LSE Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, Chair of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), who helped to disrupt the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 1st September 2011, has said that the performance by the National Theatre of Israel (or Habima) of The Merchant of Venice at the Globe Theatre on 28th and 29th May will be the next target for anti-Israel activists.
He said that they had purchased 45 tickets (see from 4 mins. 7 secs. in following clip) for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s disrupted concert and he boasted about the BBC taking the concert off air.
He was speaking on Friday at King’s College London about the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. KCL is one of the organisations conducting research with Ahava through an EU-funded project called Nanoretox and activists are, once again, claiming, without any substantiation, that Ahava is based on an illegal settlement.
Last April four activists were found guilty of aggravated trespass for their efforts in disrupting business at the Ahava store in Covent Garden. District Judge Ian Baker found that Ahava was “trading lawfully” and gave Gwendolen Wilkinson, Matthew Richardson, Jessica Nero and Christoper Osmond 18 month conditional discharges and ordered them to pay £250 costs each.
When questioned further Rosenhead admitted to being one of the disruptors of the IPO and he welcomed any prosecution that might follow seeing it as an opportunity to publicise their cause.
But he threatened that Habima will be next:
“They have made themselves a target, and they will be one. Various things are afoot to try and make sure, to pressure The Globe in the first instance, because if The Globe withdraws the invitation then that’s no problem.”(see clip from 6 mins 25 secs.):
I had initially gone to KCL to hear Omar Barghouti speak. Barghouti is a member of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) and holds degrees from Columbia University and…..Tel Aviv University.
He compares himself to Nelson Mandela who, he says, studied in an apartheid South Africa university, when he was asked how can can claim to be part of a boycott movement while having studied in the country, Israel, he is supposed to be boycotting!
The parallel with Mandela fails on every level, but specifically because Barghouti is neither Israeli nor Palestinian having been born in Qatar and having grown up in Egypt, whereas Mandela is South African!
I was hoping to show footage of Barghouti making the usual racist comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany and apartheid South Afica (the man really knows how to demean peoples’ past sufferings), but, once again, I was stopped from filming under threat of being removed by security.
I should have a right to film a public meeting, especially where there is racist rhetoric and where others are filming. Barghouti ordered that I stop filming as did the Chair of the event, Maha Rezeq. But both have no connections to KCL! Rezeq called my filming “unethical” on the basis that the footage will be available online.
But their’s will be edited, cleaned up footage. Barghouti compared the boycott of Israel to the boycott of Nazi Germany and compared Israeli Arabs who don’t boycott Israel (for example, those who might stay in Israeli hotels or use Israeli airlines) as being equivalent to Kapos. He called El Al a racist airline:
“The most important aspect that Palestinian citizens of Israel are involved in in terms of the BDS campaign is not to allow themselves or their institutions to be used as figleaves. Quite often Israel uses some Uncle Toms and (Aunt) Jemimas, whatever you want to call them, which exist in every society. I mean in every society you have people who wish to profit from self-interest rather than principle. It’s not a Palestinian phenomenon, it’s an international phenomenon. Some Jewish victims during the Holocaust were serving the Nazi victimisers. So in every sociey you get a small minority that betrays their own”.
In the clip below Rosenhead said he withdrew his consent for me to film him. I only stopped filming when Mehdi Beyati, a student at KCL, got up to call security. Beyati’s behaviour would be expected in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Gaza, but isn’t becoming in a British University:
Here Beyati reads and analyses KCL’s response to the call to stop KCL collaborating with Ahava: