Tag Archives: memo

Sarah Colborne. You’re fired.

Labour MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Burden and Yasmin Qureshi owe Theresa May, the Home Secretary, a huge debt of gratitude for having had Sheikh Raed Salah detained on Tuesday night. She might just have saved their careers.

Had the homophobic preacher been allowed to speak at wednesday night’s event at the Houses of Parliament there would now be photographs circulating of them sharing a platform with him.

These photos would, no doubt, have featured in the political literature for the next general election and would probably have led to these MPs’ crushing defeats, as sharing platforms with self-confessed homophobes is not something the British public would wish to be associated with.

Instead Salah is awaiting deportation back to Israel.

Meanwhile, in his defence Middle East Monitor and Palestine Solidarity Campaign have been raising the straw man that Salah is not an anti-Semite on the basis of lack of proof.

While he is accused of claiming that Jews use the blood of children to make their bread, his blatant homophobia has not been made a huge issue of. His supporters are defending him only against claims of anti-Semitism.

Qureshi and Burden issued similar statements along these lines.

But Just Journalism has now uncovered a 2003 interview with Haaretz where Salah gave these answers:

What is your opinion of the legislation now being discussed in the Knesset, which would grant Muslim women rights similar to those of Jewish women in matters of personal status?

“That bill is tantamount to a war on Islam. It is an attempt to dictate different, foreign values that are neither Muslim nor Palestinian values.”

What is your opinion of homosexuality?

“It is a crime. A great crime. Such phenomena signal the start of the collapse of every society. Those who believe in Allah know that behavior of that kind brings his wrath and is liable to cause the worst things to happen. There is no solution for this, unless the individual’s faith is strengthened.”

In this statement Salah denies most of the accusations:

“It has been claimed that he repeated a ‘blood libel’ by saying, ‘among those whose blood was mixed with the sacred (Jewish) bread’; this is an absolute lie and a malicious fabrication.”

“With regard to the statement that ‘the Creator made from you [the Jews] monkeys and losers’, this is again a lie and fabrication.”

“I unequivocally condemn all forms of racism, including anti- Semitism, Islamophobia, and racism towards my own people, the Palestinians.”

There are no denials about his homophobia and thoughts on the inequality of women.

So what does Sarah Colborne think of sharing a platform with someone who thinks homosexuality “is a crime…that is liable to cause the worst things to happen”. Obviously nothing.

Colborne uses her own homosexuality as a political weapon. She recently wrote to Marc Almond complaining about “real homophobia confronted by the LGBT community inside Israel” and urged him to cancel his tour to Israel. He did cancel, although Almond said it “was not for any political reason”:

“Dear Marc Almond,
I was shocked to hear that you were scheduled to perform in Israel. Listening to your music, I always assumed that you had a clear and unstinting compassion for those who face discrimination and oppression. Your music provided the soundtrack to many lesbians and gay men growing up in a hostile society. And as a lesbian who has been actively supporting Palestinian rights for over a decade, I felt obliged to write to you personally.

Israel is attempting to ‘pinkwash’ itself as tolerant, and gay-friendly in an attempt to paint over the discrimination, racism and apartheid that Palestinians face on a daily basis. It is an attempt to cover up Israel’s flouting of international law and its violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Those who support Israel’s crimes continue to propogate the colonialist fantasies of a civilised and gay-friendly Israel, as opposed to hostile, homophobic Palestinians. This not only denies the real homophobia confronted by the LGBT community inside Israel, but also the reality of life as a lesbian or gay Palestinian living under a brutal military occupation. By propogating this fantasy, Israel is attempting to co-opt support from LGBT artists and activists in other countries for its violence towards Palestinians.

I have worked with the Palestinian community in Britain and internationally, travelled to Palestinian towns and villages, and I was on the Mavi Marmara last year when it was attacked by Israeli commandos whilst in international waters, taking aid to Gaza. Our shared experiences of homophobia and discrimination should make us even more sensitive to, and supportive of, the cause of equality, freedom and justice for Palestine.

I urge you to listen to the voices of Palestinian gay and lesbian organisations, for example Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (PQBDS). Please listen to those of us in the LGBT community in Britain, who believe that until Palestinians are free, none of us are free.

The cause of Palestine is the cause of justice and freedom. Please do not taint the love of the LGBT community for your music by playing in Israel.

Sarah Colborne”

Yet, here she is sitting next to him on Monday night at an event sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which she heads, and Middle East Monitor.

Conway Hall: Salah and Sarah Colborne in the middle

Conway Hall: Salah and Sarah Colborne in the middle

It just goes to show that Salah’s vile views can be overlooked where the joint goal is the vilification of Israel.

Will Qureshi, Corbyn and Burden now denounce Salah as a homophobe or do they consider homophobia to be less serious than anti-Semitism?

At the next general election the British public will be made well aware that these three Labour MPs were due to share a platform with someone who has clearly expressed homophobic views.

And what about the PSC, which sponsored the event on Monday night where Salah spoke and sponsored the event at Parliament on Wednesday where he was due to speak?

Will the PSC’s patrons stay silent about an organisation they support, but which has now sponsored a homophobic preacher?

Those patrons include Tony Benn, actress Julie Christie, Victoria Brittain, playwright Caryl Churchill (who wrote Seven Jewish Children), RMT leader Bob Crow, writer William Dalrymple, the reverend Garth Hewitt, Ghada Karmi, Bruce Kent, Lowkey, Karma Nabulsi, Ilan Pappe, Alexei Sayle and Benjamin Zephania.

On the Reverend Stephen Sizer’s blog there is also a defence of Salah. Salah is referred to as a “well-respected Palestinian leader”.

Do Salah’s views on homosexuality make him a well-respected leader?

On The Apprentice the project manager on the losing team is invariably fired for the team’s losing performance. In the case of PSC chief Sarah Colborne Alan Sugar would already be pointing his finger and saying:

“Sarah. You’re fired.”

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Abdel Bari Atwan at Amnesty: “I get worse coverage in the Jewish Chronicle than Hitler would!”

Greg Philo, Victoria Brittain, Abdel Bari Atwan and Tim Llewellyn at Amnesty last night.

Greg Philo, Victoria Brittain, Abdel Bari Atwan and Tim Llewellyn at Amnesty last night.

Last night at Amnesty journalist Abdel Bari Atwan held up an old JC front page, which had a headline about him that he didn’t like, and claimed he gets worse coverage than Adolf Hitler.

He spoke along with Tim “But Hamas was democratically elected” Llewellyn and Phil “We wait in fear of phone calls from the Israelis” Philo, while Victoria Brittan chaired and made sure not to take any pro-Israel questions in the Q&A. So much for Amnesty claiming:

“Those who disagree with MEMO, or indeed any apsect of the event, are of course welcome to attend and make their point in a reasonable way.”

We were treated to default rhetoric about Israel controlling the media and dominating ALL the political parties. Llewellyn said the problem was with the political system in this country where “the Liberal, Labour and Conservative parties, were definitely completely and utterly dominated by the pro-Israeli lobby”.

And during the Q&A Abe Hayeem, of Architects for Palestinians, complained that “Jewish Media, specifically the JC and Jewish News, ingrain propaganda in the community”.

Philo was there to, basically, flog his new book More Bad News From Israel but spared the time to accuse Israel of having a “sophisticated propaganda system” which led to the BBC making inappropriate statements like “Israel’s attack on Hamas enters its second week” when it should be speaking of “Israel’s attack on the Palestinians”.

He spoke of the way the media portrayed Israel as just responding to rockets, but ignored Israel’s attacks in the previous three years and that “many children had been killed”.

As a consequence, said Philo, although the public had sympathy for the Palestinians they wanted the Palestinians to stop firing rockets at Israel. They were repeating the language of the news that Israel “had to respond”.

He quoted a woman in one of his focus groups who said:

“When I saw the pictures of the dead children, it was dreadful. I was in tears. But it didn’t make me feel that the Palestinians and Hamas were right. I think the Palestinians haven’t taken the chance to work towards a peaceful solution.”

Philo said it was like she was reading out the Israeli press material. Philo asked the interviewee afterwards what was the source of her beliefs and her reponse was “(BBC) Radio 4. Avid Radio 4 listener. I got it all from there”.

When Philo told her that it was Israel that broke the ceasefire before Operation Cast Lead and that Hamas had agreed to stop the rockets if the blockade was lifted she claimed, apparently quite affronted, “that can’t be so, I would have known that”.

He said the reason for the lack of truthful information in the media was the pressures that journalists, especially those at the BBC, were coming under. One said “We wait in fear of the phonecall from the Israelis. The only issue then is how high up from their organisation has it come and how high up our organisation it has gone.” He said that minutes before going on air journalists have been discussing words they are allowed to use.

“That is the level of tension inside the organisation. Journalists aren’t biased, but are just playing it safe,” he said.

Former BBC Middle East correspondent Tim Llewellyn, couldn’t wait to slag off his old employer. He had already written a Guardian piece that day accusing the BBC of “imbalance and distortion” over their “coverage of Israel and Palestine”. The piece is a rehash of his Guardian article of seven years ago. What fun around the dinner table Llewellyn must be!

His main complaint last night though was about the BBC’s Death in the Med which, he said, portrayed the Israeli soldiers who boarded the boat as acting in “self-defence” when they killed some of those on board the Mavi Marmara.

His talk was basically a rant about how the BBC didn’t properly address his complaints. He referred to one response from the BBC as a “tendentious piece of garbage”. Well, join the club, Tim!

He even felt sorry for Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s current Middle East correspondent, who is also, apparently, constrained in what he is allowed to say:

“Short of defying their bosses at the BBC I cannot see what they can do. Defying their bosses means they will be shoved sideways or fired. The system is weighted against many BBC, ITV and other reporters. I can feel Jeremy Bowen’s pain as he is dancing around the basic question. If he has no courage to confront the BBC, then I despair.”

As for Bari Atwan, or Barry as he likes to be called, he really is “the special one”. He moaned about how BBC’s Newsnight kept mysteriously dropping him at the last minute for the likes of Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak. Imagine that, Barry being dropped in favour of a world statesman! How low down can Newsnight get.

And, apparently, the Israel lobby even caused the BBC to stop him being referred to as a Middle East “Expert” or “Analyst” and he was targeted by said lobby for being the “most impressionable”. Talking about putting onself on a pedestal.

But then came his Hitler rant. To suggest that Jews might think him worse than Hitler really is a case of exaggerating his self-importance.

You can hear all this below and there are some photos of the protest outside Amnesty and a clip of Victoria Brittain summing up. In the clip she is referring to Abdullah Abul Rahma, who has recently been released from prison, and the village of Nabi Saleh and what happened there “last Friday”. She wants you to ask yourself why you didn’t see this on any TV screen. I have watched the clip (below) but cannot see anything that could possibly knock Al Qaeda, Libya, Syria or Bahrain out of the headlines.

But then, having been brainwashed by the Jewish Chonicle, I would say that wouldn’t I.

Counterintuitively, I came out of the meeting pleased that they were creating their own monster about Israel. Making people feel paranoid must be Israel’s latest weapon.

Peter Benenson was the founder of Amnesty.

Peter Benenson was the founder of Amnesty.

Pro-Israel activist outside Amnesty. MEMO is accused of supporting Hamas.

Pro-Israel activist outside Amnesty. MEMO is accused of supporting Hamas.

Audio of last night’s talks:

Greg Philo at Amnesty, 23rd May.

Tim Llewellyn at Amnesty, 23rd May.

Abdel Bari Atwan at Amnesty, 23rd May.

Q&A at Amnesty, 23rd May.

Amnesty and Middle East Monitor’s Israel hatefest love-in.

It is getting boring writing about Amnesty International and its hatred towards Israel but Michael Weiss wrote a recent blog asking “Why is Amnesty hosting a Hamas-friendly publisher of racists?

On May 23rd its London office is hosting Middle East Monitor’s (MEMO) “Complicity in Oppression: Does the Media Aid Israel?” event.

Weiss is Communications Director of the Henry Jackson Society and a spokesperson for Just Journalism.

As he points out in his piece MEMO is run by Dr Daud Abdullah who signed the Hamas-supporting Istanbul Declaration which calls on the ‘Islamic Nation’ to fight any ‘foreign warship’ attempting to block arms smuggling to Hamas. Presumably, such a ‘foreign warship’ could include one from the Royal Navy.

Weiss also quotes from a MEMO essay by Khalid Amayreh titled Netanyahu’s Lebensraum in which Amayreh denies that “these pathological liars from Eastern Europe…had any truly historical rights in the land of Palestine”.

Weiss signs off his piece asking us to ring Amnesty (02070331500) to ask why it is hosting this conference.

But according to Weiss Amnesty’s response is:

“Providing space for an event does not mean that we necessarily agree with all of the views of participants. The key point is that free debate takes place.”

Presumably, then, when Amnesty puts on its own conference it does “necessarily agree with all of the views of the participants”, like the one on April 13th where a photo was shown of a Palestinian teenager with a perfect Star of David, allegedly, tattooed on his forearm by an Israeli soldier using nothing more than broken glass.

Will Amnesty investigate this photo? Where is this Palestinian now? Surely, there would still be a scar on his forearm eventhough this incident happened some 8 years ago. I asked Ala Abu Dheer, who showed the photo, to email me details of the case so I could take it up with the Israeli Embassy, but I’m still waiting for the email.

But in response to Weiss’s piece MEMO has just posted an incredible rant by Khalid Amayreh titled Honest People can’t be indifferent to Israeli fascism.

Amayreh’s response is a slur on the 6,000,000 Jews executed by the Nazis. It has to be read to be believed and to see what Amnesty has become by hosting such a vile organisation like MEMO.

Here are some quotes from Amayreh’s piece:

“I have no problem comparing Israel with the worst criminals in history, including Hitler’s Nazis. It is true that Israel has not introduced gas chambers into Palestinian towns and villages (although relatively innocuous tear gas is often used in confined spaces, against the manufacturers’ recommendations, with often lethal results). However, gas chambers were never the only extermination method used by the Nazis. Israel has been killing and tormenting Palestinians in a variety of ways that, for sheer brutality and evil, don’t differ in substance from Nazi Germany’s murderous behaviour. Moreover, it is important to remember that the Nazi Holocaust didn’t begin with Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen…”

To compare the fate of the Palestinians to that of the 6,000,000 Jews slaughtered by the Nazis is vile and mendacious.

And he writes “The minute a Zionist Jew sets foot on Palestinian soil in order to live on land stolen from its rightful owners; or live in a house seized at gunpoint from its native Palestinian occupants, this Zionist Jew loses his sense of morality.” If someone wrote something similar about an immigrant African to the UK could they not be accused of inciting racial hatred?

Amayreh also talks of “hundreds of thousands of Christians and Muslims” having lived in “Palestine” when the Zionists arrived. He has wiped the many indigenous Jews already living there off the map.

He signs off by saying that “Zionists are the last people who are fit to lecture the Palestinians on the evils of terrorism…Israel represents ultimate terror…For arrogant Zionists to call us terrorists is, to quote Professor Norman Finkelstein, ‘beyond chutzpah’.”

But I do agree with his last words that “Palestine will be free”. Yes, free from the women oppressors and anti-Semitic Jew killers of Hamas who also execute their own, Palestinian, people by thowing them off the tops of tall buildings while their hands are tied behind their backs if they don’t follow Hamas’s strict religious and political doctrines.

This is the Hamas that is supported by MEMO and the MEMO which is being hosted by Amnesty.

Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury: “Many Jews may be deeply prejudiced”

Banned! The (blurred) photo of Lord Phillips they didn't want you to see.

Banned! The (blurred) photo of Lord Phillips they didn't want you to see.

“The Jews” were once again singled out by one of our lawmakers last night in the shape of Lord Andrew Phillips. Not Israel, not Israelis, not Israeli Jews, but “the Jews”.

Phillips was chairing a Middle East Monitor event at Senate House; The Palestine Papers: Under the Spotlight.

Lord Phillips has form. He has not denied that he previously said that “America is in the grip of the well-organised Jewish lobby”.

Kathleen Christison, former CIA political analyst and author of Palestine in Pieces, told us how Obama is unbelievably craven in the face of the Israel lobby.

The example she gave was last friday’s US veto of the UN resolution on the illegality of settlements when Susan Rice, America’s UN ambassador, told the UN that America thought the settlements are illegal but America couldn’t vote for the resolution because the Israeli lobby and Israel wouldn’t like it. Lord Phillips responded (listen to audio at end):

“Everything I hear from the platform speakers makes me think that the world we are now moving into has been turned upside down and that, er, the Jews aren’t lacking in intelligence, they may be deeply prejudiced, many of them, but they are going to be saying the same sort of thing as you on the panel are saying. It seems to me that it is not at all safe to rely on the past to interprete the future and that American, indeed American Jewry, quite apart from the progressive elements within Israel, who have been overshadowed in recent years, all of this could change quickly and rapidly in the face of a Middle East that suddenly becomes hostile.”

The anti-Israel rhetoric was slightly diluted due to the absence of Clare Short (broken bone) and Seumas Milne (ill). Some might call it divine intervention but Christosen more than made up for their absence.

Christosen told us that everything America does in the Middle East it does to safeguard Israel from its Arab and Muslim neighbours who don’t like Israel’s treatment of its subjects.

She said that the Palestine Papers showed that the Palestinian Authority treated the Palestinians with humiliating derision and that America represents Israel in negotiations despite claiming to be an honesy broker: “The Palestine Papers laid bare the Israel-America relationship in all its obscenity”.

She said that people can’t even mention Israel in America for fear of being called “anti-Semitic”. Lord Phillips agreed. He said it was like McCarthyism and a good way to silence people. “We have a bit of that starting here, I’m afraid,” he said.

In answer to a question on the viablitity of the one state solution Christosen felt it was “the only just solution” and called for the dismantling of Israel as an “exclusivist Jewish state” and for the “Jewish exclusivist government” to be dismantled. But, she said, she had nothing against Jews as individuals.

Even J Street came in for criticism from her because its logo is “Pro Israel, Pro Peace”.

Tim Llewellyn, a former BBC Middle East correspondent, said he supported boycotts. He said that if Israel wants to be accepted as a European state it must be told that it is a pariah state: “The government is uncivilised and Israelis who support it take part in that uncivilisation. Israel is a rogue state in the Middle East,” he said.

Clayton Swisher, an Al Jazeera reporter, felt sanctions won’t work because the EU and America are feckless but the Arabs could make it difficult for Israelis as many travel on Arab airlines and if, after looking at their passports, they find they live in the settlements they should not allow them to travel.

The only conciliatory voice came from Oliver McTernan, director of Forward Thinking, who felt that sanctions were hypocritical as he has worked to remove the sanctions against Gaza. He also felt that the price of the one state solution would be too great, although he thought that Hamas should be brough into the negotiating process.

The story of the photo above was that we were told that there was to be no photography or filming unless authorised. There were about four or five photographers and the event was being filmed. Towards the end, and in light of the comments by Lord Phillips, I thought I would try to sneak a photo after seeing a woman behind me taking one on her IPhone.

But as I snapped away I was surrounded by two men from the World Ju-Jitsu Federation who stopped me, one of whom snatched by audio recorder and wanted my camera also. I managed to grab back the recorder.

So there we were in a British University discussing the leaked Palestine Papers, which have basically killed off any hope of peace in the Middle East for a generation, listening to a rant about Jews from one of our lawmakers, yet I was harassed when wanting to take one lousy photograph of the event (which came out blurred anyway).

Lord Phillips talks about “the Jews” at 12 minutes.

Those “disloyal Jews”.

Matthew Gould: Britain's new Ambassador to Israel

Matthew Gould: Britain's new Ambassador to Israel

Middle East Monitor (MEMO) is one of those nasty anti-Israel think-tanks which aims to win the ear of the political establishment.

It describes itself as “an independent media research institution founded in the United Kingdom to foster a fair and accurate coverage in the Western media of Middle Eastern issues and in particular the Palestine Question.”

Fair and accurate? Pull the other one.

They won’t even let you into one of their meetings if they disagree with your views.

Now MEMO asks: Is Britain’s new ambassador to Israel really going to be objective?

The question under discussion is: “Can a Jewish ambassador to Israel ever be truly objective when advising his home government on relations with the Jewish state? That is going to be the big question for Britain’s new ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, who has just taken up residence in Tel Aviv.

This is not the first time the someone’s Jewish background has been held against them recently in the media. When respected historians Sir Martin Gilbert and Sir Lawrence Freedman were appointed to the panel of the Chilcot Enquiry to investigate the Iraq War Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya, wrote in The Independent:

“Both Gilbert and Freedman are Jewish, and Gilbert at least has a record of active support for Zionism. Such facts are not usually mentioned in the mainstream British and American media, but The Jewish Chronicle and the Israeli media have no such inhibitions, and the Arabic media both in London and in the region are usually not far behind. All five members have outstanding reputations and records, but it is a pity that, if and when the inquiry is accused of a whitewash, such handy ammunition will be available. Membership should not only be balanced; it should be seen to be balanced.”

Should being Jewish really disqualify them from all aspects of political life involving Middle Eastern matters?

And yet I wish I had a pound for the amount of times that someone’s Jewish background has been utilised to make a political point when it is to Israel’s detriment.

Richard Goldstone, who in his shabbily investigated report into Operation Cast Lead found Israel guilty of war crimes, has repeatedly had his objectivity placed beyond reproach solely because he is Jewish.

Then people who call for boycotts against Israel and march through London holding Hezbollah and Hamas flags think themselves beyond reproach with regards to anti-Semitism because they have a few communist Jews and the extreme religious Jewish sect of the Neturei Karta marching alongside them.

And now MEMO highlights the new British Ambassador to Israel’s Judaism as being a possible hindrance to his objectivity and raises the age-old issue of Jewish loyalty to the country in which they are citizens.

MEMO writes:

Despite Matthew Gould’s claim to be “a career diplomat”, his previous service as the principal private secretary to Labour’s David Miliband (also a member of North London’s increasingly influential Jewish community) when he was Foreign Secretary suggests that Conservative Mr. Cameron is indeed playing the Jewish card with this appointment. But for whose benefit: Britain’s or Israel’s?

This despite Cameron recently calling Gaza a “prison camp”!

Apparently Gould lost eight close relatives in the Holocaust and the MEMO article continues:

“Without wishing in any way to diminish the significance of the Holocaust on the psyche of Jews in Israel and the Diaspora – and the need to ensure that “never again” will a powerful militarised state be able to commit genocidal acts without being called to account for its actions – it is this “visceral” link which surely calls into doubt Matthew Gould’s ability to be a critical friend of Israel.”

But politicising the deaths of six million Jews in this way does “diminish the significance of the Holocaust”!

This is all despite Matthew Gould being a model British citizen, serving Britain to the best of his abilities and paying his share of taxes to support Britain’s needs.

Now the only apparent problem is that he’s Jewish.

