Tag Archives: lauren booth

Middlesex University bans concerned public from Free Palestine Society hate speech event.

middlesexuni

The Facebook page above reads:

“THE UNIVERSITY HAVE RESTRICTED THE EVENT TO MIDDLESEX STUDENTS & STAFF ONLY…PLEASE EMAIL MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY TO SEEK THEIR JUSTIFICATION FOR THIS UNPRECEDENTED RESTRICTION.”

The event was the Free Palestine Society’s The Case for Boycotting, Divesting, and Sanctions against Israel held last night. The speakers were Lauren Booth, John Rees and Asghar Bukari. The location was Middlesex University in Hendon, a highly Jewish populated suburb of London.

On her blog Booth quotes Gilad Atzmon’s anti-Semitic rhetoric extensively and tries to back him up. For example:

“No Jews do not run the world. They get others to do it for them.'”….This argument is not without example. In 2001 Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, made unguarded comments, about relations with the United States and the peace process.
“I know what America is,” he told a group of terror victims, apparently not knowing his words were being recorded. “America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in their way.”

And she directly implicates British Jews in what she sees as Israel’s “crimes” when she writes:

What must also continue, freely and without hindrance are debates into the British Jewish communities role in funding the ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and East Jerusalem via such bodies as the Jewish National Fund.

Bukhari is the founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. MPAC was banned from university campuses in 2004 after being branded anti-Semitic by the National Union of Students and Bukhari, himself, supported and financed Holocaust denier David Irving.

MPAC recently tweeted that Zionism equals Nazism.

Rees has, inter alia, reportedly identified with the Mahdi Army, a terror cell responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iraqis.

We did email Middlesex University to ask why concerned members of the public were banned, but the response bore no relation to the question. Middlesex University responded:

This is a Students’ Union supported society event which is open to students and staff at the University. As a University we have a responsibility to protect freedom of speech within the law and support the rights of our students to meet and discuss issues that matter to them. The University hosts a wide range of events, presenting many different views, and we would not seek to prevent them or influence the content unless there are very strong grounds to do so.

When I contacted Sam Spindlow, of Corporate Communications at Middlesex University and who was responsible for disseminating the statement, even he agreed that the statement did not explain why the public was banned, but said he could go no further than that.

The reality is that at a similar event at Middlesex University last year Ken O’Keefe compared Jews to Nazis, and Jenny Tonge said that “Israel won’t be here forever” for which she was chucked out of the Liberal Democrats.

Middlesex University’s new policy seems to be to allow hate speech to go virtually unopposed. Concerned members of the public are to be banned from anti-Israel events, although whether this policy is legal is open to question with Middlesex University being a taxpayer funded institution.

A few defiant members of Middlesex University’s Jewish Society did attend last night. One walked out in disgust at what was being said about Israel. She said that a pro-Israel question was asked during the Q&A but was dismissed by Lauren Booth as being “too Zionist a question to take seriously.” Another member of the Jewish Society handed out pro-Israel leaflets afterwards.

Jonathan Hoffman and I weren’t allowed in so we waited outside till the end and engaged in discussion with the students as they exited the room. We didn’t get very far though. We were told we were “child killers” and as I left a student shouted at me “Go back to Golders Green*.”

That kind of vile racism has now become the norm at anti-Israel events, but Middlesex University dangerously continues to look away.

*Golders Green is another highly Jewish populated suburb of London.
** Thanks to Stand For Peace for its research on Booth, Bukhari and Rees.
*** UPDATE: What happened behind Middlesex University’s closed doors by Jonathan Hoffman.

Jonathan Hoffman and security outside last night's Free Palestine Society event at Middlesex University.

Jonathan Hoffman and security outside last night’s Free Palestine Society event at Middlesex University.

Former Jerusalem Post chief closes successful ZF conference.

Yesterday was the Zionist Federation‘s Israel Advocacy Training Conference where activists learnt skills and discussed the situation both here and in Israel.

After giving a session on blogging I went to Jonathan Hoffman and Keith Fraser’s How to make the most of limited knowledge session, where they performed a mock Press TV show with Jonathan playing an under pressure pro-Israel guest and Keith doing a hilarious impression of Ken Livingstone before transmogrifying into a ranting Islamist who accused the Zionists of, inter alia, “stealing our land”.

Jonathan answered the Islamist’s rants well but, as ever, the much harder questions came from the audience. Some blamed “the settlements” for angering the Palestinians while others were concerned that Israel used white phosphorus during Operation Cast Lead.

Jonathan answered that there were no “settlements” in 1929 when Jews were massacred in Hebron by Arabs and that the use of white phosporus is legal; it being used by Britain and America also.

I then went to see the impressive Lior Student who gave her session Powerful and Persuasive Presentations three times during the conference. She had some sound advice including never to scratch your nose or face when presenting as this is associated with lying; we have itching cells around our nose which are activated when we tell a porky.

In between sessions there was ample time to chat and shed crocodile tears about the anti-Israel lobby’s infighting over the anti-Jewish writings of Gilad Atzmon; the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is trying to distance itself from Atzmon while anti-Israel activist Lauren Booth has accused the PSC on her blog of being willing accomplices of the friends of Zionism.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people. The more Israel’s enemies continue to tear themselves apart the better.

Few give a better analysis of the current situation in Israel than David Horovitz, who edited the Jerusalem Post for seven years, and he closed the conference with another highly informative talk.

He highlighted how narrow Israel is; go north, he said, from Tel Aviv and turn left near the West Bank town of Tulkarem and it is a mere 15 minute drive across Israel to the coast.

He said no one had predicted the Arab Spring and no one could predict how it will end and that even some of Israel’s military hierarchy had, until recently, been urging Israel to negotiate peace with Syria’s Assad in return for handing back the Golan Heights as this would have weakened Iran.

However, in hindsight, with the Arab Spring in full flow handing back the strategically crucial Golan could have had dangerous consequences for Israel should Islamists accede to power in Syria, which illustrates the problem Israel has in knowing who it can negotiate with.

On the Palestinian front Horovitz quoted last year’s front page Time headline Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace, which he said was ridiculous considering that Israelis put their children on the front line.

He said if you exclude the one-state solutionists on the extreme left and those on the extreme right who think Israel should annex Judea and Samaria there is a middle ground of at least 60% of Israelis who desire a two-state solution.

He said that in 1999 the electorate threw out Netanyahu in favour of Ehud Barak after three years of relative calm on the terrorism front in the hope of a peace deal with Arafat, but Israelis eventually blamed Arafat for wrecking the prospects for peace.

And while he felt that Abbas is more moderate than Arafat Horovitz found it disturbing that Abbas’ Palestinian statehood speech at the UN highlighted Muslim and Christian claims to the Holy Land while denying Jewish ones.

Then Horovitz turned to Iran. He called Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, a “maverick” and he reckoned that the Stuxnet computer virus attack on Iran’s nuclear programme and the assassination of crucial Iranian scientists had Barak’s fingerprints on them.

He said that taking out Iran’s nuclear sites would be much harder than the 1981 attack on Osirak in Iraq (has Iran ever thanked Israel for that?), especially as the Iraqis used to turn their radars off when they went for dinner, which is why Israel attacked in the early evening.

But he warned that should Israel need to attack Iran’s nuclear sites to beware western hypocrisy as politicians will condemn Israel, like they did in 1981, while being secretly relieved.

On hearing about Osirak President Raegan responded “boys will be boys” before being forced into an explicit condemnation of Israel.

Not wishing to end downbeat Horovitz mentioned Israel’s successful economy evidenced by its ever-strengthening Shekel as well as its recent Nobel Prize for Chemistry, the third such prize in seven years.

And, finally, he said it is accepted by most of the political establishment on both the left and right in America that President Obama will get re-elected, and while this might not seem good for Israel Obama has vetoed anti-Israel resolutions at the UN and America has not reneged on its military commitments.

Lauren Booth: “Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt must liberate Jerusalem”.

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

“It is time, Brothers and Sisters, for Al Quds to be liberated. For Islam and people of the world who wish to pray there to the one God. And we say here today to you Israel, we see your crimes and we loathe your crimes. And to us your nation does not exist, because it is a criminal injustice against humanity. We want to see Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt go to the borders and stop this now. Liberate Al Quds! March to Al Quds!”

These were the words spoken by Lauren Booth (Tony Blair’s half-sister-in-law) at the Al Quds Day terror rally organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission in London’s Trafalgar Square yesterday. She had just pledged her support for Hamas. See clip:

And here are the words of another speaker:

“You can’t take an army, which is a nation’s army, a terrorist nation’s army, and defeat it with sincere small fighters. It needs some of those states around to release their armies to burn that land and then that region will see peace like it had in the past. Because the only time that land has seen peace between Muslim, Christian and Jew living side by side was when sincere Islamic rulers ruled with justice.”

Here’s the clip:

Al Quds Day was creatively subtitled “End the Siege, End the Occupation, End the Israeli Apartheid”, but for brevity they might just have subtitled it “End Israel”.

Placards, see below, were held up which read:

Israel Your Days are Numbered
Death to Israel
Down down Israel
For World Peace Israel Must Be Destroyed
The World Stopped Nazism, The World Must Stop Zionism
We Are All Hizbollah

Yellow Hezbollah flags were everywhere with the flag’s usual gun emblem, which is especially menacing considering that the head of Hizbollah has said that Jews are descended from pigs and apes and that if all the Jews in the world gathered in Israel it would save Hizbollah the trouble of going after them elsewhere.

I felt that the rhetoric and placards were nothing short of incitement to racial hatred and violence, not just against Israel and its citizens, but against the many Israeli tourists and residents in the UK as well as British Jews, and non-Jews, who wish to express support for Israel.

Had similar threats been made against Britain the police would have acted. They can still act as they were recording footage.

But there is no point filming and doing nothing. When will we start to see arrests for incitement?

More photos from yesterday:

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

Trafalgar Square, London, 21st August 2011

2010

A bad year for Israel in the UK has also been a bad year for many of those who have briefed so viciously against Israel.

Nick Clegg, who called for Israel to be disarmed during Operation Cast Lead in the wake of thousands of Hamas rockets hitting Israeli towns, became Deputy Prime-Minister in the coalition government but has since had his new found credibility shattered having reneged on a pre-election promise that had won his party the student vote; not to increase tuition fees.

Clegg and his anti-Israel Liberal Democrat party will find it difficult to be taken seriously in future, including on Israel.

Lauren Booth seems to have hit financial rock bottom with her bankruptcy and George Galloway lost his national radio slot on Talksport and was ousted from Parliament at the General Election along with Martin Linton, Chair of Labour Friends of Palestine.

Woe betide those who fall from power. The pro-Arab Lobby will have no use for them and will end up looking elsewhere.

So one man’s loss is another’s gain and the new anti-Israel voice on the block is Andrew Slaughter, who retained his seat in the election.

Although Slaughter is Labour’s Shadow Justice Minister that didn’t stop him recently meeting Hamas; the organisation that likes to send Palestinians into Israeli restaurants and discos primed with bombs to murder as many Jews as possible.

It has been a year where the picket of Ahava in Covent Garden has taken root, with the objective of closing it down.

In a way it has been a sad but fascinating experience to see the type of person that turns up to picket a Jewish owned shop.

Less attention has been paid to the regular thursday evening anti-Israel picket outside Marks and Spencer on Oxford Street whose objective is to stop people shopping there on the basis that M&S was a chief funder of Israel’s creation and growth; proof if it ever was needed that Israel-hate is not premised on concern for international law but on Israel’s existence per se.

It is also interesting to note how many of the Ahava protesters are loathe to be filmed, constantly covering their faces.

One must also question if they are solely concerned about human rights why they don’t picket Iranian, Egyptian, Russian, Chinese and Sudanese businesses.

If Ahava does close even the protesters will be disappointed as they will be forced to find another Israeli outlet to vent their anger against.

Other low points of 2010 were:

1. The EDO case, where a judge somehow found it within himself, during his summing up to the jury, to show admiration for those who had smashed up a British arms-making factory.

2. Phil Woolas losing his Parliamentary seat after his Lib Dem opponent ran crying to the courts accusing Woolas of lying about him, when lying on political leaflets is, sadly, a part of British election culture. There was also MPAC’s sinister intervention against Woolas.

3. Mick Davies, head of UJIA, using “Apartheid” in relation to Israel.

4. The Law Society allowing itself to be taken over for a weekend Israel hatefest in the form of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

5. Hearing “Spurs are on their way to Auschwitz” at Elland Road.

Thank you to those that have given their encouragement over the last year (including Oyvagoy, Jeremy Havardi, MelchettMike, CIFWatch, ModernityBlog, Harry’s Place, ElderofZiyon, The London Jewish News, The Jewish Chronicle and The Jerusalem Post) and many other individuals, including some incredible commenters from whom I have learnt more than I could imagine.

It has also been a year in which England retained the Ashes but lost a World Cup.

Ken Bates, Leeds United’s Chairman, summed up the World Cup debacle perfectly in his recent programme notes for the QPR game:

“FIFA finally lost all credibility when they handed the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. That idiot Blatter said the object was to take football into new territories. The Qatar episode should be fun with the Persian Gulf on one side and (a) million square miles of desert on the other. Don’t make me laugh! Money talks – but to who? If Qatar wanted to make a lasting impact on the world they could help their fellow Muslims in Palestine to end 60 years of misery and enable them to establish a Palestinian state. A few bob to help rebuild Afghanistan wouldn’t go amiss either.”

Finishing on a high note Israel has just struck gas; £61 billion worth of the stuff, which sent the Tel Aviv stock exchange to an all time high. This should give Israel energy independence for 90 years and could allow for exports to Europe.

As James Hider of The Times comments the old joke about Moses leading the Jewish people to the one place in the Middle East that does not have oil is not so funny anymore.

Happy New Year everyone!

Ahava staff carry on under pressure

staff looking out from Ahava

staff looking out from Ahava

Imagine your journey into work worrying about what you might find when you arrive or whether your office might be violently stormed with you in it.

This is the daily fate of the Ahava staff who work in the shop on Monmouth Street in London’s Covent Garden.

As we all know by now Ahava lost two days of business when late last year the shop was invaded by activists who locked themselves inside while petrified staff looked on. Then last week the shop front was coated in red paint by a couple of “brave” souls who had covered their faces so as not to be picked out by CCTV.

Ahava after last week's paint attack

Ahava after last week's paint attack

Yesterday the usual mob of anti-Israel activists turned up en masse with an array of Palestinian and Communist flags and the usual “Boycott Israel” and “Free Palestine” paraphernalia. They were allowed to position themselves a couple of metres from Ahava’s shop door and hand out anti-Israel leaflets to passers-by.

Sadly, one can forget any solidarity from neighbouring shop-keepers for now; Ahava is being told by some to shut up shop and go online.

By yesterday the red paint had been mostly removed at great expense to Ahava. Remnants could still be seen above the shop.

And if you had ever wondered where all the money comes from to fund both the attacks and legal representation, they hold fundraisers:

On September 11th we are putting on a fundraising party to raise money to fund direct actions in support of Palestine, such as blockades of Ahava or Carmel Agrexco. Come on down, with a banging line up and an amazing space to have a party in (the Ratstar comes with 2 rooms of music, a cinema room and even a roof terrace, oh yes), there has never been a funner way to support a great cause. The day kicks off at 4pm, with workshops on direct action, …Palestine related film screenings and a Palestinian cafe. Music starts at 8pm. The night is free before 8pm, £5 suggested donation afterwards, but pay what you can afford. All money raised will go to pay for actions like this; http://london.indymedia.org/articles/2955

No chance of any of that money making it to the starving or malaria-ridden of Africa then, nor the the flood victims in Pakistan nor even to the Palestinians themselves who the activists claim to care so much about.

Meanwhile, here is Channel 10 of Israel’s interesting video clip about the boycott Israel movement. Look out for insightful comment from Lauren Booth.

Yesterday:

left-over red paint after midweek attack

left-over red paint after midweek attack

small pro-Israel counter-demo.

small pro-Israel counter-demo.