Tag Archives: Stephen Sizer

My appearance on 4ThoughtTV: Are Jews Still Persecuted in Britain Today?

Tonight at 7.55pm on Channel 4 I am in 4ThoughtTV’s slot on whether Jews are still persecuted in Britain today, which is the theme of the week.

There are seven contributions in all. Here is the link to mine and the other six:

http://www.4thought.tv/themes/are-jews-still-persecuted-in-britain-today/richard-millett?autoplay=true

1. I spoke about my experiences of harassment at anti-Israel events when I have merely tried to get Israel’s point of view across.

2. Stephen Sizer is an anti-Israel/anti-Zionist Christian Minister. I once went to hear him speak at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign event held in a church. He said, inter alia, that churches that side with Israel have “repudiated Jesus, have repudiated the bible and are an abomination”. On my way out of that meeting I was accosted by an audience member who let out some of the most Holocaust denying anti-Jewish vitriol I have ever heard. She told me, inter alia, that Jews died in the Holocaust from having “had their foreskins chopped off.”

In his 4Thought clip Sizer claims it’s important to be able to criticise certain Israeli policies without being accused of anti-Semitism. Let’s be clear: criticising Israel’s policies is legitimate, just like it is legitimate to criticise the policies of any country.

Sizer and his ilk are accused of anti-Semitism because they want the world’s only Jewish state to disappear. This is completely different to criticising Israel’s policies. Instead, they single out the Jewish state, the collective Jew, for destruction. So, Sizer is being highly disingenuous. If he were truthful he would have admitted he wants the Jewish state removed.

3. Another who wants the Jewish state removed is Ahron Cohen, of the extremist religious Jewish sect the Neturei Karta which believes that Jews should only go to the Holy Land once they have received a direct order from God to do so. The Neturei Karta also embraces Iran’s Holocaust denying President Ahmadinejad who repeatedly calls for the destruction of Israel. Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei has referred to Israel as “the Zionist cancerous tumour in the heart of the Islamic world”.

In his clip, Cohen blames Palestinian terrorism “on the very existence of the sectarian state known as Israel”.

4. Mike Marcus has also fallen for the myth that “The Zionist lobby uses the label of anti-Semitism to silence their critics”.

5. Jose Martin correctly blames the media for whipping up anti-Semitism due to its unfair reportage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

6. Yisrael Abeles, a Holocaust survivor, also blames the media for driving much of what has, these days, become “institutionalised anti-Semitism” as opposed to street anti-Semitism.

7. The most moving clip is by schoolgirl Eden Simones-Jones who says that she still suffers from depression and anxiety due to anti-Semitic harassment. She finishes:

“If people say there is no problem with anti-Semitism, I think they should wake-up, open their eyes and really look about what’s going out there because they’re obviously sheltered in their own little dreamland where everything’s rosy, because anti-Semitism’s everywhere. You’ve just got to know what to look for.”

Sadly, she’s right. Anti-Semitism is everywhere. In Britain today anti-Zionism, an attack on Israel as the collective Jew, is the modern updated version of anti-Semitism, the attack on Jews as individuals. “Anti-Zionism” is a label that has been adopted by many of Britain’s  academics, journalists, politicians, religious leaders and charities to hide their true feelings about Jews. This is the “institutionalised anti-Semitism” referred to by Yisrael Abeles.

Hezbollah marches through London again on Al Quds Day.

At Al Quds Day in London today.

At Al Quds Day in London today.

Remember during the Olympics when Britain celebrated how multicultural we are and how we accept people of all cultures and races? Well, it seems, the party is already over.

Britain’s Jews are made to feel especially uncomfortable. Today, yet again, Hezbollah supporters marched through the streets of London for the Khomeini inspired Al Quds Day. Instead of congregating in Trafalgar Square like last year, they assembled outside the American Embassy.

Hezbollah has been involved in a worldwide campaign to murder as many Jews as possible. It started in Argentina in the early 1990s when both the Israeli consulate and a Jewish community centre were bombed by Hezbollah leaving hundreds of Jews and non-Jews dead and disabled. And recently in Bulgaria Hezbollah blew up a bus full of young Israeli tourists leaving many dead and crippled.

This is all fully in line with Hassan Nasrallah’s statements that Jews are descended from pigs and apes and if the world’s Jews gathered in Israel it would save Hezbollah the effort of going after them worldwide.

Last year Hezbollah activists held up signs proclaiming “Death to Israel”, “Israel Your Days Are Numbered” and “For there to be peace Israel must be destroyed”. Today the disingenuously named Islamic Human Rights Commission, a registered charity, was allowed to repeat the exercise.

And this year the march and rally were advertised on the back of some 400 London buses!

I wasn’t there for very long today. Once again I was quietly trying to film proceedings. No one recognised me until an anti-Ahava activist tipped off stewards from the Islamic Human Rights Commission who jostled me and complained to the police who, in turn, ushered me away.

After the assembled crowd was urged to chant “Zionism must go” and “From The River to the Sea Palestine Will be Free” I saw both Reverend Stephen Sizer and Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn address it.

Leaflets sponsored by INMINDS.co.uk were handed out. They read, inter alia, “The world ended Nazism and Apartheid, isn’t it time to end the suffering of the Palestinians?” and “Israeli soldiers of the Givati Brigade ordered around 100 people in to the Wa’el Samouni house at gunpoint. They then bombed the house killing 29 people. They then denied emergency crews access to the house for four days, shooting at ambulance drivers if they approached the house. In case anyone mistook the intent of the Givati in this crime, they left a message on one of the remaining walls of the house, daubed in Hebrew it read ‘The Only good Arab is a Dead Arab.'”

One has to ask why does Britain rightly ban groups like Muslims Against Crusades for causing public outrage but not Hezbollah which is actively attempting to murder Jews worldwide. Are Britain’s Jews deemed so dispensable?

I think we know the answer by now.

Clips and photos:

Al Quds Day London 2012. So much for "multi-cultural Britain".

Al Quds Day London 2012. So much for “multi-cultural Britain”.

Someone's in love with Hezbollah.

Someone’s in love with Hezbollah.

The heavies.

The heavies.

Giving me the evils.

Giving me the evils.

More evils.

More evils.

Racism descends on a sunny London.

Racism descends on a sunny London.

The Green Party?

The Green Party?

Neturei Karta at their usual pre-Shabbat hate-fest.

Neturei Karta at their usual pre-Shabbat hate-fest.

"Daddy, daddy can we go to another hate-fest today?"

“Daddy, daddy can we go to another hate-fest today?”

Neturei Karta and Hezbollah; the perfect fit?

Neturei Karta and Hezbollah; the perfect fit?

Palestine Solidarity Campaign defends Holocaust denier.

Here is the transcript and much clearer audio of a remarkable exchange between myself, Jonathan Hoffman and someone calling herself Jane Green outside Rivercourt Methodist Church on Thursday 6th October after a Palestine Solidarity Campaign event. I also include the PSC’s response. (Warning: Extreme language)

Audio:

Jane Green – Holocaust Denier

Transcript:

Hoffman: You’re a Holocaust denier.
Me: You said there were no showers.
Green: Fuck off, fuck off.
Hoffman: Did you say there were no showers, did you say there were no gas chambers?
Me: How did the Jews die, how did the Jews die in the Holocaust?
Hoffman: How did the Jews die in the Holocaust, Madam?
Green: They had their foreskins chopped off.
Hoffman: And were there any gas chambers, Madam?
Green: I don’t know, I wasn’t there, darling.
Hoffman: What about the historical evidence?
Me: You said there were showers beforehand.
Green: They had showers there, too.
Me: And how did the Jews die in the Holocaust?
Green: I have no idea, I wasn’t there.
Me and Hoffman: How many Jews died in the Holocaust?
Me: How many Jews died in the Holocaust?
Green: I think a few hundred thousand did.
Me and Hoffman: But not six million?
Green: I didn’t count them, no.
Me: And do you care?
Hoffman: Was there a Holocaust?
Green: I have Jews in my family, and I’ve fucked enough Jews to tell you about circumsized.
Hoffman: Did the Holocaust exist?
Me: What’s your name, Madam?
Green: Course the Holocaust existed, I’ve seen the fucking photos. My name, Jane Green. Nice Jewish name.
Me and Hoffman: How many Jews died in the Holocaust, Jane Green?
Green: Six million and one.
Me: You said a hundred thousand before.
Green: Six million and one if it makes you happy.
Hoffman: Were there any gas chambers in the Holocaust?
Green: I don’t know, I wasn’t there.
Hoffman: But before you said there weren’t any, so say that again.
Green: I didn’t say that.
Hoffman: Say there were no gas chambers.
Green: Stop harassing me.
Hoffman: Say there were no gas chambers in the Holocaust again.
Green: I’ve no idea, I wasn’t there.
Me: Do you deny the Holocaust?
Hoffman: Do you deny the Holocaust, Madam?
Unknown woman: Course I don’t deny the Holocaust.
Green: Nobody does. No one of any intelligence denies the Holocaust.
Unknown woman: I do not deny the Holocaust.
Green: But you’re using it to fucking kill the Palestinians. You are using it.
Hoffman: Sorry, nobody is using it.
Green: You are using it to commit genocide against another people, yes you are.
Hoffman: You know that calling it a Holocaust (against the Palestinians) is anti-Semitic?
Green: I don’t call it a Holocaust, the Jews call it a Holocaust. It’s meaningless to me. The Jews call it a Holocaust. A Holocaust is a general term for a conflagration. Look in your dictionary.
Hoffman: Do you know comparing Israel’s policy to Nazi policy is anti-Semitic? Do you know that, Jane?
Green: No.
Hoffman: You don’t know that?
Green: I see them as Nazis. I see the Jews in Israel as total Nazis.
Hoffman: You know that’s an anti-Semitic remark, Jane?
Green: I don’t give a fuck.
Hoffman: Jane Green, right?
Green: Jane Green.
Hoffman: Jane Green.
Green: Nice Jewish name.

PSC response:

START
Statement Following Public Meeting In Hammersmith On 6 October 2011

We unequivocally condemn the views recorded by Richard Millett of a person on the public pavement in Hammersmith on 6 October 2011. Even though the recording suggests that the person appeared to have been harangued by the interviewers, the sentiments expressed have no place in the campaign for Palestinian rights and justice. Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has a very clear policy opposing all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and anti-Jewish prejudice. Moreover, PSC has issued a further statement opposing attempts to deny or minimise the Holocaust.

It is important to remember that the recorded remarks were made outside,and not inside, a meeting organised by West London PSC which was widely advertised and open to all members of the public. The meeting itself drew upon a panel of speakers of different faiths – Jewish, Muslim and Christian – who all focused on the necessity for Jerusalem to be a city for all its residents, irrespective of faith or ethnicity.

West London Palestine Solidarity Campaign
pscwestlondon@googlemail.com
END

Eventhough PSC condemns Green’s “views” and “sentiments” it actually defends her by suggesting that she might have said what she did because she was being “harangued”. In any event she wasn’t harangued at all but took great pleasure in taunting us about the Holocaust, as you can clearly hear.

PSC also makes a weak attempt to distance itself from Green by emphasising that her remarks took place outside the meeting and that the meeting was focused on Jerusalem.

Green actually took inspiration from the meeting, at least for her accusation that Jews are using the Holocaust to kill the Palestinians. Not long before this exchange she had heard the Reverend Stephen Sizer in the meeting give “guilt for the Holocaust” in response to a question asking why more church leaders do not speak out about Israel’s allegedly inhuman treatment of the Palestinians:

Jane Green is not a one-off. Remarks similar to hers are whispered at the many anti-Israel events up and down the country. You just don’t get an opportunity to record them, so they are easily denied.

Sizer, the Rivercourt Methodist Church and Holocaust denial.

Daud Abdullah being listened to by Arthur Goodman, the West London PSC Chairman, Linda Ramsden, Stephen Sizer.

Daud Abdullah being listened to by Arthur Goodman, the West London PSC Chairman, Linda Ramsden, Stephen Sizer

I feel somewhat rejuvinated after a moving and uplifting Yom Kippur sat in synagogue listening to inspirational sermons and prayers and it was good to see many friendly faces (note to self: must go to shul more).

So it is with sadness that I now have to write about yet another sick anti-Israel public meeting in London that took place last Thursday at the Rivercourt Methodist Church, King Street, Hammersmith.

The event was called Jerusalem Under Threat and was held by the West London Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Due to speak were Reverend Stephen Sizer, Arthur Goodman (Jews for Justice for Palestinians), Linda Ramsden (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions) and Daud Abdullah (Middle East Monitor). Ghada Karmi couldn’t make it but instead we were subjected to a talk by an Anarchist Against the Wall (see clip at end).

