Threatened and told I’m “one of the chosen people” at anti-Israel trade union event.

Moshe Machover about to wake someone up with talk of wet dreams.

Moshe Machover about to wake someone up with talk of wet dreams.

Last night the RMT union, which represents London Underground’s tube drivers, held a rally at SOAS under the pseudonym Palestine’s Fight for Freedom.

Speakers demonised Israel with accusations of “apartheid”, “ethnic cleansing” and being a “racist state”. There were also the usual racist boycott calls.

There was an incredible screaming rant by Steve Hedley, RMT’s London regional organiser, in which, addressing an audience member, he made remarks such as “your friends in the media”, “the attack on those innocent women and children who you starved and turned into the biggest concentration camp on the earth”, “you’re an absolute disgrace to the Jewish people” and “you’re a modern day Nazi”.

After he had sat down I asked him if he felt better, to which he replied:

“Better than you, obviously. But then again you’re one of the chosen people so you might feel better than me, huh?”

Here is the audio of Hedley’s rant, including his “chosen people” remark. He was cleared earlier this year of assault:

Hedley on “the chosen people”.

And here is some footage of the end of Hedley’s rant:

It wasn’t long after this that I felt a tug on my shirt collar and heard the words “You’ve got a right hook coming to you” menacingly whispered into my ear.

Here is another RMT official speaking about how Israel has “deformed the area”:

Hedley had earlier more calmly refuted any accusations of anti-Semitism:

“If the Israeli people are going to tolerate the oppression of the Palestinian people, they will never be free themselves. And I’m an anti-fascist. I’ve been an anti-fascist since the early teens. I’ve got absolutely nothing against Israelis at all; nothing against Jewish people. It’s a clear line to draw because people have been throwing around labels ‘oh, you’re anti-Semitic’… and that’s not the case.”

Well, that’s all clear and good, apart from calling a Jewish person “one of the chosen people”.

More depressing than that though was to hear a SOAS lecturer, Dr Adam Hanieh, calling for a racist boycott of Israel. Let’s be clear; he was not calling for a boycott of “settlement goods”, but everything Israeli.

I don’t wish to suggest that there is anything improper about Hanieh’s classes. I have never been in one. But do his students know of his vile politics before enrolling on to Development Studies at SOAS?

If you were parting with £9,000 a year wouldn’t you want to be informed that a lecturer supports racist action? I would. Even if he or she were the best lecturer in the world I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with them.

Hanieh’s SOAS biography gives no hint of his boycott activism. Here is Hanieh speaking about a boycott of Israel last night:

And here is Hanieh talking about “ethnic cleansing” and comparing the West Bank to the bantustans in South Africa:

Meanwhile, raunchy Moshe Machover bravely injected some sex talk into the event. Apart from calling for a “one-state solution” he said:

“The wet dream of all major Zionist parties is further ethnic cleansing. And this is what is on the cards.” (At 2 mins 43 secs.)

And here is Hugh Lanning, Chair of the PSC and Deputy General of the Public and Commercial Services Union, complaining about BBC bias and refuting claims that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, despite the fact that no one makes such a claim. Calling for the destruction of Israel, which is the PSC position, is anti-Semitic though.

During the Q&A a questioner asked whether the RMT has proposed boycotts of Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, China and Russia, while another asked whether the boycotts aren’t reminiscent of the Nazis boycotts of the Jews in the 1930s.

Ilan Pappe’s squirming answer was that Iran is already being sanctioned and, therefore, the RMT doesn’t have to boycott Iran and that everyone knows that the likes of Saudi Arabia are oppressive, unlike the media which presumes that Israel is democratic.

He finished off addressing the difference between the Nazi boycott and today’s boycott movement just by saying:

“How can someone who was the victim of Nazis stand in support of Israel today?”

Here’s the audio:

Pappe on Iran, Saudi Arabia and Nazi boycotts.

Pappe is a lecturer at Exeter University.

It was left to Jonathan Hoffman to propose that Israel was a smokescreen for the failure of unions like the RMT to prevent the cuts, which didn’t go down with the Chairman of the event who said that he wouldn’t be taking any lectures on RMT’s efforts to represent the working man.

But is the same union that stops many a working man from getting to work when they launch one of their regular tube strikes?

If so then the sooner Mayor Boris introduces driverless tube trains, the better.


58 responses to “Threatened and told I’m “one of the chosen people” at anti-Israel trade union event.

  1. Well done Jonathan and Richard for turning up at this charade. How depressing to sit through such nonsense and hate for probably a couple of hours.

    I have to agree with Roberta Moore – why is a UK based trade union, in fact why are any UK based trade unions taking sides in a dispute three thousand miles away? Why are they not using their time and effort to work on behalf of their union membership?

    How is it they have chosen just one state to single out for boycott, sanction and divestment, and yet have chosen to ignore some states with the most appalling records?

    If it’s not anti Semitism, it’s certainly anti Jewish state.

  2. Roberta Moore

    This needs to be addressed at the top level, and I mean top top level.
    Many people I know pay trade unions to deal with their employment issues and not to waste their hard earned cash promoting anti-Semitism 3,00o miles away.

  3. “Better than you, obviously. But then again you’re one of the chosen people so you might feel better than me, huh?”

    Unbelievable racism.

  4. Hedley really let the cat out there. Who agreed with him, saying, ‘That’s right’?

    How can ‘chosen people’ apply only to or mean ‘Zionists’? Neturei Karta believe they’re chosen.

  5. This man Hedley, with his arm punching the air in a Nazi salute, yelling in the frenzied tone of a dictator calls the EDL fascist? I can’t say I have heard Tommy Robinson talk in such a dictatorial manner. His orgasmic rant is that of a disturbed person, not finishing before the climax, after which he speaks in such low tones as though inhaling his cigarette. His apologetic speech about his love of Israelis was no doubt by way of assuring Richard that he should not get him arrested for racist comments!

    What is the RMT doing holding such a race fest against Israel – let’s not forget the socialist nationale – it is still alive and kicking despite the demise of its head office the USSR. These rather out of date international socialists have already banned the Hitadruth from membership of the world Trades Union Movement. You heard it in one of the clips in this blog – they do not represent Palestinians – well why should they. Does the RMT represent Italians or Croatians or Brazilians? The Histadruth represents Israelis amongst whom are Jews, Arabs and any other people who live and work in Israel. Palestinians live and work in the disputed territories under the administration of a man called Abbas or in Gaza under the rule of Hamas. Surely they can organise their own trades unions?

  6. Richard, you and Jonathan are so brave. Whilst BICOM and Board members seem to leave the hard work to you two, the situation just seems to be getting worse and worse. I am a lifelong memebr of several trade unions but stopped going to meetings because 90% of the time was always taken up with ‘defending Palestine’ rants.

  7. One obvious conclusion – people’s *assertions* that they are not antisemitic are pretty meaningless.

  8. I am most appalled by the man whispering in Richard’s ear “You’ve got a right hook coming to you” while in all likelihood considering himself the height of wittiness by doing nothing other than indulging his hope to see somebody get a scare.

    I would have gotten one, a big one in fact. I hope that you Richard walk any street alone again only after you are well clear of the thugs.

    As to “chosen” or rather “Chosen” as Daniel will have it I hereby confess that Richard is one of my “Chosen Bloggers”. Since I consider myself a very hard to please person that is no mean feat.

    I think the Unions are losing ground or are not finding any feet to stand on in the current world which can only bode ill for us “lowly” ones but to compensate for their confusion by picking on something that is so very much none of their business makes me guess that they are maybe stumping for new members amongst Muslims.

    If the bereaved of the USSR’s shining example socialists were active only in the unions to indulge in their nostalgia it would be bad enough but I have found them also at I think Spiked’s the name promoting free market fundamentalism.

    Also since Tunisia and Libya have opted for Islam I have read several headlines calling for capitalism in those countries i.e. there seems to be something going on with democracy losing some of its lustre.

  9. I’ve asked Nick Lowles, Graeme Atkinson and Steve Silver from Searchlight/Hope not Hate if the react and how they react.

    • You’ve got some hope!
      Those utter bigots and enablers of clerical thugs have no interest in combating antisemitism.

      • I think if anybody knows whom to lobby it is Karl Pfeifer provided he is the Karl Pfeifer I “know”.

        And if he is that Karl Pfeifer then he is quite likely to get heard.

  10. Richard, I think you should take boxing classes (or karate or king-fu or whatever) and if anyone ever dares try to put the threat of a right hook into action, the best response is to deck him.
    Sometimes, a bloody nose really is the only response to bullies;-)

  11. That Hedley throws quite the hissy fit, doesn’t he?

    And as for ‘friends in the media’ – we’re so much more than friends, darling.

    But on a serious note, what racist pondlife. Thanks for documenting this, Richard.

  12. attilathecricketer

    1) RMT should focus on defending its members – I fully agree with them having right to strike and protecting ticket offices (driverless trains but with a guard on board on a lower salary would be my suggestion).
    2) Disappointed at PCS bloke supporting such a meeting – that is my union. However I would agree that the label anti-semitic is lobbed too easily at opponents of Israel.
    3) Chosen one – explain problem with that. The old adage that if you were born British you had won the lottery may no longer apply but probably was true and it would have been correct to lob a charge of arrogance at many a Victorian Brit. Every nation / religious group has (or had) its own arrogant foundation myth about the status of its people.

    • richardmillett

      so you don’t think it racist to reduce every person in a religious or racial minority down to having some sort of superiority complex over the rest of society? No wonder the world has seen so many sick people take over and do horrendous things to those less capable of defending themselves while the silent majority looked on and said nothing.

      • attilathecricketer

        I think we are all capable of being arrogant. I think the Israelis are in a position of power vis-a-vis the Palestinians and individuals in Israeli society are quite happy to exploit that – just as individuals in the British Empire and particularly in the East India Company did so. I don’t think an Indian of the 19th century criticising the British for being arrogant should have been accused of racism.

      • richardmillett

        Excuse me! He was addressing me! I’m British!

    • “the label anti-semitic is lobbed too easily at opponents of Israel”

      Nonsense. We call it as we see it. Deranged hatred of Israel is antisemitic.

  13. So when are they going to start blaming late and delayed train services on “Zionists”

  14. Atilla
    I believe you understand full well that the term Chosen relates in fact to the biblical decree of “being a light unto the nations ” so as to make known G-D s laws.
    This has been twisted since time immemorial by every antisemite big and small to mean Jewish superiority over other nations .
    Hadley despite his claims to the contrary of being against racism and antisemitism displays his hatred in 3D surround sound .

    • attilathecricketer

      Not being very religious myself I don’t (although I did realise that Bible was the context) tell me where to find it.

  15. Pingback: Steve Hedley, RMT’s London Transport regional organiser: “You’re One of the Chosen People” | My Blog

  16. Richard, once again, I can but doff my cap to you and to Jonathan Hoffman. I admire your courage – seriously. I’m not talking about “internet courage” where people claim to be brave for “standing up” to opponents, when all that could happen to them would be deleted comments. You took and take a physical risk by walking into these meetings and making yourself known.

    I really hope you have some security with you, and that you have taken self-defence classes.

    Kol Hakavod on walking into the lion’s den.

  17. OMG! I just watched the video of the end of Hedley’s rant. Silke is right. He looks and sounds like a Nazi, reminiscent of Hitler at the height of one his rants. Sickening and terrifying.

    • richardmillett

      If you listen to the audio you will hear how he builds up like Hitler did. It is a frightening rant especially when so closely followed by calling me one of the superior chosen people.

      • It’s worthwhile watching without sound. He has declamatory style, typical demagoguery, building up to climax in himself and his audience.

      • Why anyone should be suprised by this amazes me. What’s new?

        The world is anti-Semetic, but at least the Jews now have Israel.

  18. I was most elated a few weeks ago when George Orwell’s article was mentioned on this excellent blog in the context of anti-Semitism. The whole article is worth a good read, but I’ll just mention a few examples that Blair quotes of post-war British anti-Semitism

    Middle-aged office employee: “I generally come to work by bus. It takes longer, but I don’t care about using the Underground from Golders Green nowadays. There’s too many of the Chosen Race travelling on that line.”

    Tobacconist (woman): “No, I’ve got no matches for you. I should try the lady down the street. She’s always got matches. One of the Chosen Race, you see.”

    Young intellectual, Communist or near-Communist: “No, I do not like Jews. I’ve never made any secret of that. I can’t stick them. Mind you, I’m not antisemitic, of course.”

    How little matters have changed in six decades. This was a time when there were no occupied territories or even a Green Line. In 1945 the Holocaust was just over and it would have been a stretch to see Jews as anyone’s aggressors. Unlike their grandchildren and great-grandchildren today, Anglo-Jewry then was highly patriotic and volunteered impressively, as they had in 1914 to fight for King and Empire.

    However, in most other ways reality was very similar. An Englishman will never admit to being anti-Semitic, then “I just don’t like Jews.” today “I’m just an anti-Zionist.” and if our crime then was being “The Chosen Race” today (more PC) we are “The Chosen People”.

    Long ago I lamented the behavior of a self-hating Jewish anti-Israel propagandist, with the words:

    “So much for us Jews being a light unto nation!? You have wonderful goyim like Max Schmeling and scumbag Jews like Norman What’s’his’name.”

    Some cretin jumped in, claiming that I was a racist. I was reminded of the inherent problematic of trying to explain a complex abstract concept to someone who doesn’t want to listen or is intellectually incapable of conceiving the possibility that “being chosen” implies neither superiority nor additional privileges or rights. It is particularly challenging to attempt to reason with those whose minds are already made up.

    Interestingly, I have found in recent years that these issues are often easier to discuss with goyim than with Jews. A couple of years ago a visiting non-Jewish journalist to Maale Adumim asked me about my Tzitzit.

    I explained that when I see the blue I think of the sea and when I think of the sea I remember the heavens and when I remember the heavens I think of the heavenly throne. She appeared to like the idea and at the end of the talk asked me where she might acquire such a garment.

    Now if she had been one of the “Chosen People” she might well have just laughed. I wonder why that is.

    • it would have been a stretch to see Jews as anyone’s aggressors.

      A very highly esteemed German author wrote in his WW2 memoir that when after the defeat they were on their march on their own trying to reach the west they were very keen on evading roving bands of Jewish KZ-survivors intent on killing German soldiers. I think he wrote that book in the 80s and he didn’t find it necessary to add anything of whether their fear at the time was justified or not. Once I’ll remember his name I’ll provide a link.

      I, however, somehow find it very improbable that there were survivors who still had the physical ability to “rove” during those early days of their liberation let alone that there were enough of them to form bands.

      • Dieter Wellershoff is the guy and the book from which I remember the above is apparently from 1995 which enrages me even more because of all the history that had been written by then.

        BTW at the end of it he visits a cemetery somewhere in the south of Germany where predominantly young SS from the area of Alsace were buried and he mourns the loss of their young lives very eloquently.

        People like that make me think that you, Daniel, have a point when you prefer to have to deal with open about it anti-semites.

  19. Sigh … here we go again. Hedley didn’t “refute” anything: he denied it.

    But we know otherwise.

    He is a right-wing thug. That’s what British trade unions look like these days.

  20. For me it got off to a bad start when hedley announced that the RMT is against racism and antisemitism . I mean why even the need to mention such a given unless you are concerned that the evenings debate is likely to cross the grey areas between reasonable constructive debate and criticism and a feeding frenzy of anti Israel hate . I was expecting Hedley to confirm that some of his best friends are Jewish – well at least the Neturei Karta perhaps .
    I asked the perfectly reasonable question that if BDS had been discussed at national level could we expect to hear that similar actions had been discussed implementing BDS against Iran , Syria , Saudi Arabia , Bahrain , Russia , China all of whom were guilty oh massive human right violations and indeed mass murder of their own citizens . I was given the cynical reply that it would be mentioned at the next meeting .
    These individuals have an unhealthy obsession with Israel . However this was the night when Hedleys ” choo choo” was well and truly derailed by searching and truthful questions .

    • “These individuals have an unhealthy obsession with Israel”

      That’s one way to describe it. You and I know there’s more to it than that, but we aren’t allowed to go into details.

  21. Richard

    one question: you said on the other thread something to the effect that “free speech” is curtailed in the UK. Now after reading your latest I wonder whether this might apply to certain people only.

    • Yes so there is. Compare Berlin 1936 and London 2012 both Olympic years:

      Financial crises
      Threat of ideological dictatorship
      Enforced closure of Jewish shops

      So are we chosen for attack – is this the message these bigots are sending?

  22. Hi Silke
    Richard , Jonathan and myself showed up at the Jews for Justice for Palestinans at the same venue , SOAS last night . This was even more bizarre . A convoluted theoretical debate which signified even less than the previous nights nonsense . Justice for Palestinians fine but what about justice peace and security for Israel at the same time . I posed the question how this could come about when both Hamas and the PA in their respective ways have no intention of recognizing a Jewish state within any border . This question received even less of a response than the previous evening . David Landy replied ” we are here to discuss a book launch and not to discuss that . Next question . ”
    That is how far free speech has been curtailed at least ad far as these reactionaries are concerned . Total waste of time going but gave me the opportunity to renew battle with my phone chess programme set to top level . It helped wile away the tedium until the meeting closed and I could rejoin Jonathan and Richard for a post Mortem on an evening which would have been better off convened on Halloween night given the number of ghouls there .

    • and please tell what book did they launch on that venue?

      something about the sophistication of the cuisine of Iceland maybe?

      (as best I know Iceland is a naturally jew-cuisine-free society so that on the launch of such a book the retort might have been justified. But come to think of it they probably have some oriental foot stalls there too. Lately I have been trying to count how many of those they have in the tiny town I live in and how each one of them is a possibly very alluring ambassador for “their” cause provided their food is tolerably edible.)

  23. Pingback: Steve Hedley – another RMT bully boy | David Kessler

  24. There is a strong feel of 1938 in Britain these days.

  25. Please let me know about these meetings in advance. I’m one of a small group who are forming an Israel advocacy group at our Shul and we may be able to get a few more reasonable and open minded people along. I’m on the mailing list.

  26. Thanks Sharon. I was at Downing St and have your email. I will be in contact. We need to set up lots of grass roots groups and challenge these haters before they manage to infect others.

  27. Silke I am the Karl Pfeifer, who once wrote for Searchlight
    I have sent Nick Lowles, Graeme Atkinson and Steve Silver [Searchlight/ Hope no Hate] on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 20.06 the following mail

    Re: Chosen people
    Dear Nick, dear Graeme, dear Steve,
    Do you react? And if yes, how do you do react?
    Kind regards from Vienna
    Karl Pfeifer

    I received until now no reply.

  28. Richard
    I hope you are going to take this to the police. I have been thinking on this blog since you posted it and what was said to you is no less that race hate which as I understand it is still illegal in democratic UK.

  29. Richard, you and Jonathan have my full admiration. These racist scum are modern day Nazis, with threats of physical violence against those who don’t toe the line.

    The man is so stupid he either doesn’t realize that he is a racist, as his “chosen people” comment clearly demonstrates – or he doesn’t care, because it’s Jews.

    Probably the latter.

  30. Yes, do take it to the police. This is a hate crime – along with threats of physical violence.

  31. attila, yeah, right, we believe you. Now go back to the 5th Form maths debating club and let the adults get on with the serious stuff.

  32. 1 week ago i withdrew my RMT membership due to anti-israeli policy within the RMT which i took to be economic warfare against Israel with a racist agenda. This further backs my case. im disgusted with this footage
    and as for calling on damaging Alston that is putting hatred of Israel above the welfare of its members and even going so far as to threaten members jobs.

    • So apart from withdrawing membership what action are you taking?

      If you wish to join a group of activists whose aim is to tell the truth and get the media to be informed of the truth, please contact

  33. We always knew the RMT were a bunch of overpaid, work-shy bully boys. But now it seems that when they’re not striking to extort money from London Underground passengers or British taxpayers, they’re taking the side of the aggressors against the only true democracy in the Middle East, in a dispute that they’re too stupid to even begin to understand.

  34. Thank you, again, Richard, for your persistence and grit in exposing and confronting the enemies of Jews and Israel in our mist. Such courage and fortitude is remarkable. A light unto the nation, indeed.

  35. ‘midst’ even