Last night I went to Parliament for an event staged by the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK. The event Gaza: Life in an occupied and besieged strip was obviously only concerned with the human rights of one group of Arabs.
Tonge complained that “the Palestinians had been denied democracy because the wrong side (Hamas) won” and that Israel defies international law by denying the right of return to anyone who is not a Jew.
Her main complaint was about “the Israel lobby” which, she said, “has its claws in this country” and she claimed nothing was being done about Israel out of fear of being called anti-Semitic.
She called for a total boycott of Israel, said that Jews had led the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and finished off with:
“Let us show Israel; we love you very much but not in these circumstances”.
Here is the clip:
We were then addressed by “International Law Specialist” Toby Cadman. Cadman claimed he was not a political activist but went on to accuse Israel of “collective punishment and unlawful occupation” and having a “classic system of apartheid”.
He said that there was “No situation quite like Palestine” and he also blamed the “Powerful lobby movement” for ensuring injustices weren’t addressed.
Then came the Q&A. An audience member rose and said “Disease in Gaza is like in the concentration camps under the Nazis”.
Then directly behind me someone wanted to know more about “the Israel lobby” so he could boycott them too! He wanted the panel to expand on who exactly they were.
I felt compelled to turn my camera back on at this point.
During her talk Tonge had pointed me out to everyone. She described me as a “great blogger and contributor to the Jewish Chronicle”. And Sara Apps, of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, had already been over to me twice; to ask if I was registered for the event and then to see if my camera was turned off.
So, while Tonge was describing “the Israel lobby” as being both BICOM and the various political Friends of Israel groupings Mohammed Jamil, the organiser of the event, was bearing down on me.
He ordered me to switch my camera off and, which you don’t see, tried to snatch it.
Meanwhile, the cameras of Al Jazeera, who were there covering the event, continued to roll. Here’s the clip and I’m glad to say my little camera has survived yet another battering: