Zionist Federation rocks Wembley Arena for Israel’s 65th.

Ishtar (centre), "Chico" and Alabina at Wembley Arena on Tuesday night.

Ishtar (centre), “Chico” and Alabina at Wembley Arena on Tuesday night.

6,000 British Jews laughed and danced disgracefully at London’s Wembley Arena on Tuesday night as the Zionist Federation put on an evening of comedy and music to celebrate Israel’s 65th birthday.

Stacey Solomon sang, Britain’s Got Talent winners Spelbound dazzled with musical gymnastics, Israeli star Ivri Lider played piano and Mark Maier made everyone laugh with his descriptions of strange Jewish behaviour, for example pensioner Bernie with his bad back “going on security” in synagogue which is hardly going to thwart an attack from Al Qaida.

Finally, Israeli star Ishtar lifted the roof when she joined forces with Gipsy Kings co-founder “Chico” and with Alabina to get the Arena pumping to Arabic and Spanish music, including Gipsy Kings hits Bamboleo and Volare which had them all dancing disgracefully in the aisles.

Some 30 anti-Israel activists protested outside with extremist Jewish sect Neturei Karta taunting concert goers about the Holocaust. Typically, I was quietly taking photos before being moved on by the police under threat of arrest for breaching the peace after Massoud Shadjareh, chair of Islamic Human Rights Commission, complained that I was “provoking them”. Here he is in action:

More photos from the evening inside and outside Wembley Arena:

Brainwashed to hate.

Brainwashed to hate.

Stacey Solomon singing for Israel's 65th.

Stacey Solomon singing for Israel’s 65th.

But she'll be back next year for Israel's 66th.

But she’ll be back next year for Israel’s 66th.

Mark Maier humourously describing strange Jewish behaviour.

Mark Maier humourously describing strange Jewish behaviour.

At least they didn't take your Israel-developed IPhone.

At least they didn’t take your Israel-developed IPhone.

Ivri Lider charming them inside Wembley Arena.

Ivri Lider charming them inside Wembley Arena.

Hug a hoodie anyone?

Hug a hoodie anyone?

Gymnastic troupe Spelbound perform for Israel's 65th.

Gymnastic troupe Spelbound perform for Israel’s 65th.

Has this woman really got nothing better to do?

Has this woman really got nothing better to do?

Ishtar with Jimmy.

Ishtar with Jimmy.

Good luck with that. See you next year.

Good luck with that. See you next year.

Vanessa Feltz dressed down inside Wembley Arena.

Vanessa Feltz dressed down inside Wembley Arena.

Feeding off each other's hate.

Feeding off each other’s hate.



The dead baby in the poster being held on the right was killed by a Palestinian rocket.

The dead baby in the poster being held on the right was killed by a Palestinian rocket.

Youth Aliyah Music Ensemble kicking off the evening of celebration

Youth Aliyah Music Ensemble kicking off the evening of celebration

Massoud Shadjareh who complained to police that I was "provoking them".

Massoud Shadjareh who complained to police that I was “provoking them”.

Vanessa watches spoonbender Uri Geller.

Vanessa watches spoonbender Uri Geller.

A charming lot (not).

A charming lot (not).


38 responses to “Zionist Federation rocks Wembley Arena for Israel’s 65th.

  1. Some people can’t tolerate other’s happiness. They have to make people as miserable as they are.

  2. No surprises that the A Team # BDS fail brigade never showed up . Very wise decision considering the exuberant atmosphere inside the arena . NK always good for a laugh .

  3. Happy 65th Anniversary of the FAILURE of five islamofascist armies, none of which was the army of “palestine”, to continue the Holocaust, to destroy Israel, to defeat the “sons of apes and pigs”.


    Meanwhile the Religion of Peace demonstrates its commitment to Peace by killing 70,000+ people in Syria.

  4. Asa Winstanley

    The chap is Massoud Shadjareh, chair of the Khomeinist, pro-Hezbollah Islamic Human Rights Commission (a paradox I know). He’s best buddies with the inbred NK sect, and even is employed as their shabbos goy!

  5. I was there, volunteering with the ZF in the afternoon and then attended as as a VIP in the evening. It was AMAZING! To be in an arena with likeminded people, just for one day a year, makes it all worth while. I met old friends, made new ones and my faith in the State of Israel was reaffirmed.

