Category Archives: Jews

Ben Gurion University lecturer tells SOAS students the Palestinians are living in “ghettoes” and “bantustans”.

I was hoping that halfway through last night’s talk at SOAS by Jewish Israeli lecturer Oren Yiftachel that another Jewish Israeli lecturer, Dr. Yair Wallach, would stand up and announce that it’s all just a Purim shpiel!

Mr Wallach and a third Jewish Israeli lecturer, Moriel Ram, had heavily promoted Mr Yiftachel’s talk under the auspices of the Centre for Jewish Studies. Mr Wallach was in last night’s audience while Mr Ram introduced Mr Yiftachel.

The talk was called Between Apartheid and Peace: Confederation for Israel/Palestine? It was part of a fairly hostile series of five talks crafted together by the European Association of Israel Studies.

Mr Yiftachel’s lecture was basically in two parts. The second part would have been fine as a stand alone topic in which he discussed his own plan for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. No one can reject hearing a possible peace plan however delusional it might be, especially considering that he headed B’Tselem until 2014.

He is currently on a sabbatical at UCL from Ben Gurion University with 10 months left.

But the first part was about Israel becoming an apartheid state and about how both a two state solution and a one state solution would not work: two states would fail because, he claimed, Palestine would be a “ghetto state” due to the Palestinians having been ghettoised and put into bantustans by the Oslo accords. A one state solution would fail due to the competing nationalisms.

Mr Yiftachel then showed slides with questions “Why has Israel destroyed large parts of Gaza and killed many?” and “Why is Palestinian resistance and terror continuing?”

He claimed Israel was carrying out one of the few remaining colonial projects while most of those of other countries had ceased in the 1950s.

Another slide* depicted what he termed “The Judaisation process” showing maps of how in 1917 there were 67 “Jewish settlements”, in 1947 there were 332, in 1967 there were 764, in 1993 there were 911 and now there are well over a thousand.

Next, a slide contained two maps showing the “Nakba: De-Arabization” between 1947 and 1949. Other slides* used the term “Deepening apartheid”.

One slide depicted how the economic gap between the Israelis and Palestinians had accelerated since 1975 which he said contributed to the “apartheid”.

He then showed a map* of South Africa depicting where all the bantustans used to be while explaining that the Palestinians are currently even more “encaged”. A subsequent slide* depicted how “citizenship” had been “stratified” under “the Israeli ethnocracy” into:

  1. Jews – ‘whites’ 
  2. Palestinian Arabs in Israel – ‘coloureds’
  3. Palestinian Arabs in the OT – ‘blacks’
  4. Foreigners – ‘grays’

One would think that the ex-head of a human rights organisation wouldn’t make light of the horrific historical conditions in ghettoes and under apartheid with such comparisons.

Mr Yiftachel should be ashamed of himself.

The second part of Mr Yiftachel’s talk was about his delusional peace plan called Two States, One Homeland. He explained it was a way for Israel to save itself from ‘apartheid’. It would involve two sovereign entities with joint institutions and gradual free movement ‘Schengen style’ between the two entities. There would be a right of return for Palestinians to Palestine and “redistributive justice”.

Gradually, according to Mr Yiftachel, the huge economic disparity between Israelis and Palestinians would disappear and so would terror attacks by Palestinians. He said “the Jews will remain the upper class but the gap will close…terror dies when the cause of terror dies…it’s worth trying because it is better than apartheid” although he admitted “there will be conflict”.

During the Q&A I asked how this ‘confederation’ could not ultimately lead to the end of the Jewish state. First, he wasn’t impressed with the term ‘Jewish state’ preferring to use ‘Israeli state’ which was a ‘state of all its citizens’. Second, he said the Palestinians wouldn’t have citizenship in Israel so there wouldn’t be a problem. Third, he reckons there were only a couple of hundred thousand Palestinian refugees anyway but that would depend on the definition of ‘refugee’.

That third assumption is ludicrous seeing as earlier in the talk he had claimed there were 2.5m refugees and according to UNWRA there are five million!

To sum up the awfulness of his talk an elderly gentleman asked about the possible consequences of having Hamas terror so much closer to Israel. Mr Yiftachel replied that Hamas had accepted the two state solution. Of course this is utter nonsense. Their 1988 Charter to annihilate every single Jew in the world is still alive and kicking. Hamas has never disowned it.

Embarrassingly for Mr Yiftachel he managed to secure for himself a 300 seat prime central London university lecture theatre but only 50 people turned up. Needless to say a waste of taxpayers’ money.

(* for these slides see Jonathan Hoffman’s blog)

Banksy-inspired film that demonises Jews is shown at SOAS.

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Jews are about to be demonised in the soon to be released From Balfour To Banksy, a new documentary film by Martin Buckley. In it Jews are portrayed as Nazis, thieves and thinking they’re the superior race.

Buckley is ex-BBC and now senior lecturer in journalism at Southampton Solent University. In From Balfour To Banksy, which was shown at SOAS on Monday night, he interviews Palestinians living next to Israel’s security wall. His cameraman/editor is Alexander Wilks, a 23-year-old graduate just out of film school. The producer is Miranda Pinch, a Christian-believing Jewish woman.

Soon into the film we hear a Palestinian describe Gaza as a “child concentration camp”. This evokes the image of Jews as Nazis.

We are also sold the lie that “Jewish-only highways feed the settlements”. Then, after more accusations that Israel is an “apartheid state”, Buckley says:

“It’s surely amazing that Israel, built by the survivors of Hitler’s Holocaust, could be accused of the notorious human rights violation that scars South Africa. But for over a decade critics outside and inside Israel, Jews as well as Arabs, have been accusing Israel’s right-wing governments of practising apartheid. Shocking as the accusation of apartheid is it has serious formal backing.”

In Jerusalem Buckley then finds a Jewish-Israeli family who invite him over for dinner. One of the family members tells Buckley that Israeli children are taught in school: “We are the chosen ones, everyone else is beneath us.” This false accusation is an antisemitic trope.

The scene moves to Tel Aviv where we are told “Palestinians have lived for hundreds of years”, eventhough Tel Aviv was founded in 1909. Buckley interviews Palestinian students at Tel Aviv University.  The claim is made that TAU is built over a Palestinian village.

A student tells him that when Palestinians had left their houses in Tel Aviv Jews simply chose which ones they wanted to live in. She said they “found gold and money” in these houses. It was also claimed that Palestinians are not allowed to tend their graves there.

There were some disturbing scenes of Israeli soldiers hitting Palestinians. The scenes were possibly culled from the websites of Breaking The Silence and B’Tselem. We are not told what, if any, criminal action was taken against the soldiers.

These scenes end with Israeli soldier Elor Azaria shooting dead a Palestinian terrorist in Hebron. It merely looks as if Azaria has shot dead an innocent Palestinian. There is no explanation, no context and no information about Azaria’s manslaughter conviction and jail sentence.

In another scene Buckley stands in front of a building and claims that on its balcony a Palestinian child was shot dead. We don’t get to see who the child was or learn his or her name, just that the child was “taken out” by an Israeli soldier.

Buckley then stays at Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem. It’s situated next to the security wall. The hotel contains, inter alia, a statue of Lord Balfour and cheesy souvenirs from England like Lady Diana bric-a-brac. Buckley thinks this symbolises “the little Englandism of Brexit”.

The film ends claiming Israel “sells weapons to dictatorships and rogue regimes”.

Throughout the film there is no criticism whatsoever of Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups or interviews with Israeli victims of their bombings which would put the security wall in context.

During the Q&A I asked Buckley whether he found the reference to Gaza being a “child concentration camp” offensive. He merely answered that what was offensive was Palestinians living behind a wall.

He also said that many Palestinian views didn’t make it into the film for fear of offending. I’m not sure what could be more offensive than considering Gaza a “child concentration camp”.

With about 10 minutes left of the Q&A things got heated. Eventually some Israeli flags came out and Am Israel Chai was sung. I’m happy to report myself and others then had some decent discussions with other audience members.

Meanwhile, Wilks would do himself a favour by splitting from Buckley and Pinch while the film is still a rough cut. Its vile antisemitic rhetoric shouldn’t see the light of day again.

Anti-Israel meeting at SOAS stopped by peaceful pro-Israel protest.

Mike Cushman speaking at University London Union in 2012.

Mike Cushman speaking at University London Union in 2012.

Whenever I ask a question at SOAS it’s usually accompanied by abuse coming my way. For example, after asking a perfectly reasonable question in 2012 SOAS lecturer Gilbert Achcar accused me of being a “professional disruptor” and then falsely accused me of leaving insulting messages on his phone.

On Tuesday night at SOAS it was completely different and uplifting.

The members of the panel were Tony Lerman and ex-teacher Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi. Chairing was academic Mike Cushman who has more than a touch of Larry David about him in both look and mannerism. The subject of the evening was a new book they had contributed to called On Antisemitism.

The room of 50 sat relatively quiet listening to Lerman explain how “non-violent activism” like boycott, divestment and sanctions againt Israel (BDS) are under attack in America. And he quoted Judith Butler who claims that accusations of antisemitism, like those against BDS and anti-Zionists, “are meant to cause pain.”

Lerman went on to claim that “supremacist Zionism” attacks Israel’s internal critics like B’tselem and Breaking The Silence and he attacked the “notorious definition of antisemitism” adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance which he felt was “an attack on pro-Palestinian activism”.

Wimborne-Idrissi read out her favourite parts of the book one of which was about how American Jews have now placed themselves within the “tent of whiteness” due to their identifying with a “white supremacist Israel dominated by white Ashkenazi Jews”.

Cushman allowed me to ask a question and so I put it to Lerman how it could be that BDS, which calls for the right of return of some five million so-called Palestinian refugees, can be considered anything other than violently antisemitic when such a return would result in the demographic demise of the only Jewish state.

To my pleasant astonishment I received a large round of applause from the back of the room; a first after 10 years of blogging these events. I was embarrassed, but nicely so.

Lerman answered that he had never met a Palestinian who wanted to actually return to Israel, only that that they should have their rights recognised.

The evening then quickly disintegrated soon after a young South Korean man stood up to ask about the comparison between Israel and North Korea. Even Cushman told him to sit down.

Lerman again complained about the “demonisation” of BDS after which someone called out “What about the way you demonise Israel?”. Jonathan Hoffman then accused Wimborne-Idrissi of making light of antisemitism live on LBC Radio.

More interruptions followed before five Israeli flags were produced and accompanied by a beautiful rendition of Am Israel Chai.

Cushman, now channeling his inner Larry David, stood up, slammed the table and demanded silence. But silence there came none. So he called the police.

Once SOAS security appeared at the door the pro-Israel group left peacefully.

The meeting resumed but the attendance was now thoroughly depleted. And in a surprising show of contrition Wimborne-Idrissi attempted to answer Jonathan Hoffman’s accusation. She admitted her LBC interview “wasn’t my finest hour”.

As for that peaceful interruption of Israeli singing and flag waving I find it highly ironic than when I sit silently and wait patiently to be called to ask a reasonable question I am labeled a “disruptor” anyway. Those attending these vile events to put forward Israel’s case are criticised whatever we do, however well we behave. Such smears won’t stop us attending though.

(For more reflection on Tuesday evening’s events read Jonathan Hoffman)

Palestine Solidarity Campaign smears the Holocaust on anti-Balfour Declaration protest in London.

 

“Zionist Media Covers Up Palestinian Holocaust”

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign cannot kick its smearing-the-Holocaust habit. A banner proclaiming the media is, basically, Jewish-controlled and that Jews are, basically, Nazis (see above) was proudly paraded on the PSC’s anti-Balfour Declaration march through London today. There was no objection to it from any PSC stewards.

Added to that a woman wearing a Palestinian flag kept repeating there were “concentration camps” in Palestinian villages (part 1 below) and repeatedly accused a Jewish man holding a British flag of being “the anti-Christ” (part 2 below):

Smearing the Holocaust is a common theme now at PSC events and anti-Israel events generally.

As the some 3,000 PSC activists proceeded down Oxford Street a group of about 30 pro-Israel campaigners stepped into the road in front of the march and put a stop to it for about 30 minutes before the police finally moved everyone on allowing the protest to end up in Parliament Square where it was addressed by Jeremy Corbyn MP and Diane Abbott MP (via a live link), Ken Loach, Andy Slaughter MP, Salma Yaqoob and Dave Randall, amongst others.

The pro-Israel group were also called “Zionist pigs” by PSC activists but here they are in their full glory:

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More peaceful disruptions to these anti-Semitic marches through London will undoubtedly rightly follow.

Here are some other photos from the PSC march. As you can see the slogans incorporate Holocaust smearing, the Star of David, the blood libel, child killing, supporting violence against Israelis and also willing Israel’s destruction and are, of course, the slogans the above-named British politicians and celebrities will have stood in front of while addressing the PSC supporters in Parliament Square.

That’s quite a chilling prospect for Britain’s 280,000 Jews:

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The Israeli flag flew high inside My Name Is Rachel Corrie.

Official handout and the

Official handout and the “Accompanying Notes”

The 31 performance run of Josh Roche directed My Name Is Rachel Corrie finally comes to an end on Thursday night. With the Young Vic Theatre rejecting all suggestions of balance including a small exhibition of the 19 Israeli Rachels murdered by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups and a pro-Israel voice on the after show panel discussions some activists produced “Accompanying Notes” to be handed out to theatre goers outside the Young Vic.

The “Accompanying Notes”, which look similar to the official handout (see above), explain what really happened to Rachel in 2003 when she tragically died in Gaza while naively standing in front of a bulldozer when Israel was fighting Hamas:

“The investigation and court judgement showed the driver could not see her and that her death was an unfortunate accident to someone who had trespassed in a clearly marked closed military area. Rachel Corrie was not protecting a ‘home’ but a shed shielding one of the terror tunnels used to smuggle weapons and explosives. Her death was a tragic accident.”

Rachel was, in fact, protecting tunnels Hamas were using to smuggle in weapons that were causing mass murder on the streets of Israel. That crucial part of the narrative, plus that her death was an accident, were absent from the play.

The “Accompanying Notes” also explain that the play contains “unsubstantiated, context-free allegations about supposed Israeli brutality. For example, the IDF is alleged to have stopped the International Solidarity Movement retrieving a corpse, is accused of destroying wells and being engaged in a ‘constant attempt to remove Palestinians from their home.'”

They also explain how Rachel, an ISM member, misinterprets the Fourth Geneva Convention.

We had tickets for the Saturday night production. The theatre holds 70 and when we entered the actress playing Rachel (Erin Doherty) was lying on the floor listening to music with the main prop on stage being a part of Israel’s security wall painted a light red, obviously denoting blood. The stage floor was also painted red.

The show was, basically, an hour and a half of emotional blackmail as Doherty played out edited scenes from the young Rachel’s diaries. The audience occasionally laughed at her naivety and attempts to change the world.

It was dull. The hour and a half passed slowly.

Nearing the end Rachel describes how the Israeli army, apparently, destroyed wells in Gaza, shot at children and how Rachel failed to retrieve a dead Gazan while being shot at by the IDF. Rachel also offers Gazans money for their hospitality but they wouldn’t take any preferring for Rachel to go back to America to tell their story.

At the end Doherty gives a very short, uncorroborated account of how Rachel died. It’s by “eyewitness Tom Dale” who described the Israeli bulldozer driver seeing Rachel before killing her. But, as stated above, this is not the case.

Israeli courts have sent Israeli soldiers to prison when evidence supports such a conviction so there’s no reason they wouldn’t have done the same in this case. Tom Hurndall’s killer, in similar circumstances, and IDF soldier Azaria were sent to prison.

As Doherty took her two ovations Jonathan Hoffman, from the middle of the audience, stood and unfurled the Israeli flag in front of her. It was a small act of defiance against a nasty play and staging that only adds poison to the world.

(For more analysis of the court case read here)

Jackie Walker brings her “lynching” to SOAS.

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Jackie Walker is a political activist who thinks she has been lynched by supporters of Israel who don’t like Jeremy Corbyn. To use “lynching” is a pretty strong metaphor. It means to “kill (someone) for an alleged offence without a legal trial, especially by hanging.” This is obviously what she thinks has happened to her. Some exaggeration.

When I walked into SOAS last night for her performance of The Lynching there was a black doll in front of us with a noose around its neck.

The first half of the show is about her tragic life. She was the product of an affair between her mother and Jack Cohen, a Jewish jeweller, who met each other during their fight for black rights in America. She held up a photo of two black men hanging by their necks.

She came to the UK, via Jamaica, with her mother and suffered racism in the UK. Her mother died prematurely from an asthma attack when she was 11 and she was taken into care which she left at 18. She became a teacher. In 1991 she joined the Labour Party and was eventually elected vice-chair of Momentum, the hard-left Corbyn supporting group within Labour. She was then sacked as vice-chair of Momentum and suspended from Labour over allegations of anti-Semitism against her.

The show then turns into her own trial of the accusations against her where she plays both prosecution and defence. The accusations are: 1. She accused Jews of financing the slave trade 2. She said there’s no such thing as anti-Semitism. 3. She belittled the Holocaust.

She defended herself against each. On 1. she claimed that instead of writing on Facebook that “And many Jews, my ancestors too, were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade” she should have written “amongst the chief financiers” and that missing out just one word does not make her an anti-Semite.

On 2. she claimed that she was merely asking for a definition of anti-Semitism she could work with. On 3. she claimed that she merely wanted all who had suffered similar, like the millions killed in the slave trade, to be remembered.

She didn’t explain why she raised Jews as being “financiers of the slave trade” at all considering all religions and nationalities were.

But why were these accusations made against her? She says it was merely because Jeremy Corbyn had been elected and that “he was a supporter of the Palestinians.” His enemies were the “establishment and people on the side of Israel”. And then to huge applause (there were about 200 hard-left activists in the room) she said “Get rid of right wing Labour MPs!”

She said the accusations were an “attack on a movement for change and that Jackie Walker was not a Jew hater but innocent…I don’t seek the destruction of Israel but to save Israel from its descent into racism and far-right nationalism…We must be free to fight for a Palestinian homeland without being accused of anti-Semitism…I refuse to go to the back of the bus because the media or anyone else says I should.”

Then Walker was joined for a Q&A by three other anti-Israel activists: film director Ken Loach, author and journalist Victoria Brittain, and academic Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead.

The Q&A session basically turned into a full attack on the Jewish Chronicle and those writing for it who Walker called “proto-fascists”, The Jewish Labour Movement (Walker thinks the JLM should not give training sessions on anti-Semitism), the Israel Advocacy Movement who Walker accused of digging into her Facebook, the Labour Party compliance unit who Walker thinks is leaking everything to the Jewish Chronicle, the Campaign Against Antisemitism and the Community Security Trust who Walker said “churn out biased surveys all the time”, the so-called “weaponisation of antisemitism” (see above), the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of AntiSemitism which is being increasingly adopted by governments and councils, and, of course Israel.

These hard-left activists want the IHRA defintion changed because they only recognise the neo-Nazi type anti-Semitism as seen at Charlottsville. That means they, in their opinion, can never be considered anti-Semitic.

They don’t like the IHRA classifying “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” as anti-Semitism. That’s because they want the end of the only Jewish majority state.

Rosenhead said “it was a shame racism had reared its head in Israel of all places…and it was a shame Jews in this country are supporting a racist state” and that it was “convenient for the British government to plant them (Jews) there (in the Middle East)”.

It was then time for audience members to claim victimhood. Dave Watson said he was an opponent of Stella Creasey MP and that he’d tweeted “anti-Israel things, not anti-Semitic and I supported Naz Shah (presumably when Shah said Israel should be relocated to America). He said he “criticised Zionism and supporters of Israel but not Jews.” (It seems he also, inter alia, compared Mossad to Nazis).

