Tag Archives: interpal

Israel’s “beautiful resistance” to suicide bombers: A response to St James’s Church Rector Lucy Winkett

St James’s Church’s Rector Lucy Winkett’s defence of her church’s installation of a replica of Israel’s security wall in a piece for The Guardian is a legal and moral failure.

First the legal side. She states that Israel’s wall is “illegal under international law”. It is incredible that so many non-lawyers (and a few actual lawyers) state this with such ease when there is little proper evidence of such “illegality”.

Rector Winkett is relying on the 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice. A frame repeatedly projected on to St James’s Church’s replica wall states “In 2004, the International Court of Justice in The Hague stated the Wall was illegal and it should be dismantled.”

But an advisory opinion is just that; advisory and an opinion. It sets no legal precedent.

Even if Israel’s wall was “illegal” there is the legal argument of self-defence. If I used illegal means to stop someone killing me I would be guilty of nothing more than self-defence. In parallel with this Israel’s wall has stopped Palestinian suicide bombers killing Israeli civilians.

There are legal opinions for and against Israel’s security wall, but for Rector Winkett to declare the wall “illegal under international law” makes a mockery of her claim in The Guardian that “we are not ‘pro’ one side or another”.

On the moral side Rector Winkett derides as “irresponsible” those who claim “we are aligning ourselves with those who support the Holocaust, suicide bombings or that we are antisemitic”.

But Rector Winkett’s wish for Israel’s security wall to come down will encourage suicide bombers sent by the likes of Islamist terror group Hamas to resume their murder of Israeli civilians, including those living on the West Bank, which the building of the wall has successfully disrupted.

The Hamas Charter specifically calls for the murder of Jews, so, yes, Hamas does support the Holocaust, suicide bombings and is blatantly antisemitic.

And then there are the organisations that St James’s Church has expressly aligned itself with for Bethlehem Unwrapped.

Rector Winkett writes that St James’s is supporting “a peaceful Palestinian principle known as ‘beautiful resistance’; expressed in theatres, music projects…”.

Sami Awad, director of the Holy Land Trust, might believe in “beautiful resistance” but that doesn’t exclude a belief in violence. Awad is on record as saying that such non-violent resistance “is not a substitute for the armed struggle.”

Incidentally, all net proceeds from Bethlehem Unwrapped go to the Holy Land Trust. (That is should there be any net proceeds, the cost of the 12 day replica wall installation being an incredible £30,000.)

Meanwhile, recent news footage shows Interpal’s primary trustee Essam Mustafa with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

And War On Want and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions are part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a movement that campaigns for Israel’s destruction.

Rector Winkett writes in her Guardian piece that all viewpoints are listened to without exception and that visitors have been allowed to write a prayer or message of peace on the wall and that anything offensive has been immediately removed. She also writes that most conversations have been respectful.

Sadly, many have not been. A woman going in to St James’s Church for Bethlehem Unwrapped’s comedy evening responded to a question about the Holocaust with “What Holocaust?” A supporter of Israel was called a “friggin Jew” and “quenelle 4 ever” appeared on the replica wall (see middle of replica wall below written in blue):

wallquenelle

Rector Winkett also writes that people have written “this wall saves lives”. However, this was subsequently changed to “this wall enslaves lives”.

Bethlehem Unwrapped is not a respectful project however much Rector Winkett is trying to convince us. It mocks Israel’s valid attempts to keep both Israelis and Palestinians alive. Palestinians cannot now be sent as suicide bombers by Hamas.

And it fails to recognise even the possibility that the main problem for Bethlehem’s Christians is not the security wall at all but intimidation by Hamas similar to that carried out by Islamists elsewhere.

Moreover, St James’s Church’s Bethlehem Unwrapped festival has attracted antisemites, Holocaust deniers, those campaigning for the destruction of Israel and those who condone violence to that end.

This may not have been St James’s Church’s intention but this is what has happened and for this Rector Winkett should apologise to Britain’s Jewish community which is bearing the main brunt of the backlash.

The biggest irony is that St James’s Church itself is protected by a security wall; a tall metal fence that contains a locked door. When the door is unlocked it is heavily guarded. Some may call this a checkpoint.

St James’s Church is, understandably, protecting itself from anyone harbouring ill feeling towards it and who may be inclined to carry out an atrocity similar to those carried out against Churches in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria and Egypt by militant Islamists.

Israel is doing the same.

(This piece was originally posted at CiFWatch)

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Mavi Marmara’s Ken O’Keefe compares Jews to Nazis: The Footage.

Tonge stays silent at Middlesex University after O'Keefe's horrendous attack on Jews.

Tonge stays silent at Middlesex University after O'Keefe's horrendous attack on Jews.

Here is the footage from last Thursday’s anti-Israel event at Middlesex University in Hendon, which I blogged about here, when Ken O’Keefe compared Jews to Nazis. Proof, if it was ever needed, that these events are held more out of spite against Jews than out of any concern for the Palestinians.

The event was sponsored by Interpal whose website asks you to “donate” or “sponsor” in order to “join in our efforts to help Palestinians in need”. If only.

Equally disturbing is that Jenny Tonge, a British Parliamentarian, sat on the panel next to O’Keefe all night and stayed silent after O’Keefe’s attack on Jews and his accusation later on when he blamed Israel for 9/11.

There has also been a deafening silence from Middlesex University. No doubt they will explain it all away as “freedom of speech”.

(thanks to Harry’s Place for the edit)

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:

AQSA. AQSA. Read all about it!

Available at all good British Universities now.

Why read the Jewish Chronicle or the Jewish News, those mere organs of the all-powerful Israel Lobby, when you can get the unvarnished truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from Aqsa News? The January 2010 issue is out now.

And, to boot, Aqsa News is free (which is a huge bonus especially as the JC executives are probably, at this moment, discussing when to push the JC’s cover price up to the £1.10 mark).

Anyway, I digress. Aqsa News is 14 pages long and packed with content and devoid of annoying adverts.

There were three adverts but two were for Interpal, the subject of a Charity Commission inquiry after certain allegations were made about it in the BBC’s Panorama.  The third advert simply asks for donations to the Ummah Medical Academy in India (they need £76,500 urgently)

Aqsa News doesn’t waste its precious coverage on sport. But if you like your news slanted towards total condemnation of Israel and you want to see how its imminent destruction is coming along, then Aqsa News is the only paper to get a hold of.

To be fair Aqsa News doesn’t much like Mahmoud Abbas either (which makes you start to think where its real sympathies lie. Hamas anyone?). In his lengthy article Tom Charles states:

“The Palestinian Authority forces undermine Palestine’s democracy and prop up the quisling leadership of the unelected Mahmoud Abbas.”

There are reviews of books by Ben White (Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide) and by Jonathan Cook (Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiment in Human Despair).

There are numerous articles on the various firms and countries being targeted by pro-Palestine activists for doing business with Israel. Volvo, Brimar, Alstom and the German government are all taking a hit.

Another headline screams: “Holland to investigate Origins of Ahava Products” (the false premise is that Ahava has a laboratory on the Mitzpe Shalom settlement “and this is in contravention of the Geneva Convention which forbids an occupying Power from making use of the Occupied Territory’s natural resources.”)

There is also a Question and Answer piece on “Why Boycott matters” and a Palestinain Refugees Facts and Figures section (Did you know that “one in three refugees worldwide is a Palestinian”?)

Ahava is a funny one. Hands up if you knew that Ahava has a nice shop in Covent Garden. I didn’t until I heard that the pro-Palestine Campaign was going to protest outside it.

I went down to the shop to have a look round and to see how business was. The manageress told me business was good, even better when there is a pro-Palestinian protest outside. 

However, the protests can be frightening for the staff working in the shop especially, as happened recently, protesters handcuffed themselves inside the shop while screaming abuse.

Anyway, before I knew it I was persuaded to spend £31 on a Dead Sea Liquid Salt and a Dermud sensitive skin relief.

Sadly, I spent the evening screaming my flat down when I seem to have over-applied the Liquid Salt. So, thank you to the pro-Palestine Campaign for making me £31 poorer, Ahava £31 richer and for causing me intense agony!

Back to Aqsa News. If all this stuff is getting a bit heavy and upsetting for the naive young mind (and some older minds) there is a crossword. Some testing clues for you:

6 across: Palestine’s ‘catastrophe’ in 1948 (Arabic) (5)

9 across: Political movement with the aim of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine (7)

3 down: Third holiest city in Islam (9)

5 down: Israeli Jews who live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (8)

7 down: Arabic word for Palestinian uprising against Israel (8)

There also some cartoons like that of Palestinians being arrested and assaulted by Israeli soldiers and another of a black South African woman consoling a distraught Palestinian woman in a cemetry.

Just in case you can’t get a hold of your copy of Aqsa News (it isn’t available in your local WH Smith library) then read it online or go to wwww.aqsa.org.uk. Lots of interesting facts and figures to digest there, like:

“All the land of historic Palestine is now occupied by Israel.”

and

The UN has re-affirmed the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland over 100 times, in accordance with international law.

Apart from these two statements being highly controversial (and factually incorrect) it doesn’t sound like the author wants Israel to continue for too much longer.

Aqsa News is available from, and helping to radicalise, all good British Universities near you now!