    A few demonstrators outside? I say GOOD! It shows we live in a democracy. try demonstrating in the areas controlled by the P.A! Try doing that in Syria. No one really cares what they think. Where was Sarah Colborne? Still stuck back behind the closet where she ran when friend to the Lesbian community Raed Salah turned up. How can a out gay woman get paid to give interview to Press TV (Iranian state television) defending a man who want’s her burnt at the stake?


  6. Must be a typo, because only 3000 tickets were sold.

    • richardmillett

      Thanks. I checked. It was a typo. ZF press release put the figure at 6,000.

      • Journalists are so bad handling figures, Joe!

      • In which case it was 5,970 more than the # BDS fail managed to turn out .

      • Still, only 3000 tickets were sold and about 3500 turned up. I think the unfortunate low turn out was down to either a lack of household names or because it’s a backlash over the ZF’s handling of l’affaire Yachad.
        Anyway, isn’t time the ZF was wound down? The state exists.

      • richardmillett

        How do you know about the tickets? Actually the ZF does a good job promoting Israel. Surely, you don’t have a problem with Israel being promoted. It was a fun evening also. Thousands of people whatever the number; and 3500 is still an excellent number for a weekday evening. Everyone who was there loved it, and that’s the main thing. There are many organisations that should be wound down because they are irrelevant and a waste of money; War On Want for example.

      • How do I know it was about 3500? Well that’s the difference between bloggers and journalists – journalists check and have those who check them.

        Not sure the ZF does such a good job promoting Israel. Too much of megaphone politics that are a turn off.

      • richardmillett

        Thanks, Joe. I love you too. Well the ZF holds lobby days in Parliament, has a successful annual dinner, holds Israel science days for students, gets young professionals involved via Israel Connect, puts on lots of lectures, has weekends away to various European capitals discuss Israel, puts on missions to Israel, holds the Balfour lecture every year at the foreign office. The events i go to are usually very busy with lots of interesting people.

      • Wonderful. But they preach to the choir and I doubt its work helps promote israel.

        And anyway, that’s the job of the Israeli government or the state’s educational and other institutions. That’s why the state employs thousands of diplomats and the universities etc sell their know how abroad.

        The UK Jewish community has far more important things to deal with – ageing, welfare, education, other domestic issues, etc.

      • Daniel Marks

        “The UK Jewish community has far more important things to deal with – ageing, welfare, education, other domestic issues, etc.” – Joe M

        I fully agree with Joe on this point as I am sure do most Jews. In my humble opinion, if Anglo-Jewry is to survive (which is hardly something that can be taken for granted) these are the issues its leadership should be focusing on.

        In those 65 years the population of Israel has grown tenfold. During the same time period British Jewry shrunk by more than 50% and if its numbers are still holding out, it’s only because of the high Ultra-Orthodox birthrate. Assimilation, zero growth and alienation are, sadly, issues that most British Jews are petrified to even discuss. How about it Richard, a post about the future of British Jewry?

  7. My favourite Mark Maier joke of the evening ( directed at the Neturei Karta idiots ) was a new take of His joke about whistling a Jewish tune around a person You think Might be Jewish – if They nod in recognition then They are Jewish . Mark said that He had did this recently to a man wearing black clothes , with a beard & Peyot , and was disapointed that He had got absolutely nothing in recognition … ” it was probably that man outside shouting at us down a megaphone ! “

    • richardmillett

      I was going to go for that one but Bernie was easier to explain. Talking of which there was a programme called Jews Telling Jokes on tv the other night. So funny. Like the one about 60 year old Jack who goes into to a confession booth to explain to the priest that he’s been having rumpy pumpy with a very sexy 20 year old woman recently. The priest listens and then asks Jack “Why are you telling me this exactly, my son?”. Jack responds “I’m telling everyone!”

  8. PBV. Surely,you meant AM and not “UM”. UM stands for mother in Arabic; as in “The Um of all Battles”. It was a favourite cry of the warrior of the Euphrates, Saddam Hussein.

    Unless of course you are trying to tell us that it was “The UM of all ZF knees-ups”. I must admit I wasn’t there; I have a good alibi, I’m in Israel!.

  9. What intrigues me Joe , is how you never miss an opportunity to find something negative to say about Israel , its supporters , events etc.