Graham Bash, Walker’s partner, said he’s Jewish and has only come across anti-Semitism once in 49 years in the Labour Party.

A Hungarian lady said “Anti-Semitism is misused which is an insult to those who died in the Holocaust.”

Once Loach had declared “No arms trade with Israel, no trade with Israel” I took to the microphone:

I said that most people in the room, including the four panelists, just wanted the end of Israel. I challenged the four panelists to admit that they wanted the end of the only Jewish majority state. I said that calling for the end of the only Jewish majority state, while not calling for the end of any other state, was anti-Semitic. I told them that they obviously wouldn’t admit to being anti-Semitic and that another way of, therefore, expressing anti-Semitism was to call for the destruction of the Jewish state. I also said they didn’t care about the Palestinians.

In response to this challenge I received idiotic responses.

Loach said he was merely here to help Walker get justice. Walker said she was a “socialist and internationalist” and Rosenhead said he didn’t want the destruction of Israel but a country with five million Jews and five million Palestinians (note to Rosenhead: that is the destruction of the only Jewish majority state.)

In conclusion, Walker’s play possibly gives an insight into her animus towards Israel. She was rejected by her father who was a wealthy Jewish man. Ever since then she’s felt the victim but now she has spotted the opportunity to take revenge. It will get her nowhere but continue to eat her and her supporters up as Israel continues to thrive.

Hezbollah humiliated on streets of London as their Al Quds Day protest is blocked by pro-Israel activists.

Hezbollah terror flag at front of Al Quds Day parade.

Hezbollah terror flag at front of Al Quds Day parade.

We came we saw we conquered! While the Hezbollah Al Quds Day terror parade was allowed to take place on Sunday 18th June in the heart of London’s West End a group of 20 to 30 pro-Israel activists stepped out into the road to block the march no sooner than after it had just started.

The 300 or so Hezbollah supporters looked frustrated and bemused after expecting their usual easy ride shouting their slogans calling for Israel’s destruction.

Anti-semites will continue to block us from their anti-Israel meetings and have us thrown out of their anti-Israel events by making up accusations that we “disrupt” but they can’t stop us taking it to them on the streets of London.

As soon as the Iranian-regime inspired terror parade had set off down Portland Place from the BBC we stepped out in front of the Hezbollah supporters and for the next hour all they could do was watch as we chanted at them “TERRORISTS, OFF OUR STREETS!” while we walked slowly and danced to Israeli tunes down Portland Place and Oxford Street to the old American Embassy where Hezbollah held their terror rally accusing “Zionists”, inter alia, of causing the tragic Grenfell fire.

How in 2017 is a terror organisation like Hezbollah with a rifle emblazoned on its flag allowed to parade through London?

Is the British Jewish community so ill-considered, so small that we are so easily sacrificed? Would the authorities allow Al Qaiada or ISIS parades?

There is no political wing of Hezbollah. It is impossible. The movement has targeted and murdered so many Jews throughout the years that it is incredible that in 2017 our mayor and government allows a terror group with blood on its hands to parade through London.

Lets hope this is the last year this parade of hate is allowed. If not then we need everyone out next year to oppose this terror movement.

With thanks to Israel Advocacy Group and Yochy who put their heart and soul into today and to Kay Wilson who survived a terror attack in Israel, eventhough her friend didn’t, and who spoke at today’s pro-Israel rally while bravely having to confront, once again, the same terror mindset which targeted her and her friend in Israel.

Photos and footage:

This is just after we step out in front of them:

You’re blocked.

Al Quds Day paraders are clueless as we step out in front of them.

Al Quds Day paraders are clueless as we step out in front of them.

Al Quds Day paraders on their way as we walk slowly in front.

Al Quds Day paraders on their way as we walk slowly in front.

Al Quds Day paraders were stopped for about 15 minutes here as they turned into Oxford Street.

Al Quds Day paraders were stopped for about 15 minutes here as they turned into Oxford Street.

It becomes our march, not theirs.

It becomes our march, not theirs.