Category Archives: UK

Avi Shlaim goes to St James’s Church to slam Israel’s creation and anti-Semitism “allegations”.

Rt Rev Michael Langrish appealing for money for Palestinians in northern Israel's

Rt Rev Michael Langrish appealing for money for Palestinians in northern Israel’s “refugee camps”.

Historian Avi Shlaim was invited to speak on Balfour and Palestine: From Balfour to May on Tuesday night at St James’s Church in central London.

St James’s is a church hostile to Israel and no expense is spared. In 2013 St James’s dedicated its entire Christmas to demonising Israel’s security wall at a cost of £30,000.

St James’s knows how to harness extremists’ hatred for Israel and on the way out on Tuesday The Rev Lucy Winkett was beaming with pride at seeing 300 people in her church. One can only imagine the usual turnout on Sunday mornings.

Su McClellan, of Embrace the Middle East (see below), set the dire tone for the evening when she described Shlaim’s family as simply having “left Iraq for Israel for various reasons”.

Those “various reasons” might have included the Farhud massacre visited on Baghdad’s Jewish community in 1941 which was followed up with continued oppression and confiscation of property by the Iraqi government. Shlaim’s father lost everything it seems. None of this was mentioned.

Farhud and Hamas were the main words totally absent from Shlaim’s talk. He blamed the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinians solely on Israel. He claimed “settlements only are continuing the conflict.”

Shlaim seems proud to be a part of the British establishment. Throughout the evening he repeated that he married the great-grand-daughter of David Lloyd George and said that although “his wife was proud of her great-grand-father she was ashamed of the role he played in Palestine”. Palestine, he said, had been “wiped off the map”.

Lloyd George was Britain’s PM at the time of the Balfour Declaration which promised a national home to the Jewish people “in Palestine”. Shlaim ascribed the Declaration to Lloyd George’s “anti-semitic view that the Jews were uniquely influential.”

Meanwhile, Shlaim repeated Christian metaphors to appeal to his audience. He condemned Winston Churchill as a “dog in a manger” for overly praising Jews during the 1936 Peel Commission and he criticised the “old historians who stick to Israel’s beginning as one of immaculate conception”.

Quite incredibly Shlaim then praised Ilan Pappe as his inspiration. Pappe has been described by Benny Morris as “one of the world’s sloppiest historians”. Pappe has also been caught on film agreeing propaganda may be more important than facts.

Shlaim then claimed the Balfour Declaration meant Palestine had been “twice promised”, having already been promised by the British to the leader of the Arab world, via an exchange of letters, in return for Arabs fighting the Muslim Ottomans during World War One.

Shlaim continued that the “intrusion of a foreign entity in the shape of the Zionist movement showed a total disregard (by the British) for the indigenous population”.

He concluded by praising the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC dedicates itself to the demonisation and eradication of Israel) and saying that only recognition of a Palestinian state as a UN member can “save Israel from itself”.

During the Q&A Shlaim defended the Labour Party against “alleged anti-semitism within the Labour Party” and praised Jeremy Corbyn (warning: this kicks off a bit):

Shlaim should watch the film Whitewashed: Anti Semitism in the Labour Party.

At the end Rt Rev Michael Langrish gave a fundraising appeal for the church’s Embrace the Middle East charity to raise money for the Palestinians (this despite the Palestinian Authority having paid out $1bn to Palestinian terrorists over the last four years).

Last year the appeal was for Gaza. This year it was for Palestinians in the “occupied West Bank” and….Israel.

According to Langrish “In Israel, many Palestinian girls living in the northern city of Acre, families who lost their homes in that 1948 war, live in a cramped neighbourhood that resembles a refugee camp in all but name…Many of them have been abused in various ways. They battle mental illness. They face pressure to drop out of school and marry young.”

Here he is:

If only St James’s Church gave such thought and money to those really struggling in Britain or, dare one suggest, Syria.

Physically attacked at SOAS after anti-Israel event with Roger Waters.

A scene from the film shown at SOAS.

A scene from the film shown at SOAS.

It’s with great sadness I have to write this piece. Having attended hundreds of anti-Israel events throughout London and beyond for 10 years I have never been hit. I have been threatened repeatedly but never thought someone would follow through. Last night that changed at SOAS, where I’m also an alumnus.

Last night Prof. Gilbert Achcar hosted a film narrated by Roger Waters. About 275 people were in the auditorium, few of whom were students let alone students from SOAS. It was a publicly advertised event so anyone can just walk in off the streets; a security nightmare itself in these times.

The film lasts 80 minutes and contains multiple scenes of dead and mutilated Palestinian and Lebanese men, women and children. There is also footage and stills of Israeli soldiers who are shown to be committing violent acts against Palestinians.

Interspersed with these scenes were interviews with the usual anti-Israel protagonists: Finkelstein, Chomsky, Blumenthal, Greenwald, Walt to name but a few.

Their message was that “the Israel lobby” spends millions of dollars in America to reverse the narrative that “Israel is the aggressor” into one of “Israel is under attack”. The film claims that the American public is being duped into supporting Israel.

Waters also states that the Hamas Charter was “written by a few ideologues” but had been disowned by Hamas long ago and that UNSCR 242 simply called for Israeli soldiers to withdraw from the West Bank. And let’s not even go into Water’s potted history of the build up to 1948.

After the film Waters was skyped in live and I had my hand up throughout but Achcar managed to circumvent my outstretched arm. I wanted to ask Waters how a Star of David emblazoned on a pig at one of his concerts could be considered anything other than anti-Jewish.

Then there was a Q&A to a panel consisting of John Pilger, Dina Matar and Sut Jhally. At one stage they raised the propaganda of Goebbels and the Nazis, presumably by comparison to Israel’s “Hasbarah”.

Jonathan Hoffman asked a question and he also interjected when SOAS lecturer Matar claimed outrageously that “anyone who is pro-Palestinian is instantly labelled anti-Semitic”.

When the event finished I met up with Jonathan inside the auditorium and he was being quickly surrounded by those wanting to speak to him. I jokingly castigated him for asking an “unbiased question”.

A male next to Jonathan then turned to me and asked if I was with him (Jonathan) and I said “yes” presuming he wanted to chat about the film. But he was immediately face-to-face with me and I noticed he was totally drunk. He was a white male, much taller than me and much younger, probably in his mid to late twenties.

I tried to get away but had nowhere to go as the room was very crowded. There was no security around whatsoever. He was facing me very close telling me I was going to be “fucking mugged off”. I asked him to calm down and back off or I’d call the police and that I just wanted a relaxing evening to which he responded (here’s the audio):

“I’ll give you a relaxing exit. Would you like a relaxing exit? I’ll tell you what, you’ll get a fucking pasting. You’ll get a fucking pasting.”

I dialled 999 but he had walked away so I stopped. However, he then immediately returned, tried to slam my phone out of my hand and also punched me on the side of my head.

I had never seen the attacker before at any event. All he knew about me was that I was connected to Jonathan who had, during the Q&A, tried to put forward Israel’s narrative. This attacker, who had just watched a film with multiple scenes of dead and mutilated men, women and children wanted to find someone to take it out on.

Maybe he was just a fan of Waters. All I know is these meetings are now not safe to attend.

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.

The Guardian and Hamas: The love story continues.

Peter Hain's letter in Saturday's Guardian.

Peter Hain’s letter in Saturday’s Guardian.

Love is in the air at the Guardian. With summer approaching in the UK, down at Guardian towers (soon to be moving out of London to try to cut their dreadful financial losses) they continue wooing one of the most anti-Jewish outfits since the Nazis: Hamas.

One of the most effective ways to offend Jewish people is to show sympathy to Hamas, an organisation who, by their own admission in their 1988 founding Charter, want to murder every single Jewish person on the planet; man, woman and child.

In a Guardian opinion piece in May 2017 headlined Why now is the time to talk to Hamas Tareq Baconi asked us to do just that.

And now Sarah Helm does similar in friday’s Guardian with a piece headlined If we cared about peace we would be talking to Hamas. 

