Tag Archives: apartheid

Ben White and the Christian speaker who forgot to mention that Palestinians were massacred by…Christians.

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“Israel Apartheid Week” kicked off on Tuesday night with star guests Ben White and Dr Ang Swee Chai speaking at a UCL Friends of Palestine event on Medicine And Apartheid in Palestine.

Dr Ang Swee Chai, an orthopaedic surgeon, set up Medical Aid For Palestinians and is a self-confessed fundamentalist Christian. She said that when she was growing up she had lots of Jewish friends and supported Israel. Then in 1982 she turned on the TV and saw Israeli planes dropping bombs on Lebanon. Many of those killed and wounded, she said, were non-combatants.

So she immediately resigned from her hospital job and flew to Beirut under the auspices of Christian Aid. She ended up joining the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, which, she admitted, was affiliated to the PLO.

She worked in Beirut’s Gaza Hospital near to Sabra and Shatila and learnt from Palestinians that “many lost their homes when Palestine became Israel”.

She said that the first two things Palestinian children in Sabra and Shatila learn are “their name and the village in Palestine they came from”. “Palestine was never a desert, but a rich centre of civilisation, culture, art and dance,” she continued.

Then she turned to the horrific events of 16th-18th September 1982 in Sabra and Shatila. She said that the day before 700 Israeli tanks drove from South Lebanon to Beirut and when the Israelis arrived they started shooting people.

At Gaza Hospital, she continued, the Israelis demanded that any foreigners leave. She presumed they were going massacre the patients. But two doctors refused to leave and so “our patients survived”.

Throughout her talk she showed graphic images (see below) of dead, dying and badly wounded  people and of a mass grave containing, she said, “800 t0 1,000 bodies”. She finished off with that notorious map of a “disappearing Palestine”.

She described how an 11 year old boy, who survived, was lined up along with his family as they were “systematically killed” and how he “heard his sister and aunties being raped and crying”.

She finished with an emotional plea:

“I realised what was going on. If I had any doubt about what the Palestinian refugees said to me about how they lost Palestine and had been brutalised, I had no doubt now. Why was I brought up to be so bigoted and prejudiced against the Palestinians. Will G-d give me a chance to do something right for the rest of my life? This story should be told. The Palestinians are still dying and suffering today.”

During the Q&A a Jewish student asked her whether being Christian was the reason for her failure to mention that the massacres at Sabra and Shatila were actually carried out by Christians, to which she responded (see clip here):

“This particular group of Christians was trained by Israel. Six of them confessed that Israel set them up…Where this kind of atrocity happens we need to know who made it possible, who planned it, who sealed the camps so nobody can escape, who flared the skies so the massacre can continue, who provided the bulldozers and all that. The Israeli Kahan Commission found Sharon indirectly responsible. The Christian militia itself was actually under the command of Israel.”

She said she now has further evidence, which has upset her Jewish friends, that the IDF were inside Sabra and Shatila when the massacres occurred.

She was awarded the Star of Palestine.

Meanwhile, Ben “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are” White did his usual “Israel is an Apartheid state” rant using slides to attempt to make some sort of case (see below). One slide is humorously headed “Israel is worried”.

Inevitably, White explained the aims of the BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement, called for a boycott of Israel and finished off quoting ex-IAF captain Yonatan Shapira:

“It is no longer enough to try and change Israel from within. Israel has to be pressured in he same way apartheid South Africa was forced to change.”

White didn’t mention that Shapira once sprayed “Free Gaza” and “Liberate all the ghettos” on to a wall nearby the Warsaw Ghetto where so many Jews lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis.

The same Jewish student asked White why anything he says about Israel is to be trusted considering he “is an anti-Semite”. White responded (see clip here) by saying that he had already made his “opposition to anti-Semitism perfectly clear”. It was a shame White wasn’t pressed about this racist tweet.

When I asked White to explain the difference between the tactics of the Nazis targeting German Jews in the 1930s and those of the BDS movement targeting Israeli Jews in 2014 he kindly plugged my blog before responding (see clip here):

“In one case you are talking about a fascist regime targeting a minority and persecuting them on an anti-Semitic basis. The other case you’re talking about a tried and tested method of civil society to resist oppression, a way of the weak challenging the powerful…Most people can tell the difference…”

White will be doing a reprise of his UCL talk at Amnesty International’s HQ in London on 21st March.

It’s obviously a very quiet time in foreign affairs for Amnesty to be hosting such an event.

Images used by Dr Ang Swee Chai:

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"Mass grave of 800,000 bodies."

“Mass grave of 800,000 bodies.”

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Slides used by Ben White:

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ICAHD’s Jeff Halper speaks to London churchgoers of Israeli “super Apartheid”.

Halper's slide of Salim Shawamreh after a house demolition.

Halper's slide of Salim Shawamreh after a house demolition.

Jesus is reborn in the form of Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). Halper sacrificed himself to leave sunny Israel and visit rainy London for a speaking tour. He appeared on Monday night in the ancient church of All-Hallows-on-the-Wall in the the City of London to talk about the plight of the Palestinians.

Halper, like Jesus was, is also Jewish, and, just like Jesus, has suffered incredible hardship for the sake of others. The blurb for the speaking tour described Halper as being “prepared to put his own comfort and safety at risk. He dismisses the physical hardships, manhandlings and brief sojourns in Israeli jails which he has endured, as insignificant compared to what Palestinians may suffer every day”.

Halper was supposed to have been joined by Salim Shawamreh (see photo above) who owns a house called Beit Arabiya, but Shawamreh was absent eventhough the event was meant as a fundraiser to help him rebuild his home which had, apparently, been demolished for the fifth time by Israel. On previous occasions Halper had been there to help rebuild it. Halper describes such rebuilding “as a political act of resistance until we prevail”.

Has there been a falling out between Halper and one of his main disciples? I expected to hear how Shawamreh had been detained by the Israeli authorities.  The blurb for the talk simply stated “Unfortunately Salim Shawamreh whose family owns Beit Arabiya was due to be at this event is no longer able to join us.” Halper had nothing more to add to that on the night.

In Shawamreh’s absence Halper couldn’t resist the urge to raise funds for himself. He told us that the moment he was thrown down a hill with Shawamreh he pledged to tell his story. His publicist then offered us the chance to purchase Halper’s book An Israeli in Palestine for £12.

Halper immediately told the 100 or so Christians (and one Jew) in the church how deceitful the Israelis were. Conveniently forgetting the many Israelis murdered or left disabled and disfigured by Palestinian suicide bombers Halper said that the “separation wall”, like most other Israeli policies, had nothing whatsoever to do with security and that discussing the wall in such terms made Israel sound like the victim.

It helped Israel claim “we are the good guys, they are the bad guys” as Israel tried to “reframe the conflict”. According to Halper, the wall is twice as high as the Berlin Wall was and five times as long.

Halper said Israel has demolished 27,000 Palestinian homes since 1967 and in only around 600 of those instances was security of possible concern for Israel. And he said that the “settlements” had nothing to do with security either.

Halper didn’t think there was a proper conflict, which needed two sides; Israel is too powerful due to its vast business dealings with Britain, its official treaty with America and its economy which is three times the size of Egypt’s, Palestine’s, Syria’s and Jordan’s combined, not forgetting Israel’s nuclear prowess.

Halper said most Palestinians live on £1.50 a day with no access to the Israeli job market and that Israel is driving middle class Palestinians out. He said that the Palestinians are so regulated they even need permission to plant gardens next to their homes and for growing certain flowers.

He said 300,000 Palestinians had left “the occupied territories” in the last 10 years while those remaining are confined to “bantustans”. Halper, sadly, spent the evening demeaning the experiences of blacks in apartheid South Africa, even describing Israel as being “super Apartheid”. See here:

Ever the hero, Halper went on to describe his brave actions during proposed house demolitions. Being an Israeli Jew, he said, meant it was more unlikely that he would be imprisoned. This allowed him to throw himself in front of bulldozers and to climb onto the roofs of those houses earmarked for demolition.

He mentioned Rachel Corrie who, he said, was “killed after being twice run over by a bulldozer”, and a pregnant Palestinian mother of ten who died after her house “was demolished while she was asleep inside”.

Did Halper have an answer to the problem of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Yes. He called for something like the “European Common Market” where citizens from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon “can live and work throughout the region” and that “if Palestinian refugees want to come back from Lebanon to live in the Galilee, you can do that”. Watch here:

Such a simple solution and one which Israelis are bound to go for in their droves despite the prospect of living right next door to the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists dedicated to the slaughter of Jews! I doubt even Israel’s Arab citizens would go for it.

Meanwhile, if anyone catches sight or sound of Salim Shawamreh, please let me know as I’m concerned as to his whereabouts.

Ken O’Keefe compares Jewish people to Nazis.

Tonge, O'Keefe, Roberts, Karmi last night.

Tonge, O'Keefe, Roberts, Karmi last night.

Where to begin with last night’s event at Middlesex University’s campus in Hendon, North West London, sponsored by Interpal. It was billed as a discussion on “Is Israel an Apartheid State?“, but became an evening of unadulterated Jew hate.

The atmosphere was threatening. The highly aggressive chairperson Nik Roberts kept insisting on calling security to remove both dissenters and people wanting to film. I could only take limited footage. Two “authorised” people did film, so clips should be arriving on youtube soon.

There was a Jewish contingent of possibly 30 out of some 150 in the audience and much of the rhetoric seemed to be aimed directly at us.

O’Keefe, who was on board the Mavi Marmara, compared Jews to both the Nazis and to the German people whom, he implies, as a whole collaborated with the Nazis. I have transcribed the final part of his speech below. After referring to “the Jewish people” O’Keefe uses “you” or “your” twelve times to personally direct his rhetoric at the Jews in the theatre. He admits his intent was to inflame:

“So if Israel is inherently a racist state, if it is inherently an apartheid state, then I want no part of Israel, it has no place in this world. And it does in its current form, if you want me to use some inflammatory language, in its current form should be destroyed.

Just like the UN in its current form should be destroyed, just like the American empire in its current form should be destroyed, just like the British empire in its current form should be destroyed (next bit inaudible due to applause).

I make no special bones about Jewish people, but the bottom line is this. The Jewish state, that’s not my expression, the Jewish state of Israel is, therefore, acting on behalf of the Jewish people. You, like the Nazis, have now a special obligation.

The decent Germans, the so-called decent Germans of World War Two Nazi Germany, what did they do, what did the decent Germans do when the Nazis came to power and started to institute their policies, what did they do? They didn’t do enough, did they?

Did they do enough to stop the Nazis? No, they didn’t. And what are the Jewish people doing right now? Are you doing enough to stop your racist apartheid genocidal state? (applause)

If you think that you are I beg to differ. You have a special obligation brought upon you just like the Nazis brought upon the decent Germans. Good luck to you because the way of Israel, the way of Palestine is the way of the world. And you can mouth at me all you want, good luck to you, because guess what, you are making enemies of all the people, not just me and the falsely accused anti-Semites.” (huge applause)

Ken O’Keefe edit (audio of transcript)

Ken O’Keefe audio of speech 23/2/2012 (11 minute speech in full)

During the Q&A O’Keefe tried to fend off an accusation that he had embezzled funds from the pro-Palestinian movement. He claimed he never has more than £100 in his bank account and has never owned a property (see clip 1 below). He went on to claim that Israel was responsible for 9/11 (clip 2).

And on suicide bombings he said:

“What the so-called suicide bombings did was force the world by shocking the conscience of humanity to pay attention, and the Palestinians have paid a huge price for some within their ranks carrying out those tactics.”

Ghada Karmi described Israel as a “gangster state” and gave us her definition of who is Jew:

“Is it somebody who practices the Jewish religion? They have never been able to find an agreed position.

At the beginning they talked about ‘a person born of a Jewish mother and/or a person who had been converted according to the orthodox system’. That’s it, nobody else.

Over time, when they saw that they were drying up, they started to make it much more elastic. So, now, anybody who has a Jewish parent or a Jewish grandparent is now Jewish.

Not only that. Among the million immigrants from Soviet Russia how many of you know that 40% of these people are not Jewish? They are not Jews! They go to Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches in Israel, ok? 40%.

Not only that. They brought in the Ethiopian Jews. They went fishing for Jews in Peru. They’ve gone to India. Anything. You know what the main purpose of it is? It’s that they should be non-Arab. Non-Arab. You can be any sort of person. You can call yourself ‘a Jew’. As long as you’re not an Arab, it’s alright.”

She called for the end of a majority Jewish state (Clip 3) and said the Israel treats the Palestinians as “a sub-human species” so when it kills them it “doesn’t have the same impact, as they are already sub-human” and finished off claiming that “if an Ethiopean gives blood to an Israeli blood bank people have objected because they don’t want a transfusion from an Ethiopian”.

Tonge, who describes herself as an “ethnic Christian” (see clip 4), started by telling the audience to beware of the Israel lobby because “once they have decided to go for you, they will go for you. I bear the scars” (clip 5). She finished by saying that “Israel is not going to be there forever” and warned that eventually Israel “will lose its support and then they will reap what they have sown.” (Clip 3)

Who are “they” and what does she imply will happen to them?

Another chilling threat to Jews from this British Parliamentarian.

Clip 1:

Clip 2:

Clip 3:

Clip 4:

Clip 5:

Rafeef Ziadah praises Islamic Jihad terrorist at UCL “Israeli Apartheid Week” event.

At Wednesday night’s “Israeli Apartheid Week” event Legalised Discrimination in Apartheid Israel, which took place at University College London, the chairperson, Rafeef Ziadah, began the proceedings by praising Khader Adnan.

She said that he “showed the will of the Palestinian people has not, and will not, be broken.”

Adnan recently ended a 66 day hunger strike against his administrative detention by Israel. He’s a member of the terrorist group Islamic Jihad. When he is not on hunger strike he does a nice sideline in inciting the killing of Jews.

Here is Ziadah, who now teaches at SOAS, praising Adnan and in the clip following that you can see Adnan screaming at someone’s funeral:

“Who among you is the next suicide bomber? Who among you will carry the next explosive belt? Who among you will fire the next bullets? Who among you will have his body parts blown all over?”

Ben White told the usual lies about Israel before making this quite unusual request to the mainly student audience (see clip at end):

“Don’t be dissuaded by the abuse of language like ‘coexistence’ and ‘dialogue’. Don’t be put off by people who use important words and important concepts like ‘coexistence’ and ‘dialogue’ in order to stifle what is a growing international justice movement. Don’t be frightened by people who sling around the smear of anti-Semitism as a way of trying to frighten people off taking real significant action.”

It is unusual for anyone to reject talk of coexistence and dialogue, unless you are from Islamic Jihad or Hamas.

The second panel speaker was Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, a South African student leader.

On his own admission Ndlozi has never visited Israel but he still said that the Palestinians faced “a worse evil” than apartheid South Africa:

“In Israel, it’s not just apartheid…What is worse in Palestine is that we didn’t have to be told that once we had left South Africa we can’t return. What makes it worse is the whole refugee situation. It is the whole denial of the people to return to their home…It means these people in Israel are close to achieving what nationalism in South Africa did not achieve. That is creating a community of separateness at the expense of an indigenous people…That is enough to make us angry…It cannot be true that on the face of the world today a peole still exist who think they can survive with a system of separateness at the expense of others.”

He said that “action through Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is the next step” before finishing by saying that the next time he comes to London he wants to “go to occupy the Israeli Embassy”.

I’d like to see him try that one!

Finally, Eyal Sivan, an Israeli documentary maker, described Israel as “a democracy for the Jews and Jewish for the Arabs”. He quoted Ehud Barak who he said described Israel as a “villa in the jungle” meaning that “the Jews are the humans and the others are the animals”. Sivan said that it was unlikely that an Israeli under the age of 18 would come into contact with an Arab.

This, ladies and gentlemen, was, believe it or not, a relatively mild event. What took place last night at Middlesex University’s campus in Hendon with Jenny Tonge, Ken O’Keefe and Ghada Karmi was on a different, and even more sickening, scale. More to follow.

Ben White at UCL on Wednesday night:

IPO disruptor Jonathan Rosenhead: “Israel National Theatre at The Globe is next target.”

Professor Jonathan Rosenhead: Next target is Habima at the Globe in May.

Professor Jonathan Rosenhead: Next target is Habima at the Globe in May.

LSE Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, Chair of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), who helped to disrupt the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 1st September 2011, has said that the performance by the National Theatre of Israel (or Habima) of The Merchant of Venice at the Globe Theatre on 28th and 29th May will be the next target for anti-Israel activists.

He said that they had purchased 45 tickets (see from 4 mins. 7 secs. in following clip) for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s disrupted concert and he boasted about the BBC taking the concert off air.

He was speaking on Friday at King’s College London about the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. KCL is one of the organisations conducting research with Ahava through an EU-funded project called Nanoretox and activists are, once again, claiming, without any substantiation, that Ahava is based on an illegal settlement.

Last April four activists were found guilty of aggravated trespass for their efforts in disrupting business at the Ahava store in Covent Garden. District Judge Ian Baker found that Ahava was “trading lawfully” and gave Gwendolen Wilkinson, Matthew Richardson, Jessica Nero and Christoper Osmond 18 month conditional discharges and ordered them to pay £250 costs each.

When questioned further Rosenhead admitted to being one of the disruptors of the IPO and he welcomed any prosecution that might follow seeing it as an opportunity to publicise their cause.

But he threatened that Habima will be next:

“They have made themselves a target, and they will be one. Various things are afoot to try and make sure, to pressure The Globe in the first instance, because if The Globe withdraws the invitation then that’s no problem.”(see clip from 6 mins 25 secs.):

I had initially gone to KCL to hear Omar Barghouti speak. Barghouti is a member of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) and holds degrees from Columbia University and…..Tel Aviv University.

He compares himself to Nelson Mandela who, he says, studied in an apartheid South Africa university, when he was asked how can can claim to be part of a boycott movement while having studied in the country, Israel, he is supposed to be boycotting!

The parallel with Mandela fails on every level, but specifically because Barghouti is neither Israeli nor Palestinian having been born in Qatar and having grown up in Egypt, whereas Mandela is South African!

I was hoping to show footage of Barghouti making the usual racist comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany and apartheid South Afica (the man really knows how to demean peoples’ past sufferings), but, once again, I was stopped from filming under threat of being removed by security.

I should have a right to film a public meeting, especially where there is racist rhetoric and where others are filming. Barghouti ordered that I stop filming as did the Chair of the event, Maha Rezeq. But both have no connections to KCL! Rezeq called my filming “unethical” on the basis that the footage will be available online.

But their’s will be edited, cleaned up footage. Barghouti compared the boycott of Israel to the boycott of Nazi Germany and compared Israeli Arabs who don’t boycott Israel (for example, those who might stay in Israeli hotels or use Israeli airlines) as being equivalent to Kapos. He called El Al a racist airline:

“The most important aspect that Palestinian citizens of Israel are involved in in terms of the BDS campaign is not to allow themselves or their institutions to be used as figleaves. Quite often Israel uses some Uncle Toms and (Aunt) Jemimas, whatever you want to call them, which exist in every society. I mean in every society you have people who wish to profit from self-interest rather than principle. It’s not a Palestinian phenomenon, it’s an international phenomenon. Some Jewish victims during the Holocaust were serving the Nazi victimisers. So in every sociey you get a small minority that betrays their own”.

In the clip below Rosenhead said he withdrew his consent for me to film him. I only stopped filming when Mehdi Beyati, a student at KCL, got up to call security. Beyati’s behaviour would be expected in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Gaza, but isn’t becoming in a British University:

Here Beyati reads and analyses KCL’s response to the call to stop KCL collaborating with Ahava:

“You’re a Holocaust denier and you’re Scum.”

These were the words left ringing in my ears last night when I questioned the thesis that Palestinian nationalism or a Palestinian state had existed when the Jews began to return to the Middle East at the beginning of the 20th century.

I was at LSE again for Ben White’s talk Democracy or Apartheid? Israel’s regime of control and the Palestinians .

The talk that was part of the sixth international Israel Apartheid Week.

Israel Apartheid Week is basically two weeks of propaganda and lies spoken against Israel to demonise both Israel and its supporters.

We were a tiny audience, 20 at most. White put this down to “event fatigue” but “Ben White fatigue” would be more accurate. White has a book to flog and so has been back and forth across the Atlantic racking up the airmiles trying to do exactly that.

His presentation consists of little more than accusation after accusation against Israel. His evidence mainly consists of random quotes of Israeli politicians, past and present, a few photographs and some maps. White does maps a lot.

But he started off by demeaning Zionism. My loose definition of Zionism is:

The will of the Jewish people for national determination in a land where they used to live in great numbers before being expelled by Roman conquest. Just 96 years ago that “land” consisted of provinces of the Ottoman Empire (see my own map below) and contained approximately 525,000 people. It was not a state. Today that same area contains over 10 million people.

White demeans Zionism as anti-democratic and having been implemented by force:

“Zionist colonisation could only be carried out in defiance of the will of the native population,” Jabotinsky, 1923.

“Were I an Arab I would rise up against immigration liable sometime in the future to hand the country over to Jewish rule,” Ben Gurion, 1939.

Sure, Zionist leaders were hardtalking and pragmatic but, apart from the Irgun and the Stern Gang of the 1940s, Zionism established itself via negotiations with politicians and opinion formers, not with force.

White then described what he views as Israel’s apartheid measures against Israel’s own Palestinian community (“don’t call them ‘Israeli Arabs'”), against East Jerusalem’s Arab population and against the Palestinians in the West Bank.

On the Israeli Arabs he mentioned martial law, land confiscations and Judaization of the Galilee and the Negev. “Judaization” is moving of Jews into these areas:

“The project of ‘Judaizing the Galilee’ commenced when the state was founded and has continued in various guises to the present day.” Prof. Hillel Cohen.

On the Arabs of East Jerusalem he spoke of their “residency” status being somewhere between the Palestinians in the West Bank, who have no status, and the Israeli Arabs, who are “citizens”.

“Residency” means they can move about freely in Israel but cannot vote in national elections but this “residency” can be stripped without notice as, apparently, happened to 4,500 East Jerusalem Arabs in 2008.

He quoted a Jerusalem Post headline: “Jerusalem Mayor Barkat: Arab population in capital a strategic threat.”

About the West Bank White spoke about settlement building “which is a consensus issue in Israel as the settlement project accelerated even under a Labour government from 1993 to 1996” and about house demolitions.

Then he brought out his maps of “disappearing Palestine”.

White's map of West Bank before settlements

Based on his maps for White there is only one conclusion: a one-state solution.

In the Q&A I made the point that the West Bank settlements aren’t necessarily there to stay but can be removed as part of a negotiating process so leaving a fully functioning Palestinian state.

But White answered that the settlements are deeply ingrained in Israeli policy.

Then I made my point about Palestinian nationalism for which I was called a Holocaust denier and scum.

White's West Bank map as of now

Some 96 years ago the area now comprising Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria were merely provinces of the Ottoman Empire. There were towns, villages and provinces, but not a Palestinian state.

Neither did Palestinian nationalism exist. It grew in direct opposition to Zionism. That is not to say that the Palestinians should not have a state now. They are a now a people. But to say there ever was a Palestinian state is just not the truth and there is scant evidence of Palestinian nationalism at the time.

“Palestine” was not a land without “people” but it was a land without “a people”.

You can call me a “Holocaust denier and scum” but do your own research.

This map shows how “Palestine” looked just 96 years ago.