This article by me also appears at CIFWatch
The London Middle East Institute (LMEI), which is based at the School of Oriental and African Studies, used to give serious lectures. Not any more. The recently established Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS) now sits like a cuckoo in the nest of the LMEI.
Last night the first LMEI lecture of the new academic year was presented under the auspices of CPS. Palestine Now: Writers Respond was all about attacking Israel; nothing about studying the Palestinians.
Bidisha (The Guardian), Rachel Shabi (The Guardian), Selma Dabbagh (author), Miranda Pennell (film-maker) and Naomi Foyle (British Writers in Support of Palestine) had simply come to talk about how to fight for “the Palestinian cause” and against “Hasbarah”.
New students heard calls for the destruction of Israel dressed up as justice for the Palestinians, racist calls to boycott Israel and a totally gratuitous Holocaust analogy. Shame on LMEI for allowing this.
Dabbagh, Pennell and Foyle said they supported BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against Israel.
Dabbagh explained that she writes in order to get more people involved in the Palestinian cause and told of how she refused to speak at Jewish Book Week (JBW), when asked to, because of its Israeli government funding.
Bidisha suggested it might have been better for Dabbagh to go to JBW and get her message across to the audience, but Dabbagh said she felt she couldn’t break the call to boycott Israel.
Dabbagh, who is also a lawyer, has been living in Bahrain from where she said she has been helping to sue, not the Bahrain police, but the British police!
Bemusingly, Shabi said that she agreed with the ‘D’ of BDS (divestment) but not the ‘B’ (cultural boycott) which she viewed as a “witch-hunt”. Bidisha said she was equally “ambivalent” about the boycott.
During the Q&A I asked whether any of the panelists had accepted funding from a government whose actions they disagreed with and what the panelists were doing about the oppression of gays, women and dissidents under Hamas rule. I said BDS was racist and that it calls for the destruction of Israel by demanding “the return of Palestinian refugees”.
Naomi Foyle refused to accept that Israel would be destroyed by BDS. Using a crude Holocaust analogy she explained:
“After the Holocaust Jews, who suffered in the Holocaust, were allowed reparations. They had their property returned to them. They were allowed to sue. Of course they were allowed to do it. That was their right. The Palestinian refugees, whose population has mushroomed, are living in squalid conditions, horrendous conditions with no passports, no freedom of movement, no sanitation, no hospital care. These people have keys to their family homes and their right to these family homes must be recognised. Once that right is recognised then the negotiations can begin on what this means for Israel as a state; whether it will become one state, whether it will become a secular state. No one is calling for the destruction of Israel. Is South Africa destroyed now because the blacks in South Africa have human rights? Israel is being asked to evolve.”
Obviously Israel would be destroyed as a Jewish state, but it would have been decent for another panelist to have pointed out to Foyle that it was slightly impossible for 6,000,000 Jews to have had their property returned because they were actually dead, having been murdered by the Nazis. However, no one uttered a word; not even Shabi.
And ignoring that more than 50 rockets had landed in Israel on Monday alone without condemnation from any quarter Foyle stated:
“Palestine is shrinking by the day. We have to say no, we have to put moral pressure on. Palestinians haven’t been allowed, in international opinion, to fight back with armed resistance. That’s been a complete disaster for them.”
Foyle continued that BDS doesn’t call for Israelis to go unfunded by the Israeli government, as “that’s their right as taxpayers”. She said it merely calls for Israelis not to leave Israel to perform and for performers not to go to Israel.
She said she had taken funding from the Canadian and British governments to support her writing and education, and then added:
“If there was a boycott of Great Britain that had any hope of helping the people of Afganistan or Iraq and all I was being asked to do was not travel abroad to a foreign festival; it’s a no brainer.”
This all goes to show that boycotting Israel has nothing to do with objecting to settlements. It is a racist boycott of Israel per se.
Anti-Israel activists neatly try to evade accusations of racism by claiming that “Palestinian society” has called for BDS. In reality, such a call has merely come from a large group of tiny anti-Israel NGOs posing as “Palestinian society”.
Shabi, who described herself as a British/Israeli/Iraqi, then told of her research for her book which involved her seeing how easy it is to buy a house in a settlement and how she had to perfect a “back story” to do this. She said she knew her back story was perfect when her neighbour asked why she was disguised as a “British Jewish religious tourist”.
Meanwhile, Dabbagh admitted that she was “uncomfortable with the way women and gays are treated by Hamas”, but blamed Israel’s “siege” for keeping Hamas in power.
And Bidusha, addressing me directly, said that Palestinian children are brutalised by “the siege of Gaza”. I replied that Egypt is also conducting “the siege”. She had no answer.
As for the future, Shabi concluded that there was already “one-state on the ground” and the discussion in Israel was now just centred around whether it will be a left-wing or right-wing state. This is, of course, pure fantasy from Shabi.
While this brainwashing of new students was taking place a brave girl, Malala Yousufzai, who is 14, was still recovering in hospital after being shot in the neck and head by the Taliban for standing up for women’s education in Pakistan.
SOAS’ students should look to the likes of Yousufzai, not to phoney human rights activists, for inspiration in fighting against real injustice.
Thank heavens you’re back Richard. As usual, an excellently written posting.
“No one is calling for the destruction of Israel………Israel is being asked to evolve.”
I’m always a little skeptical with these “No one is…” statements. I am distrustful of those who by implication are speaking for everyone.
However, I did enjoy the “being asked to evolve” bit – it’s so wonderfully Orwellian. In my mind’s eye, I imagine Assad using it as an argument in defense of his having butchered 30,000 of his own people – “I didn’t kill them. I just helped them to evolve.” – yes, it has an undeniable ring about it.
In order to place the “No one”-meme in its noble context:
I humbly claim that the honour of having made that one world famous belongs to Germany
On June 15, 1961 Ulbricht famously said that nobody intended to build a wall, on August 13, 1961 the wall had been built i.e. after less than 2 months he proved to be true to his “promise”.
As to “evolve” I can’t help remembering how Maureen Dowd jubilated to the applause of Jeffrey Goldberg in the New York Times some years ago that Saudi Arabia reformed (aka evolved?) now faster than Israel.
Therefore I think I have to congratulate those people for the continuity they chose to put themselves into.
More generally, the number of fallacies used in these quotes is properly unbelievable.
I’d like to see a list of other countries that give you a house because you have an old key to it.
With the number of keys I have accumulated I should be a wealthy landowner!!
The house you refer to is a house that was taken. The giving you refer to is ‘giving it back’.
The list of countries that refuses to give your house back because you kept the key? Let’s start your list with Israel. Feel free to add more.
The lacuna in your fantasia is ownership of a house, not of a key. Like Sharon, on the basis of keys I could claim six houses.
Let the key-holders produce their title deeds. With these they can start proceedings in the Israeli courts after Shabbos.
They had their property returned to them.
As to the returned property I like to remind people that to this day German museums seem to be dragging their feet when it comes to investigating where and how they got their stuff. It is only a number of years ago that some government money was made available so they could get started on “Provenienz” research but still …
i.e. at least everybody and every German specifically who visits one of our art museums containing or exhibiting art older than post-war is likely to be the beneficiary of loot.
Pierre van Paassen, a renowned journalist of Dutch extraction toured the Middle East regions of the Ottoman Empire during the first quarter of the twentieth century. In his book The Forgotten Ally (1943) van Paassen writes about the region that included the Mandate of Palestine administered by the British, Syria/ Lebanon administered as Northern Syria under the French and the greater area of the Middle East. He tells how the Russians, French and British co-operated in a plan to break up the Ottoman Empire when they divided regions amongst themselves and then looked to certain Arab leaders to foment riots against the Turks. Most importantly he describes the Mandate of Palestine, a region that had been neglected by the Ottoman rulers as barren, overgrown swampland, infested with malaria and hence, mostly sparsely populated. He describes how the indigenous Jews together with those who arrived having escaped the pogroms of Russia and later the rise of Nazism, cleared the swamps, defeated malaria and built an infrastructure. Of the local Arabs/Muslims he writes that they had no animosity toward the Jews, both indigenous and new arrivals, as they saw this as an opportunity to get gainful employment. The British of course had agreed to the UN ratified Jewish Homeland in Palestine and again the local Arabs/Muslims had no issue with that. However, van Paassen tells us that once the colonial administrators arrived to oversee the mandated Palestine, they decided, in defiance of the British government, that there must always be a British presence in the region. They realised that this would never happen if they sided with the Jews, so they set about courting the local Arabs, instigating discontent amongst them for the Jews. This resulted in the famous Arab riots of 1929 when they slaughtered with impunity large numbers of Jews across the land with the British administrators arming them and then turning a blind eye to the atrocities.
Why do I write this? We are currently in a situation when hatred of Jews is again on the rise in the west. It is acceptable to be overtly racist about Jews, painting murals on walls in London depicting them as hook nosed financial manipulators, thieving from the poor downtrodden non Jews, especially if they are dark of skin. It is totally acceptable to hold open meetings in universities and town halls that indoctrinate students and the wider public with hatred for Jews under the guise of looking after a manufactured problem of the Arab Palestinian people. We’ve seen this kind of racism all before over the centuries when the Jews were strangers in foreign lands. Now Israel provides these Jew haters with new fodder and the clubs they belong to operate with impunity under the auspices of the PSC, BDS, Red Cross, War on Want, Amnesty International etc. who provide them with propaganda upon which to base their vile. None bother to get some facts as the propaganda is now so well inserted into the narrative that nobody questions the lack voracity.
Fortunately there are a few books still around like those written by van Paassen who provides on the ground historical information that refutes the very foundations of today’s renewed Jew haters. Alarmingly, what he writes about is being re enacted today with the same players vying for dominance across the Middle East, once again backing the Arabs against the Jews, turning their backs on a nuclear arming Iran, ignoring the 30-40,000 being killed in Syria, sidelining the security of Western ambassadors in northern Africa, ushering into power across the region the new Nazis in the name of the Muslim Brotherhood, backed by Iran. What do the French say? Plus ca change…….!
Nothing to report then Richard. What a disappointing evening it must have been. It reminds me of the time you and Harv went to that comedians show and then complained bitterly that he hadn’t been anti semitic enough to make a good story.
Not antisemitic enough for an antisemite, maybe. Antisemitic incitement if though obvious to all normal people.
BDS, a cult according to former supporter Norman Finkelstein, is exposed as an antisemitic movement delegitimising Israel; “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”
Blaming Israel for Hamas misdeeds is also exposed as antisemitic by the EU definition: “Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”
And of course, using the Holocaust to blame the Jews is drawing a comparison between Israel and the Nazi regime, something the EU definition also covers: “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
800,000 Jews fled Arab countries too. It’s a wash or give reparations to the Jews of Arab lands. So called palestinians can live forever in despair if that suits them. Being unable to defeat the “sons of pigs and apes” must eat at them.
If certain inane idiots are permitted to destroy this good blog I’ll take a rest again. I’m sure serious bloggers have much to do without being pestered by bigoted fools.
As it was then so it is now:
Pierre Van Paassen was in Palestine and provides a graphic account of the 1929 pogrom against the Jews of Hebron in his book Days of Our Years, from which the following comes. Van Paasen shows that the Mufti of Jerusalem was behind the riots and slaughter and accuses the British administration of aiding and abetting the Mufti.
Falsified photographs showing the Omar mosque of Jerusalem in ruins, with an inscription that the edifice had been bombed by the Zionists, were handed out to the Arabs of Hebron as they were leaving their place of worship on Friday evening, August the twenty-third. A Jew passing by on his way to the synagogue was stabbed to death. When he heard of the murder, Rabbi Slonim, a man born and bred in the city and a friend of the Arab notables, notified the British police commander that the Arabs seemed to be strangely excited. He was told to mind his own business. An hour later the synagogue was attacked by a mob, and the Jews at prayer were slaughtered. On the Saturday morning following, the Yeshiva…was put to the sack, and the students were slain. A delegation of Jewish citizens thereupon set out to visit the police station, but was met by the lynchers. The Jews returned and took refuge in the house of Rabbi Slonim where they remained until evening, when the mob appeared before the door. Unable to batter it down, the Arabs climbed up the trees at the rear of the house and, dropping onto the balcony, entered through the windows on the first floor.
Mounted police–Arab troopers in the service of the government– had appeared outside by this time, and some of the Jews ran down the stairs of Slonim’s house and out into the roadway. They implored the policemen to dismount and protect their friends and relatives inside the house and clung around the necks of the horses. From the upper windows came the terrifying screams of the old people, but the police galloped off, leaving the boys in the road to be cut down by Arabs arriving from all sides for the orgy of blood.
What occurred in the upper chambers of Slonim’s house could be seen when we found the twelve-foot-high ceiling splashed with blood. The rooms looked like a slaughterhouse. When I visited the place in the company of Captain Marek Schwartz, a former Austrian artillery officer, Mr. Abraham Goldberg of New York, and Mr. Ernst Davies, correspondent of the old Berliner Tageblatt, the blood stood in a huge pool on the slightly sagging stone floor of the house. Clocks, crockery, tables and windows had been smashed to smithereens. Of the unlooted articles, not a single item had been left intact except a large black-and-white photograph of Dr. Theodore Herzl, the founder of political Zionism. Around the picture’s frame the murderers had draped the blood-drenched underwear of a woman.
We stood silently contemplating the scene of slaughter when the door was flung open by a British solder with fixed bayonet. In strolled Mr. Keith-Roach, governor of the Jaffa district, followed by a colonel of the Green Howards battalion of the King’s African Rifles. They took a hasty glance around that awful room, and Mr. Roach remarked to his companion, “Shall we have lunch now or drive to Jerusalem first?”
In Jerusalem the Government published a refutation of the rumors that the dead Jews of Hebron had been tortured before they had their throats slit. This made me rush back to that city accompanied by two medical men, Dr. Dantziger and Dr. Ticho. I intended to gather up the severed sexual organs and the cut-off women’s breasts we had seen lying scattered over the floor and in the beds. But when we came to Hebron a telephone call from Jerusalem had ordered our access barred to the Slonim house. A heavy guard had been placed before the door. Only then did I recall that I had inadvertently told a fellow newspaperman in Jerusalem about our gruesome discoveries.
On the same day of the Hebron massacre, the Arabs had rioted in Jerusalem, crying: “Death to the Jews! The government is with us!” The fact that the attacks on Jewish communities in different parts of the country had occurred simultaneously was interpreted by the Mufti’s newspaper Falastin as irrefutable evidence of the spontaneity of the outburst of Arab indignation. The Acting High Commissioner, Mr. H.C. Luke, had informed newspapermen that the government had been completely taken unawares. Yet a full ten days earlier it was he who had ordered the various hospitals, and especially the Rothschild clinic of which Dr. Dantziger was chief surgeon, to have a large number of beds in readiness in view of the government’s expectation of a riotous outbreak.
Well done, Richard, for bearding the lion in his den once again. The greatest danger from talks such as these is that naive Jewish freshers often attend them and believe their lies. By standing up and refuting them straight away, at the very least you show the audience that there is another side to the story. With luck they will go away and study peer-reviewed sources and make up their own minds.
Well said, Sharon and others.
There’s was a wee bit of mourning, this morning, on Tony Greenstein’s excellent blog:
Her tragic parting leaves so many questions unanswered:
Why is it that I only discover that these farcical characters existed after they’re gone?
Did anyone else in Israel even know who she was?
Anyway, I shall put up a few well chosen words, though with little expectation that they’ll pass the Pravda censorship. I call upon other bloggers to bury the proverbial hatchet and follow suit.
I used to go to these events at SOAS, but I couldn’t stand it any longer. It is beyond me how anyone can still take this university seriously.
Malala Yousafzai is indeed an inspiration: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/dont-be-a-sissy/
stick to the university of Ariel Andreas comfort zones don’t you just love em
For the time being I will stick to LSE and the Open University because pursuing two degrees at the same time is keeping me busy enough.
Your contributions are evaluated as what they obviously are: ludicrous, insulting, libellous.
Concerning Tony Greestein’s blog mentioned by Daniel, I note “anti-Zionist, anti-racist” at the top. A contradiction in terms. Obviously, opposing a liberation movement that was approved by the international community, is opposing rights of the Jewish people for self-determination because only Zionism can offer that.
So that anti-Zionism is just a special case of antisemitism but of course, more generally, I haven’t seen an anti-Zionism that was not associated with direct hate of Jews, at one level or another (usually very high, these days). So we see people justifying the killing of Jewish children (not just Israeli ones) and call that “anti-Zionism”. See the case of Mohammed Merah in France, who used the unfortunate death of children in Gaza used as human shields to excuse his murder of French Jewish children.
The Jews who participate in the hate incitement have their share of responsibility in these murders as well. Fortunately there are not many of these fools on earth.
On the subject of racism in Israel, read the excellent blog of Isi Leibler:
Anti-racism sounds differently in Isi’s mouth. Because the “anti-Zionists” don’t know the real thing, just a travesty of it.
Too bad you need so many pseudos to do the same thing everywhere.
SOAS should be inviting this gentleman to speak . http://www.arabnews.com/arab-spring-and-israeli-enemy
Let’s remind all of the EU working definition of antisemitism, a defiinition that take into account the new excuses for antisemitism.
As we can see, nearly every single one of these were perpetrated at the SOAS. I wonder why the “OA” in SOAS is needed.
It doesn’t say that Jose you are lying.
The EU definition of antisemitism was copied VERBATIM. You are the libellous liar, as usual so no surprise. yyyyyyaaaaaawwwwwnnnnn !
Stalinists also believed in their “cause”. Many Jews among them. They were sadly deluded and there is no way I’ll like the kind of sicko she was. The end of the dream came after Stalin’s deaths. So after ‘Palestinian’s’ delusions end, the sick Jews will awaken.
Denying the right to self-determination of the Jewish people (ie Zionism) is considered antisemitic discourse. And of course, supporting all that leads to the same result, such as ‘one-state solution’, the BDS cult, the ‘right of return’ etc. All those who support these are by definition antisemites, Jew-haters.
So the “anti-Zionist” fig leaf has fallen. Time to find a new expression to cover that ages-old hate. Anti-imperialist? No doesn’t work with a country that small… Anti-war? No, too many wars in Muslim-only countries, could backfire. Anti-bad? Vague enough. Could work!
I would disagree and say that the author of this excellent blog might be described in many ways, but weak would be inaccurate. The annals of these pages are full of clips in which he can be seen, often single-handed, taking on whole rooms full of alien haters of Israel. I live in Judea and served in the IDF as a conscript and reservist for two decades, but I would prefer to be in the streets of Gaza at midnight than than the moral gutter of SOAS.
If Richard does not block comments of the scum to which you refer it is because he knows that from such inconsequential ignoramuses neither Israel or her people have anything to be vexed about. Let us not lose sight of the fact that we are a strong a vibrant Western Democracy, hardly likely to be affected by some loudmouthed moron with multiple cyber personalities, each one more absurd than the next.
If you wish to follow the advice of an old man, ignore the imbeciles. Dogs are less prone to bark when they know that nobody is listening.
Daniel, I didn’t say Mr. Millet was weak, just that he would just be considered as suchw by the troll for not blocking him.
It is a typical Islamist trait that rubbed on their useful (or rather useless) idiots.
It would be very helpful to me if you didn’t discuss each other, but kept to the issues. I am deleting ad hominem posts. Thanks.
“Shabi, who described herself as a British/Israeli/Iraqi, then told of her research for her book which involved her seeing how easy it is to buy a house in a settlement…….her neighbour asked why she was disguised as a “British Jewish religious tourist”.”
The mind truly boggles. How does one disguise oneself as a British Jewish religious tourists look like? Perhaps wearing a long sleeved (religious) Union Jack (British) tee shirt while sporting an old Polaroid Instamatic. Can anyone help me out here?
Anyway, I could have suggested to the good lady that her cloak and dagger operation was quite unnecessary. Regarding my settlement (Maale Adumim) we have several excellent real estate agencies as well as two local newspapers that each contain many of settler houses for sale.
Life is better than it would be in Israel huh ?
Daniel:. Are you an economic migrant occupier, there because property is cheaper and the cost of living lower than in Israel, or a religious settler, there to remind the indigeneous people that you are the lords of the land bringing on the Jewish redemption and the Messiah? Or both?
just two possibilities?
what’s wrong with your imaginative powers? Got banged on the head too often?
No James, Daniel is just a Jew at home in Judea.
I have no reason to think that you are asking me anything but a sincere question born of curiosity and I shall, therefore, do my best to answer you.
You offer me two rather curious options. The first assumes a “cheaper cost of living” in Judea and Samaria. I have no idea what you base this on, but Israel is a free market (often overly) capitalist economy and prices are determined by normal market forces. Our supermarkets and shops charge the same prices for goods and what we pay for amenities and services are pretty much identical to anywhere else. Many of my neighbors still prefer to buy larger articles such as clothes and furniture in Jerusalem or even Tel Aviv, as the selection there is considered better.
There are no educational or tax subsidies for those of us who live in Judea and Samaria. If you can find anything tell me about it.
Property prices in Maale Adumim are cheaper than most parts of Jerusalem, but very similar to other Jerusalem suburbs and more expensive than many areas within the “Green Line”. Our neighbor recently sold his semi-detached for 1,850,000 Shekels, which I believe is about 300,000 Pounds. That is about the price of an average Israeli house of that size.
Your second option is:
“..a religious settler, there to remind the indigeneous (sic) people that you are the lords of the land bringing on the Jewish redemption and the Messiah”
I live in Judea and try to have good neighborly relations with both my Jewish and Arab neighbors. As a teacher I have students from Maale Adumim as well as from Azaria and other Arab neighborhoods. Israel is not run as a feudal system of government, so we have no “lords of the land”.
Finally, I am a religious Jew and thus see in my living in the Land of Israel the fulfillment of a personal and national obligation between myself, my people and my g-d. This applies equally to my daughter who lives in Haifa and my mother who has the privilege of living in Jerusalem. Assuming that you are not a religious Jew yourself I do not expect you to fully understand or agree with me on this matter, but I do hope you respect my beliefs as I respect those of 88% of the world’s population, who believe in a different god, or the 12% who believe in none at all.
“Daniel:. Are you an economic migrant occupier, there because property is cheaper and the cost of living lower than in Israel, or a religious settler, there to remind the indigeneous people that you are the lords of the land bringing on the Jewish redemption and the Messiah? Or both?”
Ah, James doesn’t think the Jews are indigenous to Israel.
Just a cookie-cutter Jew-baiting bottom-of-the-pond dweller, then.
Naomi Foyle said
“These people have keys to their family homes and their right to these family homes must be recognised.”
Does she also refer to the jews refugees from arab countries? almost 1 million of them.
she also said “No one is calling for the destruction of Israel”
Did she read Hamas charter lately , or listen to its leaders?
Alexa: The 800,000 Mizrahim were NOT refugees. They were returning to their ‘ancestral homeland’. Refugees flee or are expelled from their homeland. You can’t insist on Israel being the ‘ancestral homeland’ of the Jews and then try to pass off the Mizrahim as refugees. Well, actually you can..and you do. Let me put you right. The principle of ‘return’ cannot be applied to the Mizrahim. Many apologists for Zionism like to throw that one out when confronted with the Palestinians’ legitimate right of return.
some people are so intelligent they leave me flat on my back and speechless
In this case somebody should advise dear James that he should enlighten all those post WW2 German refugees who by his way of seeing it were just following their urge of Heim-ins-Reich. Me thinks especially all those who didn’t survive the trip will be extremely grateful to learn that they had gotten it all wrong.
Interesting point – thanks!
Does that mean that any country can expel its Jewish population with impunity, because they have an ancestral homeland? If so, I guess Anglo Jewry should watch out.
Does that mean that Britain can expel its Pakistani population because the UK is not their ancestral homeland? Can the US expel its Irish or Italian population? Can we expel the Hashemites from Jordan because their ancestral homeland was in Saudi Arabia? When exactly do you date an ancestral homeland from?
Your comment has given me much food for thought and represents a novel approach to national problem-solving.
What on earth is the ludicrous James talking about?
If you expel Jews from the country where they live and own property by means of pogroms, stealing their property in the process, then they are individually refugees.
If then they go to live in the country that their ancestors came from, this does not change one iota the fact that they were refugees from where they used to live.
Is Rachel Shabi that foul person who claims that there is apartheid against Sephardi Jews in Israel?
I remember Arthur ‘two sheds’ Jackson. So now we have Shlomo ‘two homelands’ Eliyahu.