    • Just putting the record straight on the numbers who turned up for the ZF event. We all promote israel or those organisations in israel that are close to our hearts and values. It’s what the ambassador and, yesterday, Natan Sharansky, urged us to do to be “closer to israel”.

      For some, for some support for the JNF and ultra nationalists works. For others, it’s support for civil rights and co-existence groups. It’s all about diversity. And that’s what the ambassador and Sharansky have recognised. Would that some people here were able to do the same.

    • Israel bashing is a full time job!

  10. What a great post Richard! i love the way you’ve juxtaposed pictures from inside the arena where everyone is obviously having a grand old time with pictures from outside the hall, where they look a miserable little lot.

    I almost wish I’d been there. Almost – since I’m in Israel!

    Well done to all the organizers – and ignore any negativity in the comments. Israelis are happy for all the support we can get.

  11. Daniel Marks

    Interesting to note that the demonstrators’ grievances are over our 65 years of existence. Just to remind us all that neither the Judea, Samaria, West Bank nor Gaza not even East Jerusalem – were under Israeli control 65 years ago. From 48-67 we lived in the near indefensible borders that have been offered by the so-called “Two State Solution”. The crime began 65 years ago in 1948 and it is called existence.

    My eldest Amichai was at a meeting of young Israeli and Palestinian “future leaders” in Turkey a few months ago. He was invited as the token Right-Winger. The other Israeli delegates included Jews and Arabs ranging from Moderate Left to absolutely barmy Left.

    After suffering the first session being attacked for the “occupation” which was the cause of every evil that has ever befallen humanity, Amichai was asked to chair the second sitting. He began by asking the Palestinian delegation what they meant when they spoke of the “occupation”. Were they referring to areas “occupied” in 1967 or those “occupied” in 1948?

    To a man (curiously, there were no ladies on the Palestinian delegation) they agreed that all of Israel is “occupied Palestinian land”. These are the youth, many Western-educated, but like the demonstrators in your excellent post there is no room for any Jewish (or other non-Muslim) state in the Middle East.

    At this point the Israeli Left went berserk, one lady cursing the Palestinians in a downright racist manner. What a shock it must have been for them to discover that the people whose cause they had championed so heroically for so long saw no difference between them and my West Bank settler son.

    Amichai, on the other hand, was neither surprised nor disappointed. He congratulated their honesty, contrasting it with his colleagues hypocrisy and even won Palestinian applause.

    Yes, a proud father – sue me – but my real point is that without this honesty there can never be real dialogue or hope of peace. Maybe those banner holders should be congratulated for their honesty too.

  12. Ishtar and Alabina most definitely rock. I wasn’t surprised Alexandra Burke cancelled, but if you get Ishtar instead, it seems hardly a loss.

  13. Hi im jon im the security guy in yellow in front of stage im half Jewish I had a really good evening everyone was up dancing and having fun and there was some really nice people about
    Thanks jon

  14. Colin Stephenson

    Love the pic of a Neturie Karta with the Union Flag! I doubt he could even explain its make up but I bet he’s proud of those doing their bit out in Afghanistan though something makes me think he could never be persuaded to do his bit in defending the realm were the need to ever arise

    And well done Richard for your report – it’s good to hear form you again!

  15. I just want to add the supreme irony that Ishtar/Alabina’s greatest hits are, of course, renderings of popular Arabic songs e.g. Yalla bina yalla and Shukran, Shukran (the former is really their signature song).

    I would have loved to have heard them live. I have all her/their albums, but I have never done so.

  16. It’s a huge ask but maybe you should insist on being arrested and charged? Have your lawyer on hand to bail you out, of course.

    Take it to court and have the courts declare that the act of photographing a demonstration is not provocative.

    For you it is win-win. If the court rules that this is a freedom of expression – freedom of the press issue the Israel Haters won’t be able to enlist the police to intimidate recorders for posterity. If you lose this will bring the issue to every newspaper and talk show. At most you will be fined and I am sure you have enough friends to contribute to paying a fine (includes me). Even the anti Israel NUJ and Reporters Sans Frontières will be forced to take up your case.

  17. hanna untershats

    what a parade of grotesques

  18. Hey Richard, my only advice is, don’t even show what their anti-Israel hatemongers’ signs say. No reason to promote their message at all.