Calls for the end of Israel as racist boycott vote at SOAS proceeds.

Last night I met the SOAS Jewish Society, all four of them.

It was at a SOAS “debate” about whether to boycott Israeli universities and academics on the basis that they are complicit with Israel’s military. Once again the Jewish state was being singled out at SOAS and the SOAS Student Union was attempting to make it look all so civilised.

The panel was a mixture of SOAS staff and students. Each panelist made a submission as to whether or not there should be an academic boycott of Israel. Contributions from the audience were then taken. About 250 people attended.

Three panelists argued for an academic boycott and three argued against. However, the latter three didn’t argue against on the basis that a boycott is obviously discriminatory and racist. Instead, they argued that it would merely be “ineffective”.

That said the latter are at a university where the societies and staff have become increasingly hostile to the Jewish state over recent years. The London Middle East Institute and the Centre for Palestine Studies (both based at SOAS) and the SOAS Palestine Society churn out sickening anti-Israel propaganda on an almost daily basis.

David Landau, a SOAS student who was one of those on the panel against a boycott, was sincerely concerned that such a boycott could spell the end of Hebrew teaching at SOAS.

Another panelist, a SOAS lecturer against the boycott, confided afterwards that she really didn’t want to be on the panel as she was concerned she would lose the all-important objectivity in the eyes of her students. She felt she had no choice though.

It seems that Dr. Elian Weizman, another SOAS lecturer, had no such concerns about being on the panel. She argued that Israel should be boycotted but, then again, she is a long-standing campaigner against Israel’s existence.

Last night she put it more academically:

“Boycott is a means to an end which will be a different reality for the people who live in Palestine…This is about the Zionist ideology that sustains the state. Israelis will not reject the system and ideology because it is the right thing to do but they must realise that there is a price for these policies.”

Contributions from the floor were mostly against Israel and at one point the auditorium went hysterical with approval when a female student announced: “Bashar Assad will go, the Zionist state will go!”

One of the four Jewish Society members then asked why, in light of the recent judgement that the Palestinian Authority and the PLO were complicit in terrorist attacks inside Israel, SOAS isn’t considering a boycott of Palestinian universities?

This question was a bit too difficult for pro-boycott panelist Amira Nassim, President of the SOAS Palestine Society, who could only respond that the PA was funded by Israel and so nothing more could be expected from them.

It was a great question though.

One pro-boycott panelist even connected their boycott campaign to the campaign to improve the conditions for SOAS’ cleaners. There was now an expectation that the cleaners will vote for a boycott. What once seemed like selfless support for the cleaners now came with a strict condition.

The vote is open all week and will close on Friday. It has been organised by the SOAS Student Union and is open to all SOAS staff and students or, as the pro-boycott leaflets politely state, “the whole SOAS community”.

The vote is totally undemocratic as well as being racist. The boycotters have learnt well from the likes of Ayatollah Khamenei and President Assad when it comes to propaganda.

First, the vote is taking place during so-called “Israeli Apartheid Week” with a fake “Apartheid Wall” and fake guns (all courtesy of War On Want) being pointed outside SOAS (see photos below).

Second, the financing of the boycott campaign is immense with thousands of paid-for leaflets and hundreds of posters and T-shirts.

Third, the SOAS Jewish Society was denied any representation on last night’s panel.

Judging by last night’s hysterical reaction in the auditorium the “Yes to boycott” campaign will win their racist vote despite there being not one contribution last night as to how a boycott might actually benefit the Palestinians.

The vote is non-binding and so the result will have to be put before SOAS management who must then decide whether to implement a racist and targeted boycott of innocent Israeli academics.

I suspect that British law will not allow that. However, if I am wrong then all bets are off for freedom of speech as well as British Jews.

Recent photos from outside SOAS (taken from SOAS Referendum on Academic Boycott Facebook page):

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26 responses to “Calls for the end of Israel as racist boycott vote at SOAS proceeds.

  1. Ha ha weizmann used to be the president of the pal soc! Google her brother eyal he’s also a r***** and former Israeli. Parents must be really proud! Is that guy khaled, the gazan guy who runs the union shop still running things? Jewish people should boycott soas it will always be an agressive campus that closes down sensible debate.

  2. No surprises here but my ire is reserved for a supine Jewish Student Society. . Four students is a joke . I have no doubt this is partly due to the Yachad effect which has undermined and neutered student Israel advocacy . That and an aversion to the cut and thrust of student Israel / Palestinian politics and a desire to keep their heads down in the face of relentless delegitimisation by these Fascist supporters of Palestine .

  3. these people are called mules in the muslim world and when they finish there work they will be discarded

  4. It is Israel’s duty to affect ‘Palestinian’ society not on the basis of what they do but on the basis of what they incite.
    ‘Palestinian’ economy can be most affected by stopping cooperation with PA. Any wrongful decision from them should have a counterpart. Stop a project, non-delivery of electricity for debts, stopping trade, stopping permits for those with jobs inside Israel 1949 lines…
    Israel doesn’t need the PA; it is the PA that needs Israel.

  5. Thank you, Richard, for monitoring yet another Israel hate-fest. From here in Israel, it seems that the old country is sliding towards a repeat of Kristallnicht, but hope it is only my pessimism speaking.

  6. There is German case law that determines that being Jewish does not stop one being labelled as an antisemite, and there should be prosecutions to show that this singling out of Israel as the worst example of post-colonialism, racism, etc. is pure antisemitism. Where are the protests about Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, Venezuela’s treatment of its citizens, especially the Jewish ones, etc.? So-called “Palestine” – the West Bank and Gaza – only exist because of Israel, without Israel they would be subsumed in an instant into the neighbouring Arab states. They owe a huge debt of gratitude to Israel, not least because of the vast subsidies from the EU and elsewhere that go to giving them an artificially high standard of living and lining the pockets of the oligarchy that rules them.

    • Although in the case of ‘Palestinians’, being subjected to their corrup leaders (elected, I know) is the worse thing that could happen. Therefore, keeping them in the delusion that they can exist independently of other Arab (and mostly failed-) states is cruel.
      Israel should bankrupt them immediately and put an end to their suffering under Abbas and Hamas.

      • Would the silly donors let that happen? The US, UK and others have persisted in supporting UNWRA since 1950 to substitute the private charity that helped the refugees of the 48 war till then; so why?
        Without UNWRA the refuge question would have dispersed which puts a cowardly cock up and sinister shadow on the West for falling in with the Arab demand to support these idlers though to their credit most of them got jobs or moved to find jobs. The other streak to the shadow is the hypocrisy to make a difficulty of “solving the refuge problem.”

  7. The No speakers on the panel were selected by the organisers of the
    referendum, the Soas student union. There was no consultation with either the Jewish Society or the No campaign on the choice of speakers. If they had been asked the panelists would not have been their choice.

  8. Given the centenary of WW I this is historic irony. In WWI, probably in line with British xenophobia, it was seen in UK tabloid land, as very rum to know German even though German linguists were vital to intelligence and much else. On the other hand in WW II that needful to the war effort point was understood; and in the Cold War the British forces ran a Russian language course that recruited bright national service men.

  9. Thank you for this and your other reports.

    Are these people really so foolish to beileve what they are saying?

    The Gemorah says that hatred perverts straight thinking, and we have a clear example here.

    What concerns me is not so much what these people are saying but why and what is going through their minds when they spurt out this drivel.

    If someone wants to be anti zionist, or anti Israel, that is their prorogative.

    However, when they ignore worse conduct elsewhere and only focus on what is Israel does or does not do, as they perceive it, then it becomes pure unadulterated antisemitsm.

    The danger to us is that it is becoming so much a norm and acceptable, the man in the street will no longer be able to perceive it for what it is.

    Have the arabs ever done anything positive for UK, other than destroy our economy in 1973 and, of course, support our enemies in both World Wars.

    Is it only their money that attracts these people like bees to honey?

    It cannot be their democratic standards or the love of free speach and personal freedom, or other western principles.

    The Palestinians have so expertly portrayed themselves as the archetypal victims, so that these people are so in love with them, they cannot see their faults.

  10. Video: 1941 The Grand Mufti meets Hitler

  11. The following are ILLEGAL under International Law
    – Beheading (Lee Rigby, James Foley, Daniel Pearl and others)
    – Hijacking passenger planes (and flying them into buildiings)
    – Using poison gas (a WMD) on the Kurds of Halabja Iraq
    – Burning caged prisoners alive
    – Stoning women to death over “family honor”
    – Executing prisoners and dragging their body through the streets of Gaza
    – Stabbing filmmakers to death over a film (Theo Van Gogh)
    – Shooting cartoonists for ridiculing a “prophet”
    – Issuing Death fatwas against writers (like Salman Rushdie)
    – Defying the NPT (Fascist Iran) that you signed
    – Urging Lone Wolf attacks (that will eventually backfire AKA blow back)
    – Bombing London transport

    Really, there is LOTS of history to bring forward that makes Islamofascism look really bad and a Crime Against Humanity.

    Why don’t Students For Justice bring this inconvenient facts up at such pr-islamofascist rally’s???

  12. I don’t understand the purpose behind the red tip on the toy gun.

    A REAL GUN could have a red tip too.

