At the Houses of Parliament last night the Palestine Return Centre (PRC) held an event called The Question of Jerusalem. It was hosted and chaired by Mark Hendrick, Labour MP for Preston.
Prof. Wendy Pullan, Senior Lecturer in the History and Philosophy of Architecture at the University of Cambridge, went first and described Jerusalem as “a badly damaged city” the blame for which she lumped on Israel due to “50 years of conflict and occupation”.
She explained that Israel’s urban planning had led to Israelis and Palestinians vilifying each other and she compared Israel’s security barrier to the Berlin Wall.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Kamel Hawwash then told of how he had recently been refused entry to Israel and treated badly at Tel Aviv airport while his wife and child were let through. He was put on a plane back to the UK. He said “Israel was an expert at inciting hatred and was not a country that wanted peace.”
Finally, Prof. Penny Green, Professor of Law and Globalisation at Queen Mary University of London, described how one of her friends who works at Hebrew University was attacked and “called a filthy Arab which is very common”.
She described the “segregation wall” and road network in the Palestinian territories as “apartheid” and said that the wall “is not about security”. She also condemned the checkpoints where Palestinians queue before they can enter Israel to work saying they are where “humans are treated worse than cattle”.
She compared the barrier to the Berlin Wall as well.
During the Q&A I got to ask a question. It isn’t easy asking a question surrounded by people trying to heckle you and drown you out but mine was aimed at Prof. Green.
I asked whether she had any sympathy with Israelis left bereaved and disabled by suicide bombers who got into Israel before the wall, which she condemned, had been built?
Hendrick immediately intervened on her behalf saying that this was a meeting about Palestine, not Israel. When I pressed that she should be allowed to answer he went outside to call armed police as you can see from these photos:
Meanwhile, the one person who did respond to my question was Hawwash who said “If Israel had been created in Uganda does anyone believe the Palestinians would have cause for political groups to go and kill Jews?”
I was then politely asked to leave the room by police and then asked to give my personal details. At one stage I was surrounded by seven heavily armed police. Then my friends Jonathan, Sharon and Mandy were all similarly led out.
One neutral elderly lady who had been in the room came out to complain to PRC representative Sameh Habeeb about how badly we had been treated.
What a total waste of police resources and time by this MP especially considering that literally outside the front door of the building two months ago a terrorist drove into and killed four tourists before then stabbing an unarmed policemen to death.
But Mark Hendrick, Labour MP for Preston, doesn’t have to campaign. He will undoubtedly be re-elected on June 8th as he has a 12,000 majority. So while all other MPs are currently back in their constituences working hard to keep their jobs Hendrick is in London helping the Palestine Return Centre pursue its ultimate goal; the annihilation of Israel.
That’s Labour politics under Jeremy Corbyn for you.