Like Baconi, Helm is in rapture about the Hamas’ recently published Document of General Principles and Policies. Helm falls head over heels in love with Article 20 in which Hamas calls for “a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along 1967 lines”.

Helm assumes this shows Hamas’ “commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

It shows no such commitment. It merely commits to a Palestinian state on the so-called West Bank. Article 20 even expressly states “Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.” This ultimately means the total removal of the Jewish state. Helm chooses to overlook this.

Baconi did admit that “Hamas’s leaders have denied that this document replaces the movement’s founding charter”. As I have stated that 1988 Charter asks “Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews)”.

Helm admits no such thing but maybe “killing the Jews” isn’t such a biggie.

Helm is far more interested in Hamas’ parlous financial situation and Gaza’s lack of electricity. The latter was brought on by Hamas’ dispute with Fatah. Even vicious anti-Israel websites admit this.

The former was brought on by Hamas being more concerned spending its international aid on rockets and tunnels with which to attack Israel’s civilian population than spending it on the population it was elected to govern. And Hamas’ tunnels are built by the children of Gaza, many of whom have died while building them.

And since it was elected Hamas has fought three wars with Israel but has not built one shelter for its own people so leading to many of their deaths while their own cowardly leadership hid in safety under the Shifa hospital.

This is the vileness that Helm thinks can be rationalised with.

Helm even accuses Israel of having built an “apartheid wall” around Gaza. How, in any rational sense, can it be “apartheid” to build a wall that stops Hamas entering nearby Israeli towns like Sderot to murder innocent Jewish Israelis?

The very minimum Helm does is acknowledge that Gaza also has a border with Egypt. But for Helm it’s “Israel’s siege of the territory” that is to blame. She writes that “Two million Gazans, mostly refugees, are today locked behind walls and fences and deprived of bare essentials”.

Bare essentials? Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) details the huge amounts Israel supplies to Gaza in terms on food, fuel, healthcare etc. There is no boycott of “bare essentials”.

These sick Guardian pieces by Baconi and Helm won’t have any impact beyond riling and offending the British Jews who read them.

Meanwhile, the Guardian published a letter (see photo above) on Saturday from ex-Labour Minister Peter Hain who refers to Hamas’ recently published document as a “new olive branch”.

If a far-right Nazi group attempted to moderate its stance towards Jews most reasonable people would never take the bait. But when Hamas attempts it the likes of Baconi, Helm and Hain not only take the bait they are also so easily reeled in!

(This is also posted at UKMediaWatch)

Labour MP Mark Hendrick calls in armed police to evict Israel blogger during Palestine Return Centre event in Parliament.

Prof. Wendy Pullan, Kamel Hawwash, Mark Hendrick MP, Prof. Penny Green.

At the Houses of Parliament last night the Palestine Return Centre (PRC) held an event called The Question of Jerusalem. It was hosted and chaired by Mark Hendrick, Labour MP for Preston.

Prof. Wendy Pullan, Senior Lecturer in the History and Philosophy of Architecture at the University of Cambridge, went first and described Jerusalem as “a badly damaged city” the blame for which she lumped on Israel due to “50 years of conflict and occupation”.

She explained that Israel’s urban planning had led to Israelis and Palestinians vilifying each other and she compared Israel’s security barrier to the Berlin Wall.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Kamel Hawwash then told of how he had recently been refused entry to Israel and treated badly at Tel Aviv airport while his wife and child were let through. He was put on a plane back to the UK. He said “Israel was an expert at inciting hatred and was not a country that wanted peace.”

Finally, Prof. Penny Green, Professor of Law and Globalisation at Queen Mary University of London, described how one of her friends who works at Hebrew University was attacked and “called a filthy Arab which is very common”.

She described the “segregation wall” and road network in the Palestinian territories as “apartheid” and said that the wall “is not about security”. She also condemned the checkpoints where Palestinians queue before they can enter Israel to work saying they are where “humans are treated worse than cattle”.

She compared the barrier to the Berlin Wall as well.

