January 23, 2015

Surreal sycophancy from Blair on Abdullah

Oh just look at this from Tony Blair's website:
I am very sad indeed to hear of the passing of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.

"I am very sad indeed to hear of the passing of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
“I knew him well and admired him greatly. Despite the turmoil of events in the region around him, he remained a stable and sound ally, was a patient and skilful moderniser of his country leading it step by step into the future. He was a staunch advocate of inter faith relations. He founded KAUST, the science and technology university where women and men are educated equally. And today there are more women in higher education than men. He allowed thousands to be educated abroad people who have experience of the world and will play a big part in the future of the country. He appointed women Ministers. He invested in renewable energy. And of course he launched the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002 which has stood the test of time as a potential basis for a solution to the Israeli Palestine issue. 
“He was loved by his people and will be deeply missed."
I knew him well and admired him greatly. Despite the turmoil of events in the region around him, he remained a stable and sound ally, was a patient and skilful moderniser of his country leading it step by step into the future. He was a staunch advocate of inter faith relations. He founded KAUST, the science and technology university where women and men are educated equally. And today there are more women in higher education than men. He allowed thousands to be educated abroad people who have experience of the world and will play a big part in the future of the country. He appointed women Ministers. He invested in renewable energy. And of course he launched the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002 which has stood the test of time as a potential basis for a solution to the Israeli Palestine issue.

He was loved by his people and will be deeply missed.

Comment?  Yuk!

January 20, 2015

Pew on Views on Jews, Muslims and Roma

I'm indebted to my friend Georgina for drawing my attention to this section of the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project from May 2014:
Many people in the seven European Union nations surveyed express negative views about minority groups in their country. In particular, negative attitudes toward Roma (sometimes also known as Gypsies) are common, while many also give Muslims unfavorable ratings. Negative attitudes toward Jews are less pervasive, although substantial minorities express an unfavorable opinion about Jews as well, especially in Greece where nearly half the public hold this view. Negative sentiments about all three groups are consistently more common among people on the ideological right.
Of course that was nearly 8 months ago and much has happened since then like the attack on Gaza by Israel and the attack on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish shop by islamists.  And of course it doesn't survey Jewish opinions of Muslims or vice versa.  On that latter point, I wonder what some Muslims make of Theresa May's recent speech against anti-Jewish racism delivered round about the same time as her ministerial colleague, Eric Pickles was sending a patronising missive to mosques throughout the UK. And on that latter take a look at Michael Rosen's compare and contrast piece.


January 19, 2015

When Abba Eban opposed the use of antisemitism to promote Jewish settlement in Palestine

Here's an interesting piece from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency archive, Jan 1960.  Abba Eban opposed the idea of using antisemitism to encourage Jews to settle in occupied Palestine unlike, for example, Bibi Netanyahu:
Abba Eban, former Israel Ambassador to the United States, expressed disagreement at the first world conference of the Association of Youth Pioneers with a resolution which contended it was a “false idea” that Jews could integrate into the general life of countries outside Israel.

Mr. Eban, now a Minister Without Portfolio, told the delegates that anti-Semitism should not be a slogan for the encouragement of immigration to Israel. He said the crisis confronting Jews outside of Israel was spiritual and not economic or social, and warned that there would be no security for Israel and the entire Jewish people if, for example, the safety of American Jewry were in danger.

It is in the spiritual field that Israel’s call to Jews should come, he said, stressing that emphasis should be put on the positive side of building Israel in appeals to Jews to settle in Israel.

He also seemed to hint at support for the Jewish lobby thesis of American support for Israel but I can't be sure of that.

January 18, 2015

Spot the difference at The Guardian

The Guardian ran an article by Peter Beaumont on Friday with the headline, Why are French Jews returning to Israel in such numbers?  Someone emailed me about it wondering why The Guardian was promoting the idea that Jews settling in Palestine amounted to "returning".

I read the article and found that whilst Peter Beaumont referred to Jewish "immigration" he didn't once use the word "return" or "returning" so I tweeted this query to him:
Unfortunately I didn't do a screengrab but here is a screengrab of The Guardian's tweet of the article:


And here's the embed though, on past performance it might not last:

Anyway, now look at the headline of the article itself:

Why are French Jews heading to Israel in such numbers?

Now scroll down the article and look for where they say they amended it.  Don't spend too long on it because you won't find it.  I thought it was standard practice at The Guardian to announce their amendments.

Anyway, I wonder what led to their correcting the headline.  In fact I asked Peter Beaumont:


I'm guessing he won't answer but he does seem to be one of the good guys at the graun, in fact, he's well worth a follow on twitter.

January 13, 2015

What kind of low-life politicises suffering?

The Liberal Democrat MP, David Ward did a couple of tweets referencing the shameless appearance of Bibi Netanyahu at the Paris march after the attack on Charlie Hebdo.  Here they are:

Fairly standard stuff.  Many of us were disgusted at the sheer hypocrisy of this mass killer of civilians attending a march supposedly for the victims of a murderous attack on civilians. I think I might have tweeted about it.  Let me see.


Ah yes, I did.  Twice actually:
But of course it wasn't just Bibi's attendance at the march that caused such disgust.  He took the opportunity to call on France's Jews to join him as colonial settlers in occupied Palestine.  This had even some zionists running for cover. 

I searched in vain for the Jewish Chronicle's report on Bibi's disgrace but what I did find was condemnation of David Ward's tweets.
Tweet sents from Mr Ward’s account read: “Netanyahu in Paris march – makes me feel sick. Je suis Palestinian”.
In a letter to deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, ambassador Daniel Taub wrote: “Mr Ward’s statement is a disgraceful attempt to politicise suffering.
“It also exhibits a callous disregard for the Jews of France, many of whom look to Israel as they are increasingly targeted merely because of their religion.
Does Zionising suffering not count as politicising?

January 04, 2015

Dr Ronnie Fraser of FUCU fame

Whilst looking for stuff about the FUCU costs case I noticed that in spite of being derided by three judges for a colossal logic fail, Ronnie Fraser was awarded just recently a Phd.
Here's one report in the Jewish Chronicle:
The director of the Academic Friends of Israel, Ronnie Fraser, can at last breathe a sigh of relief.

After his failed legal action against the University College Union over its anti-Israel policy, the union launched a claim to recover around £500,000 in costs from him and his lawyers Mishcon de Reya.

Nearly two years after the original case, the parties have agreed a confidential out-of -court settlement and the UCU has withdrawn its application.

In fact, on the day of the scheduled costs hearing, he was able to do something far more pleasant than watch lawyers slugging it out again.

He was able to attend his own degree ceremony — Dr Fraser, as he has now become, has just been awarded his PhD by Royal Holloway, University of London, for a thesis on the links between British and Israeli trade unions.
Royal Holloway?  I think prominent zionist, David Cesarani, lectures there so I googled, royal holloway david cesarani ronnie fraser and what came first?  Ronnie Fraser's personal profile page at Royal Holloway.  He's listed as Postgraduate research student supervised by David Cesarani.  Small world huh?

His doctorate seems to have taken him about nine years to achieve but then he has been busy on other things.  And what was his thesis titled? The TUC and the Histadrut, 1945-1982: a problematic relationship.

It might make an interesting read but I find it more interesting the way prominent zionists have taken care of Dr Ronnie these past few years.

Wiping Israel off the map?

I just read on the Jewish Chronicle website that Harper Collins left Israel off of the map in an atlas it sells in the Middle East.
The American-based publishing giant said it regretted leaving the country out of atlases it sells to English-speaking schools in the Middle East.

In a statement reported in the Israeli media, it said: “HarperCollins regrets the omission of the name Israel from their Collins Middle East Atlas. This product has now been removed from sale in all territories and all remaining stock will be pulped. HarperCollins sincerely apologises for this omission and for any offence caused”.
They're making it seem like an accident or oversight or something.  Let's have a look at this map:



Well well, the West Bank and Gaza but no Israel.  And no Palestine either.

But see more of the JC report:
Earlier in the week Collins Bartholomew, a subsidiary of HarperCollins, told the Catholic newspaper, The Tablet, that including Israel in its “Collins Primary Geography Atlas For The Middle East” would have been “unacceptable” to customers in the Gulf states.

Leaving Israel off the maps incorporated “local preferences,” it said.

But if the omission of Israel was to incorporate "local preferences" why no Palestine? And if they do include Israel where will the boundaries go?

I tend to the view that Israel's existence is only temporary anyway.  Maybe Harper Collins should simply wait until Israel disappears and then publish its atlas in the Middle East.

December 30, 2014

FUCU costs settled out of court

Now here's a thing.  It appears that UCU has settled its costs dispute with Ronnie Fraser's lawyers, Mishcon de Reya, out of court.

The last I had read of this case was on the Israel advocacy site, Engage, where David Hirsh said that
The hearing for costs will take place next Wednesday, the first day of Channukah.  Nobody is expecting a miracle.
The first day of Channukah was 17 December 2014 but I didn't see anything about the hearing then or since until I did a bit of googling just now.  I found just one source for the out of court settlement of the costs issue and that was the Jewish Chronicle dated, 24 December, or Christmas Eve or even the last day of Channukah.  Maybe Hirsh was confused, I don't know.  Anyway, here's the JC:
A union which won an employment tribunal brought by a Jewish academic who claimed he had been harassed has agreed an out-of-court settlement in its own claim for costs.

The University College Union said it had agreed a deal with Ronnie Fraser’s lawyers Mishcon de Reya after long-running legal argument.

Mr Fraser, director of Academic Friends of Israel, lost his tribunal last year after claiming the union’s anti-Israel stance amounted to harassment.

The battle for legal costs had subsequently gone on for more than a year, with the UCU trying to recover around £600,000.

In a statement issued on Tuesday night, the union and the law firm said: “The costs application by the University and College Union against Mishcon de Reya has been settled on confidential terms to the satisfaction of the parties.

“The University and College Union has, as a result, withdrawn its application against Mr Fraser.”

Mr Fraser and his wife thanked supporters for their backing over the past three and a half years since the case began.
 I'm a bit confused here.  See this bit:
The costs application by the University and College Union against Mishcon de Reya has been settled on confidential terms to the satisfaction of the parties.
 Followed by this bit:
The University and College Union has, as a result, withdrawn its application against Mr Fraser.
 I think the original judgement hinted that Fraser was really a front for other more powerful players and if Marcus Dysch's JC report is accurate then maybe Mishcon de Reya has admitted as much.

December 08, 2014

FUCU costs hearing update: We don't need no re-Ron

Oi gevalt!  What's that they say about the wheels of justice?  It turns out the hearing today regarding the FUCU case costs hearing, wasn't the costs hearing itself.  It was the application of Ronnie Fraser to appeal against an earlier ruling that the case could be heard in 2 days.  The Fraser side wanted every piece of "evidence" re-examined to show how valid the case was.  The original case took 20 days.  And, Israel advocate, David Hirsh, says it's the UCU trying to punish Ronnie Fraser.

Anyway, the people hearing the appeal today would not grant leave to appeal or put another way, we don't need no re-Ron. H/T Gil Scott Heron

Needless to say, Dr Hirsh is not a happy bunny:
NB this was a hearing to gain leave to appeal this previous decision to allow a summary hearing of costs, it was not the appeal itself.

The Appeal Judge did not give leave to appeal.   He refused to overrule the lower Judge’s determination that a fair hearing for costs can be carried out in two days.

In a verbal judgment, he seemed explicitly to close ranks with the lower Employment Tribunal Judges.  He went out of his way gratuitously to praise the Snelson Judgment, saying that it was “very well written”.  He quoted, apparently approvingly, the most trenchant and absurd paragraphs of the Snelson judgment, the ones which led to the recusal.  He praised the chair of the new tribunal Judge Wade’s decision that a fair hearing for costs can be carried out in one day of reading and one day of argument, with no new evidence, no witnesses, relying mainly on the Snelson judgment which itself went far beyond its remit in the determination of facts and offered opinion about the bad faith, underhand intentions and wastefulness of the whole action.

The hearing for costs will take place next Wednesday, the first day of Channukah.  Nobody is expecting a miracle.
So I presume the appeal won't happen now so it's full steam ahead to the costs hearing itself.

FUCU case to be revisited by Tribunal today

I just saw the following tweet from the Israel advocacy site, Engage:
Following the link to the article on the site itself I find that:
UCU is in court again today looking to make Ronnie Fraser pay hundreds of thousands of pounds for daring to challenge its antisemitism.

The original tribunal, led by Judge Snelson, found that nothing that ever happened in the UCU was antisemitic and that Fraser was raising the issue of antisemitism in bad faith in order to get an underhand advantage in the Israel/Palestine debate.

The Tribunal didn't actually say that "nothing that ever happened in the UCU was antisemitic" or even "that Fraser was raising the issue of antisemitism in bad faith in order to get an underhand advantage in the Israel/Palestine debate" though, to be sure, there were hints of that throughout the judgement (pdf).

Take a look at the report on the original judgement at the Times Higher Education site:
Mr Fraser, the child of refugees who fled Nazi Germany, is viewed as a “sincere witness”, but the tribunal notes his “political experience” and are not impressed by his claim that the tone of several debates at the UCU’s annual congress “violated his dignity”, thereby constituting harassment......

Scorn is also invoked for Mr Julius’s decision to pursue certain points, with complaints variously dismissed as “palpably groundless”, “obviously hopeless” and “devoid of any merit”.
 It doesn't quite tally with the claim made by Engage's Dr David Hirsh.

Anyway, let's remind ourselves of where we're at with this costs claim.  UCU entered a claim for costs on the grounds that Ronnie Fraser's action was frivolous and vexatious.  Fraser's people argued that the original tribunal members had already indicated where they stood on the question of costs and the original tribunal recused (absented) themselves as their judgement, whilst not taking a position on liability for costs could have been understood that way by others.

So here we have another tribunal to rule on whether UCU or Ronnie Fraser should pick up the tab for what was for the zionist movement a disastrously ill-advised action.

ZFUK invites rape advocate to address meeting in the UK

I just got this email from Tony Greenstein:
The Zionist Federation & Sussex Friends of Israel Have Invited Professor Mordechai Kedar to Speak at Ralli House, Brighton at 7.00 p.m. Monday 8th December 2014" http://www.sussexjewishrepresentativecouncil.org/an-evening-with-mordechai-kedar/

THERE WILL BE A PICKET FROM 6 pm ORGANISED BY PALESTINE SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN

Mordechai Kedar is a Professor at Tel Aviv’s Bar Ilan orthodox religious university.  The statement by Kedar that the mothers or sisters of ‘terrorists’ should be raped breaks new ground, even for the religious Orthodox.  Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper reported on 22nd July 2014 that 'Professor' Kedar called for the sisters or mothers of 'terrorists' to be raped as a deterrent.  Leaving aside the fact that 2,000 Gazan civilians, including over 500 children, were murdered by Israeli  bombing during the summer.  The idea that someone’s sister or mother should be raped as a deterrent or punishment is so abhorrent that it defies comprehension.

