Tag Archives: boycott

British psychotherapists gear up for racist boycott of Israeli psychotherapists.

Martin Kemp, Teresa Bailey, Jeff Halper, David Harrold at the Guild of Psychotherapists, Nelson Square, London on Wednesday night.

Martin Kemp, Teresa Bailey, Jeff Halper, David Harrold at the Guild of Psychotherapists, Nelson Square, London on Wednesday night.

On Wednesday night I found myself sitting among 60 or so psychotherapists and mental health workers at the Guild of Psychotherapists in London for the launch meeting of the UK-Palestine Mental Health Network.

The four panelists were David Harrold and Mohamed Altawil, both of the Palestine Trauma Centre UK, psychotherapist Martin Kemp and ubiquitous Israel-hater Jeff Halper of Israeli Committee against House Demolitions. Chairing the evening was psychotherapist Teresa Bailey.

The evening was supposed to be about helping the Palestinians but, as ever, it quickly dissolved into an evening of unmitigated attacks on Israel and Zionism, and calls for a boycott of the Jewish state. Contributions from panelists were very short so as to encourage comments from the audience.

First to speak was Altawil who discussed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder suffered by Palestinian children. He said the biggest trauma was when Palestinian children lost their houses and he accused Israel of “working to kill Palestinians from the inside”.

Harrold said Palestinians were in an “abusive relationship” shown by Israeli politicians talking about “putting Palestinians on a diet” and how they “must be made to feel a defeated people”. He said the Palestinians had been “reduced to a level of thinking only about the problem of survival, nothing else”.

Harrold continued “if you are sane you are going to resist” and he then listed certain ways of resisting which included “rockets and martyrs’ funerals”. He said he did not endorse such methods. He didn’t say he denounced them either.

Halper, who wishes to boycott Israel out of existence, called for the mobilisation of “civil society”.

Kemp criticised David Cameron for “declaring himself rock solid in his support of Israel”. Kemp described politicians who speak up in support of Israel as “hypocritical” and he invoked Ghada Karmi, Ronnie Kasrils, Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker, Angela Davis and Judith Butler to support his notion that Israel has an “apartheid system”.

Kemp finished by saying that “the west’s embrace of Zionism is having a detrimental effect on our own political culture”.

For more on Kemp’s ideological hatred towards Israel read his article To Resist Is To Exist in Therapy Today in which he seems to compare Israel to Nazi Germany when he invokes Emanuel Berman who said:

‘The lessons from Germany… and from Chile… point… to the need for analysts in all countries to confront openly major issues in their country’s history… Israeli society, and more specifically the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which it is engulfed, is a case in point…’

From the floor Derek Summerfield, a senior lecturer and another seemingly vicious anti-Israel polemicist said “boycott is the only tool” and David, a young social worker in London who didn’t give his surname, suggested they should “hit Israelis economically”.

Andrew Samuels, a founding member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, a psychotherapist, political consultant and professor of Analytical Psychology at the University of Essex, seems to be a master of the dark arts of which his ideological mentor Carl Jung would not have approved.

Samuels suggested the Jewish community would respond to a political move couched in terms of “mental health and therapy”.

He was “excited about setting up a line of influence that ends up in governmental circles” and the “prestigious meeting rooms in Parliament” which would be provided.

He said “histrionics, the worst case scenario, emotional blackmail and all that kind of thing” should be used.

He complained that “the psychotherapy world is two-thirds pro-Israel”. But, he said, “we have to have the fight…the question is how best to make a lot of noise because noise really does matter. Losing debates and resolutions doesn’t matter viewed in the context of historical time. You have to lose a lot before you have the remotest possibility of winning anything.”

Margaret McCallin, an elderly English lady and a retired psychotherapist, said that “the mental health of the Palestinians must be seen in the context of violation of human rights and the ongoing violence from which these people see no end”.

She said that despite the way the Palestinians live in Gaza “they don’t get up and start slaughtering the Israelis on the border or any of the others”. How delightfully generous of her.

