palestine” (Article 15).

The Charter also claims that Jews proclaimed “Mohammad is dead” and that “Israel, Judaism, Jews, challenge Islam and the Muslim people”.

Despite all this Lush claim they are just criticising “the occupation” and Israel’s alleged breaches of international law.

And when the leader of the EDL, Tommy Robinson, said last week that what happened recently in Norway could happen in the UK, he was accused of making threats and condoning violence.

Well, by stating “the occupation exacerbates violence” hasn’t Lush now done a similar thing?

Robinson argues that increased Muslim immigration will bring more violence to our streets from those opposed to it, but Lush are allowed to get away with “understanding” why the Palestinians are so violent against Israelis.

I have tried speaking to Lush for the last week and a half, but they refuse to return calls.

In exhasperation I called Norman Black, the head of marketing at Brent Cross, who said that there was nothing Brent Cross could do about Lush’s campaign. He said it was a Lush issue, not a Brent Cross issue.

He also said that Brent Cross would not allow any sort of peaceful protest against Lush as “this would mean introducing politics into Brent Cross”, nevermind that Lush introduced the politics. This also explains Lush’s “bold” statement, reported in the Jewish Chronicle, that “we would not ask Brent Cross to move people on if they came to protest”.

They know that Brent Cross security will do it for them!

When I spoke to Lush last week I suggested they could be more objective and instead promote the the Parents Circle – Families Forum, an organisation where bereaved Israeli and Palestinian relatives meet and also speak in schools and universities about their tragic experiences due to the conflict. These are people who really have suffered. But Lush refuses to take anything on board, except the anti-Israel propaganda they are constantly fed by War on Want.

Another of Lush’s “ethical campaigns” was to help free Binyam Mohamed from Guantanamo Bay. But what about Gilad Schalit, kidnapped by Hamas nearly five years ago and kept in solitary confinement in Gaza with no access to doctors or his family?

So, singling out the Jewish state only for criticism while staying silent about Muslim countries executing gays and slaughtering their own people, as in Syria, is not, according to Lush, anti-Semitic.

Sticking up for Binyam Mohamed, while staying silent about Gilad Schalit is ok. They will get around to Gilad eventually, I’m sure.

When I spoke to Norman Black he said he totally understood our position but that he also admired Lush’s single-mindedness of purpose.

More pertinently, he said he was relieved that the section of society that was outraged by Lush’s campaign was not one that was prone to anything more than peaceful protest.

So, there you have it in a nutshell: British Jews are a benign lot, whereas some members of certain other minority groups might not be so forgiving.

Some organisations get this which is why they single out Israel, while allowing other countries to get away with, quite literally, murder. They might also have done the maths. There are approximately 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and only about 14 million Jews. It could be great for business to be so anti-Israel these days.

Lush says there is no anti-Semitism at play, but that should be left up to people to decide for themselves.

Full Lush press release:

Lush supports the OneWorld Freedom for Palestine campaign because we believe in human rights and equality for all. Freedom for Palestine is a multi-cultural, multi-faith song that expresses the concerns some musicians across the UK and global community have about the denial of basic rights of the Palestinian people. The song calls for the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestine – which the United Nations has recognised as breaking human rights law.

Organisations such as the International Red Cross, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have expressed concerns about human rights abuses and a resulting humanitarian crisis caused by the occupation. Areas of concern include poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, limited access to clean water and farmland and restricted access to healthcare and medicines.

Standing for the human rights of one does not undermine calls for the human rights of others. Likewise, criticising Israeli government policies is not akin to being anti-Semitic or anti the Israeli state. We do not tolerate racism or any other form of discrimination.

We believe that the occupation exacerbates violence in the region and therefore bringing it to an end is a vital step in the peace process. Calling for an end to the occupation is simply calling for adherence to international law in the hope that this will bring about security and peace for all in the region. The Israeli and Palestinian people must find a solution that respects human rights for both sides and adheres to international human rights law; it’s our job as part of the international community to do what we can to ensure this happens.

Kind regards,

Vicky Jansson
Customer Care Manager
Lush Ltd.