And because he is Jewish MEMO perniciously describes Gould as “in all but name, a person with dual citizenship rights”.

In 1883, with Jews scattered across the globe and vicious pogroms against them the norm in Eastern Europe Moshe Lilienblum wrote in “The Future of Our People” the following prescient piece about smearing Jews:

“The opponents of nationalism see us as uncompromising nationalists, with a nationalist God and a nationalist Torah; the nationalists see us as cosmopolitans, whose homeland is wherever we happen to be well off. Religious Gentiles say that we are devoid of any faith, and the freethinkers among them say that we are Orthodox and believe in all kinds of nonsense; the liberals say that we are conservative and the conservatives call us liberal. Some bureaucrats and writers see us as the root of anarchy, insurrection and revolt; and the anarchists say we are capitalists, the bearers of the biblical civilization, which is, in their view, based on slavery and parasitism. Officialdom accuses us of circumventing the laws of the land – that is, of course, the laws directed specifically against us….Musicians like Richard Wagner charge us with destroying the beauty and purity of music. Even our merits are turned into shortcomings: “Few Jews are murderers,” they say, “because the Jews are cowards.” This, however, does not prevent them from accusing us of murdering Christian children.”
(The Makings of Modern Zionism, Shlomo Avineri, 1981)

In employing someone’s religious background so gratuitously in order to try to smear that person ignorant organisations like MEMO display that, for some, Lilienblum’s thesis is still intact today, 127 years later.

(For more commentary see here and here).

Banned from Parliament

I’d like to be writing a report of a meeting I attended in Parliament last night but unfortunately I was banned from entering.

The title of the talk was:

The “Jewish character” of the State of Israel, its meaning and significance, political discrimination, and the condition of Arabs in Israel.

It wasn’t a case of “not on the list you’re not coming in” but of “don’t like your views you’re not coming in”.

I had had emailed Samira of MEMO (Middle East Monitor) last Friday (23 July) to ask if I could come to last night’s meeting. I received no response so I went along to Committee Room 14 last night.

While I was queuing I was approached by Tom Eisner, of MEMO and Jews for Justice for Palestinians, who recognised me although we had never met before.

He asked if I was here to disrupt the meeting. I said I wasn’t and I had never done so in the past. He then asked for a guarantee of maybe £200, forfeited if I got ejected for disruption. I think he was joking but he did say I could go in. I asked if he could have a word with the registration-table as I had not received any response to my email.

But by then other fingers were pointing and suddenly three police officers were bearing down on me. One officer grasped my upper arm and forcibly led me away. My details were taken and I was escorted out of Parliament.

Jeremy Corbyn MP, who was hosting the meeting, passed me by and I asked if I could go to the meeting but he ignored me. I didn’t see Tom Eisner again for dust.

Later on Jonathan Hoffman was similarly banned. One of the meeting’s attendees said to him: “As a Muslim I wouldn’t be allowed into a Zionist meeting”.

Well I have been to a few pro-Israel meetings in my time, I admit, and in the audience there have been people of all races and religions. I have never seen anyone thrown out or banned unless on the odd occurrence they had made such a disturbance that it was impossible for the meeting to continue.

I don’t know the rules of Parliament but I am surprised that an MP can treat it as her or her own personal fiefdom. Parliament is for all surely. If one wants to hold a private meeting then hold it in a house, not the House. Jeremy Corbyn MP does not own Parliament.

In past meetings at Parliament I have reported awful statements made about both Jews and Israelis. In future such statements can go unreported as all anti-Israel Parliamentary meetings will be by guest list only.

A friend of mine who did manage to gain entry (will he also now be stopped from entering next time?) spoke up in the meeting and at the end was surrounded and intimidated. This was witnessed by the police and recorded.

If I had seen someone being questioned by three police officers like I was I would have enquired what was happening and requested that that person be allowed in to the meeting.

Shamefully, last night in their haste to get into yet another anti-Israel Parliamentary meeting no one spoke up for that basic democratic right.