Finally, Teresa Bailey took a vote to gauge support for the UK-Palestine Mental Health Network and quoted Martin Luther King’s “what is remembered are not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”.

There were many other vicious comments about Israel from the floor, yet not one mention of Palestinian terror group Hamas and its real oppression of Palestinian women, gays and dissidents.

So expect a racist boycott of Israeli psychotherapists and mental health workers along the lines of the RIBA boycott of Israeli architects anytime soon.

Wednesday night at Guild of Psychotherapists.

Wednesday night at Guild of Psychotherapists.

Yachad and UJS to host talk by boycotter Peter Beinart at UJIA.

Yachad calls itself “The pro-Israel pro-peace voice of British Jews”. It’s as if no other pro-Israel British Jew can possibly be “pro-peace”. Just those Jews who support Yachad, you understand.

At the United Nations in New York today at what is euphemistically called Observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, “Palestine” is due to be recognised as a non-member observer state.

However, today’s rhetoric has had nothing to do with Palestinian statehood, but has been tantamount to incitement to murder Jews and Israelis and to boycott Israel out of existence. One Arab delegate accused Israelis of burning the Koran, and Roger Waters spoke for 25 minutes. Waters accused Israel, inter alia, of apartheid and prioritising Jewish people above its other citizens. He demanded a boycott of Israel.

Delegate after delegate called for a two-state solution and for UNGA Resolution 194 to be implemented. 194 calls for a return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. As the UN classes ALL Palestinian descendants as refugees this would soon lead to the demographic destruction of Israel as the world’s only Jewish state. What UN delegates are, in effect, calling for is a two-state solution as long as both states are Palestinian.

Waters, ludicrously, claimed that Hamas has agreed to future peace with Israel as long as a Palestinian state is agreed along the 1967 ceasefire lines. He claimed that New Yorkers, cut off from the outside world, don’t know this. Hamas who, in their Charter, call for the murder of all Jews are hardly going to agree to any Jewish state along any lines. It is Waters who is cut off.

But, now, with this growing febrile atmosphere against Israel where Israelis are demonised and demands made that they be boycotted Peter Beinart has been invited by Yachad and the Union of Jewish Students to address a Jewish audience at the offices of the United Joint Israel Appeal (UJIA). UJIA, a charity, is supposed to have the interests of Israel and all Israelis at heart.

It is a student-only event. Here is the Facebook page where the location of the event has now been hidden:

As you can read Beinart calls for “a boycott of West Bank Settlement produce”.

So because Beinart disagrees with a group of people, in this case Israeli settlers, he wants their businesses and livelihoods immediately destroyed and their ability to feed their families and young children immediately curtailed. All they have worked for should be destroyed overnight on the say so of someone living thousands of miles away?

Hannah Weisfeld, who heads Yachad, claimed in March this year:

“While we hugely respect Peter Beinart and believe he adds an important voice to the debate, we believe that all forms of boycott are counter-productive.”

However, a month earlier at an Israeli Society event at SOAS discussing whether Israel should be boycotted Weisfeld was far more ambiguous when she said:

“I think we would be having a very different conversation in this room if the BDS movement was about a targeted (settlement) boycott. I am not saying that I would necessarily support it, but I think the entire debate would be different…”

Now Weisfeld, Yachad and the Union of Jewish Students have invited Beinart to make the case, via Skype, for just such a targeted boycott of those Israeli families living on the West Bank.

By all means disagree with their living their and make the case that they shouldn’t be. Try to achieve a gradual change in Israeli government policy, like when Ariel Sharon finally decided to order Israeli settlers to be removed from Gaza.

But for Beinart and others to encourage the wrecking of people’s livelihoods overnight is crossing a red line, let alone a green one. We hear it enough at the hundreds of anti-Israel events that take place annually.

Meanwhile, UJIA have confirmed that they are hosting the event:

Protests fail to disrupt Batsheva Ensemble’s Deca Dance show at Sadler’s Wells.

The Batsheva Ensemble, the youth wing of the main Batsheva dance company, received a standing ovation at Sadler’s Wells in London last night after an outstanding display of music and dance. Batsheva’s Deca Dance show, a collage of impressive pieces, consists of 16 dancers aged between 18 and 24 years-old. The 16 are mainly Israeli although there are two dancers from Spain and one from Russia, America and Japan, respectively.

As you enter the auditorium there’s a single dancer already on stage welcoming you in with some humorous improvisation.

Ten minutes in to the show shouts of “Free Free Palestine” were quickly drowned out by spontaneous audience applause. Security was dotted unobtrusively around the theatre to deter anything more prolonged. Two more similar attempts at disruption took place during the show but they were met with a similar audience response.

The second half was dominated by the female and male dancers seemingly dressed as Chabad Lubavitch Jews in dark hats, white shirts and dark trousers. They then interacted brilliantly with the audience, and the audience with them, before bringing the curtain down with the most powerful rendition of all thirteen verses of Echad Mi Yodea, the Passover table song, you will ever see and hear.

The 1500 seats were virtually sold out although you can walk in just before the show and pick up a ticket. The show continues tonight and tomorrow night at the same place before, finally, moving on to Plymouth on Friday and Saturday. Try to see it before it leaves these shores.

Typically, The Guardian newspaper, who are quite happy to promote racist cultural boycotts against Israel that also demean apartheid, linked their report Batsheva Dance Company braces for Gaza protests in London straight through to the Facebook page of Don’t Dance With Israeli Apartheid.

Sadly, for The Guardian and the boycotters the disruptions were muted and the audience loved Batsheva’s performance, as could be seen by the rousing ovation and the three curtain calls given to Batsheva last night. Here is part of that ovation:

Omar Barghouti: The non-Israel-boycotting Israel boycotter.

A foul stench of hypocrisy hung in the air last night as Omar Barghouti spoke about his new book BDS: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions. The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights at the London Review Bookshop.

Barghouti unashamedly studies in Tel Aviv. He consumes Israeli goods en masse and says he would take Israeli live-saving medicine should he ever require it.

“I have no choice. I don’t know what you think about Arabs but we are not suicidal,” was his answer to my question on that last point. He was being slightly disingenuous as my question was not about Arabs, but him specifically.

That said, there are more than just a few Arabs who are suicidal and who think nothing of taking the lives of the innocent with them in the act, but when have you heard any condemnation of this from the so-called protectors of human rights within the BDS movement?

I couldn’t understand why, out of choice, Barghouti studies in a country that he so despises. He also studied in America, the one country he blames for its rock solid support of Israel. But he argued that he has the right to be in Israel because he is a refugee and has the right to return there. He was born in Qatar and spent his first eleven years in Egypt.

On the question of consuming Israeli goods, once again, he argued he has no choice as he lives in Israel.

He claimed that he couldn’t find anyone to debate him about the ethics of a boycott “so we are debating with ourselves”. But, he said, he had set out all the questions and answers about boycotting Israel in his book.

But it was only recently that Prof. Daniel Hochhauser destroyed Dr. John Chalcraft’s arguments on this exact same topic at the London (or is that Libyan?) School of Economics.

There are many more people who can also demolish Barghouti’s arguments and show up the BDS movement for the purely anti-Semitic movement that it is.

There I go playing the anti-Semitism card, which is exactly what Barghouti told the audience that Israel’s supporters do, but he implored them to be brave and to continue making the case for boycotts despite such allegations.

But if a movement does not propose a boycott of America, Britain, China, Russia and Turkey etc. for the occupations that they are all embroiled in then I really don’t know how a movement can consider itself to be anything other than anti-Semitic. Perhaps Barghouti addresses this point in his book.

So Barghouti consumes Israeli products but travels the world encouraging audiences to boycott those same products, and more, until the BDS movement achieves its three main objectives:

1. Ending the occupation and dismantling the wall.
2. Giving the Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel complete equality.
3. Respecting the rights of the Palestinians to return under UN Res. 194.

Like Chalcraft he claimed that the boycott only targets institutions, not individuals although, as Hochhauser, pointed out individuals belong to institutions and so people are, in effect, being targeted individually.

He described settlement products as “contraband”, which should be seized on entry to the UK, and claimed that the BDS movement had achieved “success beyond our dreams”.

The call, he said, was issued in July 2005 but the movement has so far achieved more than the anti-apartheid movement did in 20 years and now included a boycott by the Trades Union Congress that covers some seven million workers and a cultural boycott by the likes of Meg Ryan, Roger Waters and The Pixies etc.

Even if his claims were true, surely the boycott movement would be even more successful if he was also boycotting Israel.

Barghouti would, no doubt, argue that he is effecting change from within Israel. He is part of “Boycott From Within”, but claimed repression is on the rise against Israeli citizens who support BDS, although, apparently, the Foreign Ministry recognises that Israel “will lose its last veneer of democracy in the West” should this continues.

He cited Ilan Baruch who resigned from foreign service claiming that Israel needs to study “the South African experience”. Baruch had, however, recently been turned down for the post of ambassador to Egypt.

Barghouti claimed that mainstream Israeli officials, and even Mossad, now think Israel is “a pariah”.

The main problem for BDS is that, as Barghouti stated, Israel’s economy is “triple A rated” and so the movement must go for strategic victories like those against Veolia, which is responsible for building transport links in Israel. He claimed Veolia had been trying to sell its share in the Jerusalem light railway project, but that there were no buyers.

But he did reveal doubts over the so-called Palestinian right of return. He questioned “whether it is feasible or not”, despite this being one of the three main objectives of the BDS movement!

In summary, Barghouti is taking the very best that Israel has to offer and is allowed to publicly air his criticisms while, hypocritically, denouncing Israel as being undemocratic and an apartheid state.

Israel feeds him, educates him, houses him, clothes him and looks after him medically, all while he attempts to destroy it from within.

(I wasn’t allowed to take photos, although other audience members were, but here’s the audio: Omar Barghouti talk and Q&A (Chaired by Victoria Brittain).)

For some great “Israel Apartheid Week” posters see elderofziyon

Ahava staff carry on under pressure

staff looking out from Ahava

staff looking out from Ahava

Imagine your journey into work worrying about what you might find when you arrive or whether your office might be violently stormed with you in it.

This is the daily fate of the Ahava staff who work in the shop on Monmouth Street in London’s Covent Garden.

As we all know by now Ahava lost two days of business when late last year the shop was invaded by activists who locked themselves inside while petrified staff looked on. Then last week the shop front was coated in red paint by a couple of “brave” souls who had covered their faces so as not to be picked out by CCTV.

Ahava after last week's paint attack

Ahava after last week's paint attack

Yesterday the usual mob of anti-Israel activists turned up en masse with an array of Palestinian and Communist flags and the usual “Boycott Israel” and “Free Palestine” paraphernalia. They were allowed to position themselves a couple of metres from Ahava’s shop door and hand out anti-Israel leaflets to passers-by.

Sadly, one can forget any solidarity from neighbouring shop-keepers for now; Ahava is being told by some to shut up shop and go online.

By yesterday the red paint had been mostly removed at great expense to Ahava. Remnants could still be seen above the shop.

And if you had ever wondered where all the money comes from to fund both the attacks and legal representation, they hold fundraisers:

On September 11th we are putting on a fundraising party to raise money to fund direct actions in support of Palestine, such as blockades of Ahava or Carmel Agrexco. Come on down, with a banging line up and an amazing space to have a party in (the Ratstar comes with 2 rooms of music, a cinema room and even a roof terrace, oh yes), there has never been a funner way to support a great cause. The day kicks off at 4pm, with workshops on direct action, …Palestine related film screenings and a Palestinian cafe. Music starts at 8pm. The night is free before 8pm, £5 suggested donation afterwards, but pay what you can afford. All money raised will go to pay for actions like this; http://london.indymedia.org/articles/2955

No chance of any of that money making it to the starving or malaria-ridden of Africa then, nor the the flood victims in Pakistan nor even to the Palestinians themselves who the activists claim to care so much about.

