Tag Archives: Daniel Hochhauser

Halloween horror for Israel as Yachad appears on campus.

Jonathan Arkush, Davis Lewis, Daniel Hochhauser (Chair), Hannah Weisfeld, Ed West.

Jonathan Arkush, Davis Lewis, Daniel Hochhauser (Chair), Hannah Weisfeld, Ed West.

Hannah Weisfeld, director of Yachad which describes itself as “pro-Israel, pro-peace”, last night joined a JSoc panel at UCL to discuss whether Israel’s friends should be critical of her conduct. She was debating alongside Jonathan Arkush, of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Davis Lewin, of the Henry Jackson Society, and Ed West, of the Daily Telegraph.

Weisfeld is a campaigner by profession and has worked on climate change, fairtrade and Darfur awareness campaigns. She studied at Sussex University and the LSE and has lived in Israel and Malawi. She’s 30.

Her main argument is that Israel has to be “Jewish and democratic” and she thinks that by 2050 it won’t be when considering that the population of Greater Israel (her words) by then will be half Palestinian and half Jewish. Therefore, “the occupation” has to end.

But one word that Weisfeld does not use often, if at all, is “security”.

She was asked why she doesn’t live in Israel near the West Bank and set up a political party to campaign against “the occupation”, instead of sitting in a safe London university theatre, but she thought the question unfair as it wouldn’t be asked of anyone else with differing political views to hers.

She also fully endorsed two organisations which are major demonisers of Israel; Israeli human rights organisation Yesh Din and the website +972 Magazine.

But, it was Jonathan Arkush who summed up the position of the majority of British Jewry. The first part was addressed to a representative of Yesh Din in the audience. The second part addressed “the settlements”:

“It is the existence of a body like Yesh Din, which means in English ‘there is a law’, that actually makes me most proud of the state of Israel. That’s not because I agree with everything Yesh Din says or does, and I don’t have a detailed knowledge but I read the same as lots of people. I think it is an extraordinary thing for a country that is beset by so many attempts to delegitimise her and to threaten her militarily and to say she’s got no right to exist and that those seven and a half million citizens of Israel should somehow be swallowed up in another country or if you listen to the man in Tehran sent back to Germany to have a body like Yesh Din which is so self-critical of Israel and it makes me proud. But it’s about context. I think it’s great that there is a Yesh Din in Israel arguing as Israeli citizens for change in Israel. Maybe we could do with some more Yesh Dins in this country who also look at human rights questions in this country. I don’t know if there is much by way of a comparison. You certainly won’t find a Yesh Din in most of the countries of the United Nations that do so much to denigrate the state of Israel. But do I think that Yesh Din should be over here in London joining in with the chorus of denunciation, the boycotters, the delegitimisers? Absolutely not. Go back to Israel and do it there. Don’t come here to a British University where Israel is already on the defensive from people who’ve got a completely different motive from you I suspect. And that is to destroy Israel. Don’t come here and align yourselves with the likes of the ‘Destroy Israel Campaign’, which to my mind is another description of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and lend your voice. Do it in Israel and I will support you, but it’s about context, it’s about how you do it.

And on settlements:

“This is such a misunderstood subject, it’s incredible. “Settlements”, a term bandied around to mean, apparently, anything that happens on land which came under Israeli control as a result of the Six Day War. So I say to any people who are genuine friends of Israel: ‘Ok, what about the Old City of Jerusalem? What about the Wall? What about the Jewish quarter? What about the Jewish villages that were overrun in 1948 and the inhabitants butchered? Is that a settlement?’ It’s much too glib to talk about “settlements”. There are places way out there on the West Bank which were not Jewish before 1948 which you might fairly call a “settlement” and say Jews shouldn’t settle there. Maybe. That’s an argument. I can see the argument. But don’t treat everywhere as not being under Israeli control in 1967 as a “settlement” and, therefore, somehow illegal and wrong. It’s too simple and it shows a depressing lack of understanding of a complex conflict.”

Tonight Weisfeld and Lewis will be on a panel at King’s College to discuss whether the two state solution is dead (Room K- 1.56, Raked Lecture Theatre, King’s College, The Strand from 7pm)

Some clips from last night’s JSoc event:

Boycott Israel motion defeated at LSE.

Israel Boycotter Dr. John Chalcraft (L), a reader in the History and Politics of Empire/Imperialism in the Department of Government at the LSE v Prof. Daniel Hochhauser (R), a consultant medical oncologist.

Israel Boycotter Dr. John Chalcraft (L), a reader in the History and Politics of Empire/Imperialism in the Department of Government at the LSE v Prof. Daniel Hochhauser (R), a consultant medical oncologist.

To boycott or not to boycott?, that was the question asked last night at The London School of Economics.

Arguing for the motion, This House Believes in an Academic Boycott of Israel, was Dr. John Chalcraft, a reader in the History and Politics of Empire/Imperialism in the Department of Government at the LSE.

Opposing the motion was Prof. Daniel Hochhauser, a consultant medical oncologist specialising in the treatment of gastrointestinal cancer.

Chalcraft gave a ten minute presentation. Hochhauser responded. Both then had a few minutes to sum up. A Q&A was then followed by some final words from each before the vote which strongly went Hochhauser’s, and Israel’s, way.

Somewhat bemusingly, Chalcraft started off by arguing that he wasn’t proposing a boycott of Israeli individuals but academic institutions. Hochhauser responded that academics cannot exist without institutions.

Then Chalcroft outlined how the Israeli government funds military research at Israeli universities, which helps the Israeli Army oppress the Palestinians.

Hochhauser responded that this is usual for any country which wishes to have a military defence. The British government makes grants to British universities for the same thing and there are no proposed boycotts of Harvard, Yale or Columbia Universities considering that many more people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq than the rest of the Middle East.

Neither is China boycotted over Tibet, nor Turkey over the Kurds or the UK also over Iraq and Afghanistan.

Chalcraft responded that there isn’t a boycott of American universities because it would not be an effective tactic, without expanding on what would be an effective tactic.

Hochhauser dismissed accusations of apartheid as over 20% of the students at Haifa University, The Hebrew University and Bar Ilan University are Arab Israelis and one of the judges that convicted Moshe Katzav was an Arab Israeli. But still, incredibly, Chalcraft referred to Israel as an apartheid state.

Hochhauser was also amazed that Chalcraft is a manager of the LSE Middle East Centre which is charged with developing “research and teaching on the societies, economies, polities, and international relations of the region, which includes Arab states, Iran, Israel, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan”.

All very commendable but Chalcraft’s presence destroys the centre’s credibility.

It was, however, Hochhauser’s initial statement which, for me, made the biggest impact. He explained that as an oncologist he uses treatments for cancer developed at the Weizzman Institute and how detrimental any boycott of Israel would be for his patients.

It would have been interesting if someone had asked Chalcraft during the Q&A whether he would ever refuse an Israeli-developed treatment for himself.

The audience responded in Hochhauser’s favour when the vote was taken, which was all too much for one person who, reportedly, threatened an anti-boycott member of the audience on the way out.

It is worth listening to the audio of Hochhauser’s presentation below.

Audio recordings of all the debate:

Dr. John Chalcraft’s presentation at LSE boycott debate

Prof. Daniel Hochhauser’s presentation at LSE boycott debate.

Dr. John Chalcraft summing up for LSE boycott debate.

Prof. Daniel Hochhauser LSE boycott debate summing up.

Q&A, final comments and vote

Video recordings of parts of the debate: