Palestine Solidarity Campaign presents the case for a cultural and academic boycott of Israel.

View from the back last night.

View from the back last night.

The once hero of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Norman Finkelstein recently declared the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement against Israel “a cult” and its activists dishonest about their real motive which is the destruction of Israel, not solidarity with the Palestinians.

Last night PSC cultists came to the University of London Union with the platform being given to Rafeef “the poet” Ziadah, Ben “I can understand why some people are anti-Semitic” White, Mike “I’m only Jewish because my mother is” Cushman and, finally, Ronnie “I’m a privileged Jew” Barkan.

Their aim was to brainwash, I mean persuade students to boycott Israel.

In the Chair for the evening was Salim Alam. The last time Alam chaired a PSC event I was accosted afterwards by an audience member who claimed, inter alia, that Jews only died in the Holocaust because “they had their foreskins chopped off.”

Ziadah started by claiming that “Israel has oppressed the Palestinians for decades” and has “denied them their fundamental rights of freedom, equality and self-determination” and that eventhough there were “drawers of UN resolutions saying Israel is wrong”, still nothing has happened.

She took offence that the Dome of the Rock, a Palestinian icon, appeared in Israeli travel brochures and that hummus and falafel had been appropriated by Israelis for their national dish.

She presented the case for a cultural boycott of Israel and started by saying that “Israel sees culture as political and as Hasbara”, and that “all Israeli cultural institutions are complicit unless proved otherwise. All Israeli institutions must be boycotted.”

Mind you, this type of rhetoric is actually an improvement for Ziadah. When she spoke earlier this year at UCL she praised Islamic Jihad terrorist Khader Adnan. In 2007 Adnan made his thoughts known as to what he thought should happen to innocent Israeli men, women and children. Addressing his followers he asked:

“Who among you is the next suicide bomber? Who among you will carry the next explosive belt? Who among you will fire the next bullets? Who among you will have his body parts blown all over?”

Last night Ziadah painstakingly detailed the PACBI guidelines for boycotting Israel, including any event that promotes “balance” between Israelis and Palestinians, even if it should “encourage dialogue”. Although, seeing as Ziadah said that all Israeli institutions are complicit , unless proved otherwise, the guidelines do seem rather surplus to requirements.

But here was her deal for Israeli artists: Should they announce that they agree to the BDS requirements of ending the occupation, ending discrimination of Arabs in Israel and allowing the return of some five million so-called Palestinian refugees to Israel then such Israeli artists won’t be boycotted.

Basically, she approves of any Israeli that wants to destroy their own country:

Meanwhile, Mike Cushman, of Bricup, gave exactly the same talk that he gave at the corresponding ULU event last year. He demanded an academic boycott of Israel and once again told the audience that he’s Jewish because his mother is and that “If you thought Jewish Zionists were scary, these Christian Zionists are far, far worse.” The only blessing is that this time he didn’t grab the microphone like last year to repeatedly scream into it “Free, Free Palestine”:

During the Q&A a student asked how to defend the accusation that the call for BDS was comparable to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews. Cushman said their was a huge difference between peaceful protest and Stormtroopers standing outside a shop.

Next up was the Israeli Ronnie Barkan who heads up Boycott From Within. Yes, that’s right, such an, apparently, “oppressive state” as Israel actually allows such an organisation to operate in Israel.

Barkan described himself as a “privileged Jew” and viewed Israel as an “ethnic supremacist state”, which had ethnically cleansed and ethnically segregated the Palestinians. In fact segregation, according to Barkan, was so complete that Arabs are unlikely to be spotted in Tel Aviv. He said you wouldn’t find an Arab living there as they are confined to Jaffa. I’m sure my Israeli friends will tell me this is far from the truth.

Ben White also demanded an academic boycott of Israel. He said that “Israeli institutions are in bed with state organisations of oppression”. He condemned Tel Aviv University, Bar Ilan University, Ben Gurion University and even Haifa University for its National Security Studies Centre which has “trained hundreds of senior offices in the IDF that then go onto commit war crimes”.

There were some good pro-Israel questions asked during the Q&A, but it would have been good to have seen audience members leafleted with balancing literature on their way out of the venue (ZF, BICOM, CFI etc. where are you at times likes this?).

Apart from the woman next to me accusing me of being a “Zionist spy” and claiming that I “want to exterminate all Palestinians”, it really wasn’t as bad as some of the PSC events I have been to. Although, that’s not really saying much.



50 responses to “Palestine Solidarity Campaign presents the case for a cultural and academic boycott of Israel.

  1. david goldstein

    ”During the Q&A a student asked how to defend the accusation that the call for BDS was comparable to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews. Cushman said their was a huge difference between peaceful protest and Stormtroopers standing outside a shop.”

    Cushman is making a good point there. Richard, you could at least have the grace to give him a hat tip for that. But I forget, you’re game is to snipe, not praise.

    • The point of BDS is to demand the ethnic cleansing of Jews. That’s a major similarity.

      • not quite right too – they demand the creation of circumstances which would favour the wannabe ethnic cleansers such an advantage that the outcome seems certain – at least to them

        i.e. they have perfected the art of campaigning for the atrocious with a perfectly clear conscience.

    • Both nazi stormtroopers and the islamist protesters are SOCIALISTS.

    • Mr Goldstein

      Your comments are wholly offensive and inappropriate. Know your history and then come back and apologise.

  2. “She took offence that the Dome of the Rock, a Palestinian icon, appeared in Israeli travel brochures…”

    …but would presumably squeal if it were photoshopped out?

    All activist movements and causes have a cultic element. The main thing is to remember what a big world there is out there, I guess.

    Anyway, great post. Mucho respect to you as always.

  3. ‘Zionist spy’ at a public event, for Zionists too, if we want to attend. Whatever next?

  4. JH being ignored in the Q+A should be regarded as a badge of honour . Since when have rabid fascists allowed freedom of speech and nuanced political debate be part of their remit .

    • No, being ignored means he’s inconsequential as he has lost any credibility in the Jewish community and been kicked off the ZF

  5. david goldstein

    Anti-Zionism does not signify antisemitism. In fact, it is the very opposite of antisemitism.

    • Is being Anti-Islamofascist being “islamophobic”?

      Are checkpoints at every airport in the world, screening passengers and cargo “islamophobic”?

      Is letting girls get an education that the Taliban opposes “islamophobic”?

    • Anti-Zionism is denial of Jewish self-determination and autonomy. Hence, it’s nothing but the anti-semitism of cowards such as yourself.

    • WRONG AGAIN! Are you feeling allright? Prehaps your keyboard is broken?

  6. Boy! We have some real enemy within, such authentic heart bleeding Jews for the suffering Palestinians.Intellectual idiots, but so dangerous spieling out their bile .They are the heirs to the betrayers of our race who collaborated with the Nazi`s .For evil to flourish it only takes good men to do nothing.Come on Londoner`s get off your backsides and join Richard.He cannot do it bravely alone with a few of his ilk.He needs plenty of support NOW!


    I don’t know if it’s a boycott of the settlements (which I support) or not, but given that this is a University, I highly doubt it. Watch out, fellas. We’re dealing with a new kind of antisemitic threat, the likes of which has never been seen.

    And just like last time, people won’t learn anything until it’s far, far too late.

    • Tell the Islamofascists at UC Irvine,

      From the River to the Sea,
      Palestine Will Never Be!

      • Infidel – just reported on BBC: 17 wedding guests en route to ceremony killed by a IED. In one hit. Afghanistan. Probably more in Syria today but these PSC idiots agree with Assad’s hypocrisy re Gaza while supporting the terrorists against him. And very few people are supporting the Baloch against Pakistan or the imprisoned Kurds on hunger strike.

        Lovely display (as always) of Union flags with the Magen David in London yesterday and great speech by Jonathan

        Rather unlike certain other public displays we see more frequently.

    • Dan
      if you are pro settlement boykott you are on a slippery slope

      I take Jeffrey Goldberg as an example who though he doesn’t advocate for boycott once wrote something to the effect that he were against the settlements as if there were no security threat to Israel and pro Israel as if there were no settlements.

      and then when the latest bombardment rained down on Gaza and a young Israeli has probably become a blind man after being hit by that rocket fire, the split-minded Goldberg found it appropriate to write this post:

      This morning I imbibed German “BBC” not via selected podcasts but as a complete hour – they had a report on Gaza, how Israel is blockading the underground warerflow to reach Gaza and its olive growers – no mention of rockets – in case there were none today no report on the aftermath but highly dubious and unchecked accusations of Gazans reported as truths.

      I think it is so bad that one doesn’t have a choice either one is pro, warts and all or one at least shuts up. It is war, a war of attrition over there and I don’t want to give any credence to the wannabe genocidaires.

  8. While some of the accusations against Israel are laughable, some contain half truths and still others are quite correct.

    An example of a half-truth might be that Barkan’s “……Arabs are unlikely to be spotted in Tel Aviv. He said you wouldn’t find an Arab living there as they are confined to Jaffa.”

    Try telling that to old Bridlington Gert who claims that Jaffa has been ethnically cleansed. The truth is that Tel Aviv was built as the first modern Jewish city and there have never really been many Arabs living there. Some do, and nothing prevents them from doing so other than the outrageous property prices. I’m also not sure that the cosmopolitan promiscuous life-style would be a great place for a true Muslim to raise his family. I visit the city about once a year, so I guess is family-Marks-cleansed too.

    Regarding what Ziadah says about us stealing Arabic food and then claiming it to be authentic Israeli cuisine, I couldn’t agree more. The Arab nation has been wronged and deserve compensation.

    My only defense might be that the British are no better; having stolen a Jewish idea and then claiming it to be their national dish:

    If I have to choose between the two, give me that humus any day!

    • He said you wouldn’t find an Arab living there as they are
      confined to Jaffa.”
      Try telling that to old Bridlington Gert who claims that Jaffa has been ethnically cleansed.

      Imbecile ‘Settler Daniel’ has to resort to literalism again to try and make a half-wit’s point.
      Jaffa was ethnically cleansed of Arabs. Still Arabs live in Jaffa. There’s no contradiction there.
      Does Dannenbaum understand that large parts of N. America were ethnically cleansed of Native Americans? Does the fact that there still are Native Americans contradict that? (Hint: NO!)

      • Bridlington Gert takes advantage of the Sabbath

        surprise surprise

      • Truer picture of Arab exodus is that Arabs encouraged Arabs to leave. Apart from the immigrant Arabs attracted to the Mandate by Jewish enterprise the 1947-8 Arab attempt to wipe out Jews was augmented numerically by the importation of Arab and other Muslim fighters from other countries:

        On 22 January, about 40 Yugoslav Muslims (Bosnians) arrived in Jaffa. Their arrival boosted morale and led to an increase in the Palestinian military activity.

        On the beginning of February & for some unknown reasons Salame was shifted to a higher command but the direct Jaffa military command was taken from & settled to an Iraqi officer (Adel Najm El Din).
        Henceforth, almost until its fall in April, Jaffa would be under the command of foreign officers, among them Iraqis, Syrians, Yugoslavs, and even a small group of Germans, who were considered experts in sabotage and building fortifications. Outsiders increasingly took the place of Palestinian Arabs among the rank-and-file troops as well.


        According to various estimates, between 35,000 and 45,000 Palestinian Arabs remained in Jaffa on the eve of its fall, compared to approximately 70,000: 90,000 at the start of the war in December 1947. The difference was mainly due to the mass departure from the city by the wealthy & middle class families together with business / commerce labor force.

        From a ridiculously biased pro-Arab account

        The British were also operating in Jaffa against Jews. A very strange way of fulfilling its Mandate. This is the first of a 3-part series of photographs from the time, focused on Jerusalem and it shows British-Arab collusion, again very strange for the Jewish national home:

  9. David Goldstein and others just don’t get it! Jews of all people should understand the power of propoganda. The Holocaust did not begin with the gas chambers it began with words. Constant incitement to hate ends in violence and so called “peaceful protests” attributing evil actions to another people that are in most cases simply not true are part of this process.

  10. What Barkan does though is take an exception and make it sound like the rule. Very good account Richard. I was proud that 3 questions explaining Israel’s case were heard and the fact that having talked to some audience members their views on Israel had been changed favourably.

  11. On the ZF point, we provided those who wanted to attend with a series of resources and some of this formed the basis of people’s questions, so we were there at a time like this and proud to be so. As for the other organisations, I’m not in a position to comment.

    • Vote for the Hoff? Ha, Ha. He got well and truly schmeised for being out of touch with British Jewry. He has zero credibility.

  12. david goldstein

    It’s hilarious to see Dan the Settler harping on about Jewish achievement by referring to a spurious story that the first fish and chip shop in the UK was Jewish. Desperate stuff. I must remember to thank the Jewish people everytime I dig into my battered cod and chips.

    • daoud, Tell it to the 52 people who were killed in the “Asian” bus and underground bombing in London on 7/7/05.

    • David,

      1. Only Michael Goldman is allowed to call me Dan. Please refer to me as “Settler Daniel”.

      2. I was not “harping on”. I posted a link.

      3. How dare you refer to my sources as “spurious”? That was a BBC story, everyone knows that they’re totally objective and 100% accurate.

      4. Names deserve capital letters, even when they belong to nonentities.

      All the best,


    • and what do you tell the English people? That the marvellous text of the King James Bible wouldn’t exist, hadn’t there been …

      Now come on explain why that is spurious too. I’m looking forward to it.

    • You really are most offensive. If this were the 1930’s would you have tried to join the NSDAP?

  13. David Goldstein and others like him clearly have such negative ideas about the Jewish people and the Jewish State they would have no interest in.any other news about Israel. . But for those who wish to have free weekly news of Israel’s achievements please visit .

  14. Excellent post. As for the “where were you?” comment to pro Israel organisations…isn’t it obvious?

    We’ve got 10% of people supporting Israel 10 maybe 15% of people supporting palestinians. And around 80% who don’t know, don’t care or are undecided.

    What’s the use in leafleting people who clearly don’t want to be confused with the facts? Our resources are best placed elsewhere.

    That said – Richard you do an amazing job of exposing what people lik the PSC are truely arguing and advocating for. WE NEED YOU! Keep doing what you’re doing. I know it’s lonely and perhaps thankless, but the reason pro Israel people don’t turn up is NOT because they don’t support your work. You’re work is exposing what’s being said. Their work is to convince people who are willing to be convinced.

    I’m sure you’ll agree the people you come into contact at these events aren’t willing to be convinced..!?

  15. The person was who gave me the lines

    “From the river to the sea
    Palestine will never be”

    …will see that phrase in action this evening.

    A banner has been made, as promised, it will be revealed at a huge BDS action this evening. The Police, the ME Task Force and the Anti-Terror Squad are on side and will be there in force, hoping that this bunch of rat bags ‘act up’ and they can be refused future permits.

    • I keep preferring

      Israel is here to stay
      no matter how you boo and bray

      • Good one, but the other is a good play on words.

      • the “other one’s” drawback is that it is of the “try NOT to think of a lemon” kind

      • Silke and Shirl,

        Since the enemies of civilization chant

        from the river to the sea
        palestine will be free

        A proper rejoinder would be

        From the River to the Sea,
        palestine Will Never Be!

        – Be rhymes with Sea
        – 7 syllables in both sentences in my improved chant.

        I hope the hornets get outraged.

      • how about

        Twixt the river and the sea

        considering what I know as to how the brain memorizes reversing it into something with Israel at the beginning might be better – though doing that AND turning it into a chant countering the one of the idiots is more than I can come up with now.

      • Good one

      • 2,4,6,8 ISRAEL is a legitimate state. 3,5,7,9 there is no such thing as Palestine………..

        Or ” Don’t come here to whinge and whine as there is no such thing as Palestine.”

    • Shirl of Oz,

      Please post any pictures/videos of said banner.

  16. Why is my comment awaiting moderation? It doesn’t usually

  17. Es wurde ja behauptet, Israel betreibe schlechte PR – drum würde ich gern wissen, was an diesem Post schlechte PR sein soll. Ich finde es ausgezeichnet, geradezu vorbildlich.

  18. oops – double wammy – wrong language and link forgotten – I am beginning to confuse venues – the Bridlingtonian may rejoice, old age is beginning to get the upper hand

    anyway here is the English version:

    It has been said on this blog, that Israel is doing bad PR – that’s why I’d love to know what is bad PR in this post which I find excellent and example to be followed by others.

  19. ich glaube, das ist der junge Mann, den ich schon mal auf Englisch oder mit Untertiteln gehört habe, auch einer von denen, die die allgemein bekannte schlechte israelische PR absondern.

    Ich erinnere mich allerdings, daß ich ihn bemerkenswert gut fand.