Meanwhile, here is Channel 10 of Israel’s interesting video clip about the boycott Israel movement. Look out for insightful comment from Lauren Booth.

Yesterday:

left-over red paint after midweek attack

left-over red paint after midweek attack

small pro-Israel counter-demo.

small pro-Israel counter-demo.

The Shame of the pro-Palestinian campaign

Palestinian flag

Imagine for one moment that the nasty Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) supported by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and all of its supporters was a success. Israeli industry would be on the verge of bankruptcy and all of the innovations and inventions that are constantly discovered by Israeli scientists would not be discovered for lack of funding and investment.

Like, for example, the Camera in a Pill that travels through the digestive tract sending back photographs of the intestines in someone’s body. There is now no need to use cables that are passed into the digestive system through the nose or mouth and which would normally require a patient to be sedated. Patients can now carry on their normal lives while a diagnosis of their condition can take place. All they need do is swallow the “Camera Pill” which is then excreted out after the 24 to 48 hours that the pill takes to go through the digestive system.

You only have to glance briefly at www.israel21c.org to see the range of innovations produced by Israeli scientists that seek to improve people’s lives. The many innovations include using music therapy to help deaf and hearing-impaired toddlers, developing alternative energy sources such as solar and hydro power and an Iphone App for finding free Parking in New York.

Yet, a successful boycott, particularly an academic boycott, would stop all this development in its tracks. One of the main aims of the sanctions is to “cut off trade and investments“. If an academic boycott succeeded then Israeli scientists would not be able to consult with international scientists over crucial developments.

And then there is Haiti. It could not have escaped anyone’s notice that the reports on Sky and the BBC have focused mainly on the Israeli rescue team. The pictures and footage coming from this tragedy are too much to bear but Israel is doing its best to save those buried under the buildings and still just about alive.

As soon as the quake struck last tuesday Israel prepared to dispatch a 220 man team on two El Al planes. The entourage brought with them a field hospital that can serve 500 patients a day and includes 40 doctors, 25 nurses, a children’s ward and an intensive care unit.

Sanctions would have seriously reduced the effectiveness of Israel’s ability to save these lives. The rescue mission should impress on the Palestinians that Israel would go anywhere in the world to improve conditions and health, even as far as Gaza!

The Israeli, British and all the teams are heroes for putting their lives at risk by going into terribly insecure buildings which could collapse any moment especially if the expected aftershocks occur.

Even the church has not been immune from the ignorance. It recently divested from Caterpillar on the basis that Israel uses its bulldozes to demolish illegal Palestinian homes. The church made a recent ineffectual gesture by dumping its shares in Caterpillar even though Caterpillar could now be playing a crucial role in helping Israel’s rescue mission by using its equipment to move swathes of rubble to get to the dead and dying.

But even as Israel does good the anti-Israel brigade will again attempt stir up an audience against Israel. In London tomorrow night there is an anti-Israel meeting. It is at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square from 7pm till 9pm.

You would hope that for one night the whole event could be turned into a “Help Haiti” evening. The hostilities against Israel could be resumed once every thing has been done to rescue Haitians.

The combined passion, intelligence and power of these people could be used to such positve effect, instead it will be wasted as Israel once again becomes the target:

Dr Karma Nabulsi, Oxford University

Bruce Kent, Vice President Pax Christi

Sir Gerald Kaufman MP – Just returned from Gaza

Phyllis Starkey MP

Lowkey

George Galloway MP

Alison Shepherd, UNISON

Daud Abdullah, Middel East Monitor

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Kate Hudson, Chair CND

Alexei Sayle

Richard Burden MP

Joseph Healey, The Green Party

Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition

Hugh Lanning, Deputy General Secretary PCS

Anas Altikriti, BMI

Ismael patel, Friends of Al Aqsa