Tag Archives: jamal juma

War On Want event: “Palestinians live in apartheid ghettos.”

Jamal Juma, of Palestinian Stop the Wall Campaign.

Jamal Juma, of Palestinian Stop the Wall Campaign.

Last night 200 students crammed into Room G2 at SOAS where they heard a new phrase employed in order to accuse Israel; “apartheid ghettos”. “Apartheid ghettos” neatly combines the horrors of Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa. But this time, in sick role reversal, it’s Jews who are the Nazis (see photo above).

Meanwhile, Daniel Machover, a solicitor, called for “the destruction of the political system in Israel” and for “an end to the Zionist project”. All obvious code for the destruction of Israel, although he wouldn’t admit it.

This was all sponsored and organised by British charity War On Want, which, as has been well documented, is funded by Comic Relief. How War On Want can still get away with wasting hard earned Comic Relief donations on hate campaigns where the ultimate objective is the destruction of a country, Israel, is beyond me.

Contender for chief hypocrite was Jeremy Moodey, Chief Executive of Embrace, a Christian development charity (formerly known as BibleLands), who worked as a banker for Rothschilds for 15 years. Moodey described how Rothschilds “financed many of the earliest settlements in Palestine in the early 1920s and 1930s”.

I asked him if he was a hypocrite for working for such a firm, but he claimed he only saw the light after he left. Here he is, along with Jamal Juma of Stop The Wall, addressing that Rothschilds point and my concerns about the panel’s desire to destroy Israel (Christian Friends of Israel may be interested in Moodey’s initial talk here):

Daniel Machover spoke about the recent Russell Tribunal held in South Africa. The Russell Tribunal is their charade where they put Israel on trial for alleged crimes and then, surprise surprise, the “jury” finds Israel “guilty”. In the tribunal in South Africa the “jury” found Israel “guilty” of fitting the legal definition of apartheid in the so-called occupied territories and in Israel itself.

Machover said countries must be persuaded to accept legal responsibility for this “apartheid” and called for sanctions and the severing of diplomatic relations with Israel. He said that although this would not be forthcoming through the UN due to the American veto the Palestinians should sign up to the Treaty of Rome and request that the situation of “apartheid” be subject to investigation by the prosecutor.

He urged that companies that “aid and abet Israeli war crimes” must be stopped. He alleged that waste company, Veolia, had lost business because public bodies can exclude a company from contracts if they are guilty of “gross misconduct”.

However, an embarrassed Machover admitted that his own council Brent is about to award Veolia a huge contract! Veolia has conducted a lot of business in Israel.

Rafeef Ziadah, a War On Want employee, alleged that Israel boasts that the military equipment it exports is “field tested”, which means it is “tested on the bodies of Palestinians”.

Finally, it was time for Frank Barat, the comic relief. He said that he was still shaking from having drunk an extra strong coffee three hours earlier and he proudly announced the creation of the Palestine Legal Action Network.

PLAN will be working under the auspices of War On Want concentrating on activism, legal actions and media work. Barat was very excited and went as far as to say that he loves War On Want.

From Israel’s point of view one couldn’t think of a better person than Barat to project manage PLAN. It was Barat, of course, who interviewed Norman Finkelstein about the Boycott Israel movement where Finkelstein called it, inter alia, “a dishonest cult” whose victories you can count on the fingers of two hands, if that. For some reason Barat then uploaded said interview onto the internet.

Observing PLAN with Barat in charge, therefore, should provide a lot of laughter.

In the chair for this nasty event was Brenna Bhandar, a SOAS law lecturer, who blogged about Fraser v UCU. And in the front row overlooking his minions was cult leader himself, John Hilary, executive director of War On Want.

Brenna Bhandar (Chair), Daniel Machover, Jamal Juma, Fafeef Ziadah, Frank Barat.

Brenna Bhandar (Chair), Daniel Machover, Jamal Juma, Jeremy Moodey, Rafeef Ziadah, Frank Barat.

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A first time at an anti-Israel event

Guest post

With Israel, as ever, disproportionately in the news one activist goes to their first anti-Israel event and describes the experience:

“I attended the talk at Amnesty on Thursday evening for the book launch of Against the Wall: The art of resistance in Palestine. The book is a collection of photos of the artwork on Israel’s security fence.

Of many controversial points the book’s author, William Parry, showed a photo of a queue of Palestinians at a checkpoint near Bethlehem.

‘People are dying at checkpoints’, he then claimed.

The impression was of Palestinians dropping like flies at checkpoints from the trauma of waiting in line.

We then listened to two other speakers, one an artist and another, Jamal Juma speaking live on web cam from the West Bank. Juma is from “Stop the Wall” Campaign.

The talks were totally devoid of any smidgen of context as to what is really going on and why the security fence was built in the first place.

At the Q&A I had no intention of speaking out at all. I was there only to observe.

But then I thought back to my visit to Poland and how I had made a vow on the last day spent in Auschwitz never to walk in fear or shame around those who wish for our demise.

I also thought of all the wonderful Israeli friends and family I have here who have done nothing to deserve the blind hatred in this room. Am I going to sit here in silence, I asked myself?

When I was finally handed the microphone I repeated back to the author his statement about people dying at checkpoints and I asked if he had the statistics to back up his statement?

The panel looked blankly at each other and mumbled about statistics on some UN page.

I then asked whether we are talking one a day, one a week, one a month.

They looked baffled and asked Jamal on the live web cam.

Jamal didn’t seem to know either.

I then asked about the cause of deaths.

Up until this point they thought I was asking out of concern for this imaginary pile of corpses at checkpoints.

Suddenly the artist pointed his finger at me and asked whether I was daring to suggest it’s not terrible what’s going on there: ‘I think we all agree in this room it’s terrible.’

There was a rapture of applause from the audience who all looked at me in disgust whilst furiously shaking their heads in disbelief.

I shouted: ‘Yes, it’s terrible but he (William Parry) said they’re dying, so I’m asking about the deaths.’

How stupid of me to demand evidence. Facts? Evidence? How boring.”