After a long journey there I made straight for the toilets. One congregant told me that I should stay in there. Then as I sat down for the talk I was approached by a policeman who warned me not disrupt the meeting.

“Moi?” I asked, innocently.

Up first was Daud Abdullah who spoke about how UN Resolution 181 called for the internationalisation of Jerusalem, while disregarding the fact that 181 doesn’t apply now having been rejected by the Arabs in 1947. He also spoke of Israel digging up 14th Century Muslim cemeteries and burying the remains in “mass graves” to make way for the Museum of Tolerance.

Arthur Goodman gave us a lecture on international law regarding Jerusalem and spoke of a supposed “Masterplan” for Jerusalem which entailed Jews eventually making up 70% of Jerusalem’s population and the Arabs the remaining 30%.

Stephen Sizer was proficient at marketing his book Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon?, there being a leaflet on every seat. He was quick to tell us that Christians have lived in Jerusalem for 2000 years and in peace with their Christian and Jewish neighbours and that only recently have tensions grown. He said that since 1948 there has been a massive reduction of Christians in the West Bank and Israel. Not surprisingly he blamed Israel for this and referred to “the apartheid wall” as “segregation based on race”.

He quoted passages from the bible that he believes supports a “one state solution”, which was all lapped up in silence by his hypocritical audience who would have yelled derision at someone had that person quoted the many biblical passages that support the Jewish people’s right to Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan.

He said that church leaders refuse to speak out about Israel’s crimes because of “guilt for the Holocaust and fear of anti-Semitism” and that churches which side with “the occupation” and Zionism have “repudiated Jesus, have repudiated the bible and are an abomination” (see clip below).

At the end of the event Jonathan Hoffman persuaded me to stand outside the church with him to hand out pro-Israel leaflets to the congregants as they left the church. It was a futile gesture and all it did was encourage someone who called herself “Jane Green” to tell us that there weren’t any gas chambers in the Holocaust, that the Jews had instead died having had their foreskins chopped off, that only a couple of hundred thousand Jews died in the Holocaust, that the Jews are using the Holocaust to commit genocide against the Palestinians and that all the Jews in Israel are total Nazis, as you can hear here:

PSC campaigner “Jane Green” outside Rivercourt Methodist Church.

With that we trudged off home hungry, cold and dispirited that a British church can hold an event that seemed to engender such disrespect for 6,000,000 souls who died in the most dire of circumstances.

More clips/photos:

This Anarchist Against the Wall had no answers when challenged mid-flow by Jonathan Hoffman:

The West London PSC Chair says what he thinks about Israel:

Arthur Goodman readying himself to speak.

Arthur Goodman readying himself to speak.

Sarah Colborne. You’re fired.

Labour MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Burden and Yasmin Qureshi owe Theresa May, the Home Secretary, a huge debt of gratitude for having had Sheikh Raed Salah detained on Tuesday night. She might just have saved their careers.

Had the homophobic preacher been allowed to speak at wednesday night’s event at the Houses of Parliament there would now be photographs circulating of them sharing a platform with him.

These photos would, no doubt, have featured in the political literature for the next general election and would probably have led to these MPs’ crushing defeats, as sharing platforms with self-confessed homophobes is not something the British public would wish to be associated with.

Instead Salah is awaiting deportation back to Israel.

Meanwhile, in his defence Middle East Monitor and Palestine Solidarity Campaign have been raising the straw man that Salah is not an anti-Semite on the basis of lack of proof.

While he is accused of claiming that Jews use the blood of children to make their bread, his blatant homophobia has not been made a huge issue of. His supporters are defending him only against claims of anti-Semitism.

Qureshi and Burden issued similar statements along these lines.

But Just Journalism has now uncovered a 2003 interview with Haaretz where Salah gave these answers:

What is your opinion of the legislation now being discussed in the Knesset, which would grant Muslim women rights similar to those of Jewish women in matters of personal status?

“That bill is tantamount to a war on Islam. It is an attempt to dictate different, foreign values that are neither Muslim nor Palestinian values.”

What is your opinion of homosexuality?

“It is a crime. A great crime. Such phenomena signal the start of the collapse of every society. Those who believe in Allah know that behavior of that kind brings his wrath and is liable to cause the worst things to happen. There is no solution for this, unless the individual’s faith is strengthened.”

In this statement Salah denies most of the accusations:

“It has been claimed that he repeated a ‘blood libel’ by saying, ‘among those whose blood was mixed with the sacred (Jewish) bread'; this is an absolute lie and a malicious fabrication.”

“With regard to the statement that ‘the Creator made from you [the Jews] monkeys and losers’, this is again a lie and fabrication.”

“I unequivocally condemn all forms of racism, including anti- Semitism, Islamophobia, and racism towards my own people, the Palestinians.”

There are no denials about his homophobia and thoughts on the inequality of women.

So what does Sarah Colborne think of sharing a platform with someone who thinks homosexuality “is a crime…that is liable to cause the worst things to happen”. Obviously nothing.

Colborne uses her own homosexuality as a political weapon. She recently wrote to Marc Almond complaining about “real homophobia confronted by the LGBT community inside Israel” and urged him to cancel his tour to Israel. He did cancel, although Almond said it “was not for any political reason”:

“Dear Marc Almond,
I was shocked to hear that you were scheduled to perform in Israel. Listening to your music, I always assumed that you had a clear and unstinting compassion for those who face discrimination and oppression. Your music provided the soundtrack to many lesbians and gay men growing up in a hostile society. And as a lesbian who has been actively supporting Palestinian rights for over a decade, I felt obliged to write to you personally.

Israel is attempting to ‘pinkwash’ itself as tolerant, and gay-friendly in an attempt to paint over the discrimination, racism and apartheid that Palestinians face on a daily basis. It is an attempt to cover up Israel’s flouting of international law and its violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Those who support Israel’s crimes continue to propogate the colonialist fantasies of a civilised and gay-friendly Israel, as opposed to hostile, homophobic Palestinians. This not only denies the real homophobia confronted by the LGBT community inside Israel, but also the reality of life as a lesbian or gay Palestinian living under a brutal military occupation. By propogating this fantasy, Israel is attempting to co-opt support from LGBT artists and activists in other countries for its violence towards Palestinians.

I have worked with the Palestinian community in Britain and internationally, travelled to Palestinian towns and villages, and I was on the Mavi Marmara last year when it was attacked by Israeli commandos whilst in international waters, taking aid to Gaza. Our shared experiences of homophobia and discrimination should make us even more sensitive to, and supportive of, the cause of equality, freedom and justice for Palestine.

I urge you to listen to the voices of Palestinian gay and lesbian organisations, for example Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (PQBDS). Please listen to those of us in the LGBT community in Britain, who believe that until Palestinians are free, none of us are free.

The cause of Palestine is the cause of justice and freedom. Please do not taint the love of the LGBT community for your music by playing in Israel.

Sarah Colborne”

Yet, here she is sitting next to him on Monday night at an event sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which she heads, and Middle East Monitor.

Conway Hall: Salah and Sarah Colborne in the middle

Conway Hall: Salah and Sarah Colborne in the middle

It just goes to show that Salah’s vile views can be overlooked where the joint goal is the vilification of Israel.

Will Qureshi, Corbyn and Burden now denounce Salah as a homophobe or do they consider homophobia to be less serious than anti-Semitism?

At the next general election the British public will be made well aware that these three Labour MPs were due to share a platform with someone who has clearly expressed homophobic views.

And what about the PSC, which sponsored the event on Monday night where Salah spoke and sponsored the event at Parliament on Wednesday where he was due to speak?

Will the PSC’s patrons stay silent about an organisation they support, but which has now sponsored a homophobic preacher?

Those patrons include Tony Benn, actress Julie Christie, Victoria Brittain, playwright Caryl Churchill (who wrote Seven Jewish Children), RMT leader Bob Crow, writer William Dalrymple, the reverend Garth Hewitt, Ghada Karmi, Bruce Kent, Lowkey, Karma Nabulsi, Ilan Pappe, Alexei Sayle and Benjamin Zephania.

On the Reverend Stephen Sizer’s blog there is also a defence of Salah. Salah is referred to as a “well-respected Palestinian leader”.

Do Salah’s views on homosexuality make him a well-respected leader?

On The Apprentice the project manager on the losing team is invariably fired for the team’s losing performance. In the case of PSC chief Sarah Colborne Alan Sugar would already be pointing his finger and saying:

“Sarah. You’re fired.”