    Where are the Anti-Gun activists on bringing toy guns on campus???

    The school administration should KICK OUT the gun tote-ers. Have they forgotten Charlie Hebdo so soon?

  13. SOAS = ISIS/Al Qada/Taliban/Boko Haram/Fascist Iran/Wahabbi/Salifi

    What went wrong with British Academia? How did it lose its objectivity and morality and sanity?

    • Academia as the adults are the harvest of over thirty years of hate in the news and propaganda. Academics know their own subjects and its general outer field; but for anything else they are as much laity as non-academics.
      Academia as the votes of undergraduates is so much monkey see; monkey do.

  14. “That said the latter are at a university where the societies and staff have become increasingly hostile to the Jewish state over recent years.”

    I can’t recall a time when SOAS was anything BUT hostile to Israel. Even when I left the UK over 4 decades ago, SOAS was well-known for its vicious opposition to the Jewish state.

  15. zaccaerdydd

    Was Gilbert Achcar involved, Richard?

  16. It starkly contrasts with Colin Shindler’s having inaugurated Israel studies at SOAS in 2012 thus.

    It also perhaps suggests the current vote ought not be taken too seriously, although a terrible indictment of academic staff’s de facto excluding many if not most Jews, and the one Jewish country amidst a host of apartheid (by their criteria) middle eastern states and societies, all of which are offered for study unimpaired by their same institution, if not by they themselves.

    A kind of de facto anti-Jewish apartheid at SOAS.

  17. where was comrade Greenstein?

    • No doubt Writing up his next interminably boring 20,000 word screed (zzzzzzz) on his abysmal blog which attracts an average of zero comments .

  18. CHOCI MCKENZIE

    CONFLATING BOYCOTTS WITH ANTI JEWISH FEELING IS A RETARDED HASBARA TECHNIQUE.WAS ANTI APARTIED RACIST,NO,WAS BEING AN ANTI NAZI RACIST,NO,I TRUST YOU’RE CATCHING MY DRIFT HERE,DISLIKE AND OPPOSITION OF THE DESPICABLE ISRAELI STATES POLICIES IS SIMPLY THAT…..GET OVER IT WITH YOUR PROPAGANDA TRYING TO EQUATE IT TO RACISM,IT LEADS ME TO THINK WHY ARE SO MANY NON ISRAELIS AFRAID OF SOLIDARITY FOR PALESTINE,WHY ARE THEY AFRAID OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT..

    • Who said Israel was afraid of terrorist threatening to take Israel to the ICC? Yourself? But Abbas (head of terrorist organization Fatah) taking Israel to the ICC is precisely a violation of international law, you know Oslo Accords and all prohibiting any one-sided action?
      Anti-Zionism is antisemitic, you can deny it like all racists, but you cannot hide.
      Boycotts are the weapon of the powerfull over the weak, not the weapons of the anti-ractists against the racist. Any similarity with Apartheid South Africa is just coincidental and another racist smear at Israel.

      • The anti-Zionists themselves conflate Antisemitism with anti-Zionism by shouting abuse at those Jews dressed in Jewish insignia or simply in their Sabbath best in a way which did not occur twenty years ago.

  19. Pingback: Antisemitism on British campuses, masquerading as anti-Zionism | Anne's Opinions

  20. Brian Goldfarb

    Colin Shindler, Emeritus Professor at SOAS, wrote an article for JC on a “referendum” at SOAS on whether to boycott Israel. While it was passed, Shindler noted that it was (a) open to all (including, e.g., cleaners) at SOAS; (b) only some 15% of those eligible voted; and (c) while it “passed”, therefore 85% of the “electorate” voted.

    The article can be found here (cross-posted on the engage website): https://engageonline.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/soas-is-not-boycotting-israel/#comments

    I posted a fairly mild comment, upset that an institution of higher education was letting its students down by permitting this, especially in the light of the second sentence of my second comment below. I then had, as I note, second thoughts, and recommented:

    “On second thoughts, I’m more than horrified, I think that Colin Shindler is excusing SOAS. If we revisit the sentence “Attending SOAS forces Jewish students to examine their Jewish identity and their relationship to Israel. They emerge stronger and better informed than their elders and peers”, and substitute “female” or “black” or “Christian” or, heaven forfend, “Muslim” for Jewish (and change “Israel” as appropriate), then, I suspect, we would all immediately be condemning SOAS for allowing such a breach of faith between a higher education institution and its student body in this country.

    Instead, Prof Shindler actually defends what’s happening.”

    Please read the article for yourself and add comments (there or here as you wish). I would like to know what people think of Shindler’s “defence” of SOAS and my response (I always need to know how I could do better next time).