During the Q&A I got to ask a question. It isn’t easy asking a question surrounded by people trying to heckle you and drown you out but mine was aimed at Prof. Green.

I asked whether she had any sympathy with Israelis left bereaved and disabled by suicide bombers who got into Israel before the wall, which she condemned, had been built?

Hendrick immediately intervened on her behalf saying that this was a meeting about Palestine, not Israel. When I pressed that she should be allowed to answer he went outside to call armed police as you can see from these photos:

Mark Hendrick points me out to armed police.

Armed police looking for me.

Armed police getting a better sight.

Hendrick pinpoints me to police.

Meanwhile, the one person who did respond to my question was Hawwash who said “If Israel had been created in Uganda does anyone believe the Palestinians would have cause for political groups to go and kill Jews?”

I was then politely asked to leave the room by police and then asked to give my personal details. At one stage I was surrounded by seven heavily armed police. Then my friends Jonathan, Sharon and Mandy were all similarly led out.

One neutral elderly lady who had been in the room came out to complain to PRC representative Sameh Habeeb about how badly we had been treated.

What a total waste of police resources and time by this MP especially considering that literally outside the front door of the building two months ago a terrorist drove into and killed four tourists before then stabbing an unarmed policemen to death.

But Mark Hendrick, Labour MP for Preston, doesn’t have to campaign. He will undoubtedly be re-elected on June 8th as he has a 12,000 majority. So while all other MPs are currently back in their constituences working hard to keep their jobs Hendrick is in London helping the Palestine Return Centre pursue its ultimate goal; the annihilation of Israel.

That’s Labour politics under Jeremy Corbyn for you.

Employee of alleged PFLP terrorist is panellist at Amnesty International.

Rachel Strouma, Rina Rosenberg, Neil Sammonds, Nada Kiswanson van Hoydonk at Amnesty. on Wednesday night.

Rachel Strouma, Rina Rosenberg, Neil Sammonds, Nada Kiswanson van Hoydonk at Amnesty on Wednesday night.

So what is the logical response when you are Amnesty International’s crisis manager for Syria and there has been a recent chemical attack on his own civilians by President Assad at Khan Sheikhoun followed by 100 Syrian civilians killed by a suicide bomber as residents of the villages of Fuaa and Kafrya were being taken to safety?

Well, if you are Kristyan Benedict you arrange a meeting at Amnesty about human rights in Israel!

Benedict, Amnesty’s crisis manager for Syria, is notorious for comparing Israel to Islamic state, making a sick joke at the expense of three Jewish MPs on twitter and for threatening me when I questioned, at one of his events, an obviously doctored photo of a Palestinian boy with a Star of David allegedly carved into his arm by an Israeli soldier.

On Wednesday 19th April at Amnesty in London he assembled a panel of four human rights activists:

Rachel Strouma – Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.
Rina Rosenberg – Adalah, which is based in Israel.
Neil Sammonds – Medical Aid for Palestinians.
Nada Kiswanson van Hoydonk – Al Haq, which is based in Ramallah.

The event was called In Pursuit of Accountability – Israeli and Palestinian NGOs working together for human rights.

Rosenberg spent her 15 minutes citing the hundreds of complaints made against the Israeli army by Adalah and other NGOs and the Israeli army’s lack of response. For example, 500 complaints were made againt the army after the 2014 war relating to 360 different incidents. The apparent result was just one indictment for looting.

Then Strouma spent hers detailing examples of maltreatment and torture of Palestinian prisoners and the lack of trust that Palestinians have in the Israeli judicial system. She concentrated mainly on the apparent three days spent by Palestinian prisoners in vans as they are transported to court from prisons and back.

She claimed that one Palestinian admitted to a crime he didn’t commit rather than spend three days in a van.

van Hoydonk works for Al Haq. The General Director of Al Haq, which is based in Ramallah, is Shawan Jabarin who was and allegedly still is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian which is responsible for hijackings and assassinations within Israel and around the world.

van Hoydonk spent her 15 minutes updating us on the International Criminal Court’s preliminary investigation into war crimes during the 2014 war.

During the Q&A I asked van Hoydonk whether considering her boss was, and possibly still is, a member of the PFLP, a proscribed terrorist group responsible for the murder of many innocent civilians, she really considers her own organisation, Al Haq, a human rights organisation?

Sadly, she refused to answer as you can see below (from 1 minute 25 seconds). Neil Sammonds stepped in on her behalf to explain that this was an event to address the problems in the Israeli justice system but there will be other fora to explore Palestinian issues:

The issue of the 1000 Palestinian prisoner hunger strikers was also brought up during the Q&A. Rosenberg referred to them as “political prisoners”. So while Adalah is trying to bring prosecutions against Israel soldiers it cannot even admit to Palestinian terrorists being anything more than “political prisoners”.

After the event the audience and panel members were invited to drinks and nibbles by Amnesty which is ironic considering the issues of hunger strikes, torture, murder and intentional destruction that had just been discussed and alleged.

It takes all sorts.

The Guardian provides a platform for Daniel Barenboim to slam Israel.

Last week Aditya Chakrabortty interviewed Israeli, or to be more accurate Israeli and Palestinian, conductor Daniel Barenboim for the Classical music section of the Guardian.

In his article headlined “Daniel Barenboim on ageing, mistakes and why Israel and Iran are twin brothers” Chakrabortty included political views which would have been more at home in an opinion piece than the Classical music section.

Barenboim conducts the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a mix of Israeli and Arab musicians, which played at the London Proms last week prompting a 5 star review by the Guardian’s Andrew Clements. The review was delightfully free of politics.

Barenboim’s interview with Chakrabortty  goes into how and why the Orchestra came together in the first place, the perfectionist that Barenboim is, how hard he works his musicians and questions whether the Orchestra is actually achieving anything positive.

Then the interview enters its gratuitous political mode. After describing the insults Barenboim received after playing Wagner, the Nazis’ favourite composer, in Israel Chakrabortty writes

“For his part, the musician has called the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank “immoral” and backed a boycott of the Israeli government.”

I fail to see any connection between playing Wagner in Israel and what happens in Gaza and the West Bank but, for the record, Gaza is certainly not occupied after Israel withdrew in 2005. The European Court of Human Rights has said so and even Hamas, which is in full control of Gaza, admits it. Hamas has even been showing off how nice Gaza actually is.

I will give Barenboim the benefit of the doubt that he may have been referring, in error, to Israel’s legal naval blockade of Gaza but even then ships can dock at Ashdod and have goods transferred overland to Gaza after security checks.

And what did Barenboim mean when he “backed a boycott of the Israeli government”? This is the government Israelis voted in. Barenboim is proposing boycotting their democratic decision.

Chakrabortty writes that Barenboim holds “both Israeli and Palestinian nationalities” so why is Barenboim not calling for a boycott of the Palestinian government with its incitement against Jews via its Prime-Minister and official television outlet?

For Israel’s enemies “a boycott of the Israeli government” actually means a boycott of anyone who receives Israeli government support, which is why so few Israeli artists have visited the UK in recent years after the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra in 2011, Israel’s national theatre company in 2012 and Israel’s youth dance company also in 2012 had their London performances viciously interrupted by anti-Israel protesters.

Does Barenboim support these disruptions?

The interview then discusses Barenboim’s attempts to take his Orchestra to Tehran. Barenboim states:

“The Iranian government still denies the Holocaust – so you can’t take them seriously. And the Israeli government spreads rumours and disinformation about Iran – because it needs to for the creation of panic. I find these theological states – and in this respect Israel and Iran are twin brothers – very, very dangerous.”

Again, what is the connection? How can Barenboim seriously equate Holocaust denial from a government that hangs gays and Israeli government politics?

Let me provide the following possible explanation.

Anyone that plays Wagner at Israel’s premier music festival in Jerusalem and, in doing so, causes so much hurt and pain to Holocaust survivors will have no qualms selling out Israel in such a way to the Guardian.

(Also published at UKMediaWatch)