But this has not stopped the Zionist Federation  locally and nationally inviting Kedar as a speaker to meetings, including one at Ralli House, Hove tomorrow at 7 pm.  http://www.zionist.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/An-Evening-with-Mordechai-Kedar-ZF-copy.jpg   Palestine Solidarity Campaign is picketting this meeting from 6 pm onwards and invites you to join us in a picket against this misogynist and racist.  Kedar’s views on immigration are also no different from that of the EDL/BNP.  He was quoted in Israel’s widest circulation newspaper, Yediot Aharanot as saying that Islam is taking over Europe. News - Expert: Islam taking over, Europe soon to be unrecognizable

This Nazi style pronouncement is just one of the barbarous and misogynist announcements of the settler and religious right in Israel today.  It follows the pouring of petrol inside the mouth of a boy aged 16 because 3 settler teens were kidnapped and killed, as if one in any way justified the other.  It comes as a reign of terror is being instituted by settlers, with the support of the Israeli army, across the West Bank. Israeli Arabs are also now being killed regularly by the Police on demonstrations, whereas Jewish demonstrators are never met with live bullets.

At uch short notice it will be interesting to see how many Palestine Solidarity supporters join the picket.

November 24, 2014

London Palestine Film Festival 2014

The London Palestine Film Festival 2014 opens on Friday November 28.  Here's brief history of the festival from the sites, "about" page:
The first London Palestine Film Festival was held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in Spring 1999. In response to public interest, the organisers decided in 2004 to establish the Palestine Film Foundation (PFF) as a body dedicated to the coordination of the festival and to the archiving of audiovisual materials related to Palestine.

The PFF is a nonprofit initiative which seeks to develop an audience for and to encourage the development of a Palestinian cinema and cinema related to Palestine. It is managed by a network of academics, curators, filmmakers, and volunteers from Palestine, the UK and elsewhere.

In addition to the annual festival, the PFF coordinates film and video related tours, special screenings and film linked seminars throughout the year and across the UK. These activities allow the PFF to introduce innovative and important works of documentary and fiction to new audiences and to provide a forum for visiting artists to engage UK audiences with work that is otherwise seldom screened.

From 2012, the PFF began developing a new web portal designed to increase access to its expansive archive of film and video related resources. Funding is currently being sought for this new online platform for research, exhibition, and distribution, with the site expected to launch in summer 2013.

The PFF relies on charitable donations, partnerships, and funding to deliver its projects. Please consider making a secure donation to the PFF using the button at the left of this page.
And details of the current year's festival are here.

November 22, 2014

The World is my Country - Leon Rosselson in Covent Garden

From  
The Poetry Cafe
22 Betterton Street
Covent Garden
London
WC2H PBP
0207 420 9888
 
Fourth Friday takes place at the Poetry Cafe from 8pm to 10:30pm -ish on the fourth Friday of almost every month.

There is a bar, food and disabled access.

The nearest tube station is Covent Garden.
Admission £7 (£5 concessions).
 

Next fourth friday, 28th November, we consider pacifism in WW1: singer songwriter Leon Rosselson ; poets Jenny Lewis, Alan Brownjohn, Anna Robinson; singers Krysia Mansfied, Dan Kennedy

November 28thThe World is my Country. One key aspect of the First World War receiving little or no attention in this year’s commemorations is the history of the people and organisations that opposed it. We offer new insights on World War One and its objectors with poems and songs commissioned by Peace News and introduced by PN’s Emily Johns.  In addition, there’ll be great anti-war songs and more from acclaimed singer songwriter Leon Rosselson.       Jenny Lewis will be reading from her collection, Taking Mesopotamia, published this year by Carcanet and inspired by her search for her lost father—who led his troops  across the desert by starlight in the ill-fated Mesopotamian campaign of World War One and died in the Second World War when Jenny was a few months old. Jenny Lewis (below) trained as a painter at the Ruskin School of Art before reading English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. She has published three collections of poetry as well as two pamphlets with the Iraqi poet Adnan Al-Sayegh.  She teaches poetry at Oxford University. ‘Taking Mesopotamia in one slim volume mines a rich seam from the Epic of Gilgamesh via Welsh mining communities and the First World War to the most recent Iraq wars.’  (Poetry Society)


Items from the floor, especially on themes of peace and war, welcomed.

November 08, 2014

Opposing Zionism from the West Bank to the South Bank

Press report from the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network:

No Israeli Funding of the Arts
Southbank, London, 5 November 2014.  A lively and colourful 50 person-strong protest outside the BFI (British Film Institute) condemned the BFI for hosting an Israeli-sponsored film festival only weeks after Israel committed mass-murder, killing 2100 people, including over 500 children during its 51-day assault of Gaza.



Called by a new initiative, No Israeli Funding of the Arts (NIFA) [1], protestors from all walks of life, including Muslim, Jewish and Israeli, chanted and spoke out against the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) because it had insisted on accepting Israeli funding – in the midst of Israel’s war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and incitement to genocide [2] – even when offered alternative funding.
Protestors spoke out against the presence of Secretary of State for Culture, Sajid Javid, at this opening gala of the UKJFF – he had slandered opponents of Israeli funding of the film festival by implying they were guilty of antisemitism.  The tiny Zionist counter-protest used the same slur.
Protests against the film festival at the Tricycle last year called for it to reject Israeli funding, and this summer the Tricycle made its courageous decision to reject the tainted funding. Last night’s protest publicised that over 500 artists and theatre practitioners had publicly defended the Tricycle from the false accusation of antisemitism when it had offered to replace Israeli funding so that the film festival could take place there.
Public protest had already closed down an Israeli-funded theatre company at the Edinburgh Fringe.  Besides the Tricycle, the Bristol Encounters Film Festival and artists from Sao Paulo Art Biennial had all rejected Israeli Embassy funding in this last period.
There will be further protests against the Israeli-funded film festival.


[1] See No Israeli Funding of the Arts letter to all the cinemas hosting the UKJFF here.
[2] Russell Tribunal on Palestine

November 06, 2014

DEMAND “NO” TO ISRAELI SPONSORED FILM FESTIVAL

From the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
 
Protest the Israeli-funded UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) taking place between 6-23 November in cinemas in Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham.


NO ISRAELI FUNDING OF THE ARTS
DEMAND “NO” TO ISRAELI SPONSORED FILM FESTIVAL


Protest @ BFI Southbank
Thursday, 6 November 6.45-8pm
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT
Tubes: Waterloo (South Bank exit), Embankment and Charing Cross
bring your banners, placards, megaphones & chants!


The Israeli Embassy is a sponsor of the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF).  Only a few weeks ago the Israeli state again slaughtered the people of Gaza: over 2100 killed, over 500 were children.
Palestinians look up at the remains of an Italian apartment block that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike overnight in Gaza City on August 26, 2014. An Israeli air raid in Gaza killed two Palestinians as Israel pursued its campaign to stop rocket fire by Hamas militants from the enclave, medics said.
Destroyed flats, Gaza City
We welcomed that the Tricycle took a stand against the festival’s funding by the Israeli Embassy during Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza.  Over 500 artists and theatre practitioners publicly defended the Tricycle.
Disgracefully, the BFI Southbank is helping to re-brand Israel – it’s hosting the opening gala night of the festival.  Secretary of State for Culture, Sajid Javid – who slandered the Tricycle by implying antisemitism – said he would attend.  The Israeli ambassador is also expected.
Israel’s apologists attacked the Tricycle to try to distract the public from Gaza while children were killed in their homes as they slept, with their parents as they fled, in UN shelters where they were told they would be safe, in hospitals, in mosques, while playing football: by bloodied tanks, F16s, drones, bunker busters, sea-to-land missiles, remote-controlled machine guns . . .
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (Sept 2014) found that Israel committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and incitement to genocide.
Join our BDS protest against collaboration with mass-murderers




Public protest closed down an Israeli-funded theatre company at the Edinburgh Fringe.  The Tricycle, the Bristol Encounters Film Festival, artists from Sao Paulo Art Biennial all rejected Israeli Embassy funding.
See our No Israeli Funding of the Arts (NIFA) letter to all the cinemas here.
Contact your the cinemas by phone, email, website, leaflet or street protest, and let them know what you think of them hosting an Israeli-funded event. Call or write to the local press or call-in radio. (All cinema contact details are here.)

October 31, 2014

Jewish Chronicle forced to tell the truth, shock!

Here's a heart warming tale of how the Jewish Chronicle was forced to be honest not once but twice.

Check out the Palestine Solidarity Campaign for full details but here's a taste:

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has demanded that The Jewish Chronicle reissue a correction to a story which made false claims about Palestine Solidarity Campaign and our director, Sarah Colborne.

The demand came after The Jewish Chronicle (JC) failed to adhere to an agreement made with the PCC that the original correction would remain on the homepage of its website for two days and two nights.  After uploading the correction onto its UK News page on 23rd October, the JC then removed it later the same afternoon.

A week later, following intervention from the PCC, the JC is today (30th October) once again carrying the correction. This time, the link to the correction is on the homepage as agreed, and will remain there until 1st November.

The JC’s original story, which resulted in our complaint to the PCC, was published online on 17th July on its homepage, and was headlined Pro-Palestinian group says its supporters made antisemitic comments.

This was a completely false headline, and attributed comments to Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Director, Sarah Colborne, which were never made.

So here's the JC's link as it appears on its homepage,  The Palestine Solidarity Campaign which doesn't give much away.  And here's the correction as it appears when you click on the link:

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign

In an article published on July 17 headlined 'Pro-Palestinian group says its supporters made antisemitic comments', we stated that the Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Sarah Colborne, had said that demonstrations against the Gaza conflict "had been used by people to 'peddle hatred and intolerance' towards Jews".

Ms Colborne had not said that. In fact, what she had said was: "The Palestine Solidarity Campaign opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and racism directed against Palestinians whether living in the West Bank and Jerusalem, or as citizens of Israel." We are happy to set the record straight.

Last updated: 11:17am, October 30 2014


If they're so happy to set the record straight why did they hide the link when they did?

October 29, 2014

More Saying No to Brand Israel

An email from the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network:


NO ISRAELI FUNDING OF THE ARTS
DEMAND “NO” TO ISRAELI SPONSORED FILM FESTIVAL


Protest the Israeli-funded UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) taking place between 6-23 November in cinemas in Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham.

Public protest closed down an Israeli-funded theatre company at the Edinburgh Fringe. The Tricycle, the Bristol Encounters Film Festival, artists from Sao Paulo Art Biennial all rejected Israeli Embassy funding.

IJAN is centrally involved in the No Israeli Funding of the Arts (NIFA) initiative. See NIFA’s letter to all the cinemas here.

Contact your local (or even distant) cinema by phone, email, website, leaflet or street protest, and let them know what you think of them hosting an Israeli-funded event. Call or write to the local press or call-in radio to tell them what you think of their Israeli rebranding. (All cinema contact details are here.)

One of the opening gala nights is at the London BFI on 6 November (see below) we will protest their collaboration with the slaughterers of the Gazan people.


Protest @ BFI Southbank
Thursday, 6 November 6.45-8pm
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT
Tubes: Waterloo (South Bank exit), Embankment and Charing Cross
bring your banners, placards, megaphones & chants!


The Israeli Embassy is a sponsor of the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF).  Only a few weeks ago the Israeli state again slaughtered the people of Gaza: over 2000 killed, over 500 were children.
Palestinians look up at the remains of an Italian apartment block that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike overnight in Gaza City on August 26, 2014. An Israeli air raid in Gaza killed two Palestinians as Israel pursued its campaign to stop rocket fire by Hamas militants from the enclave, medics said.
Destroyed block of flats, Gaza City
We welcomed that the Tricycle took a stand against the festival’s funding by the Israeli Embassy during Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza.  Over 500 artists and theatre practitioners publicly defended the Tricycle.
Disgracefully, the BFI Southbank is helping to re-brand Israel – it’s hosting the opening gala night of the festivalSecretary of State for Culture, Sajid Javid – who slandered the Tricycle by implying antisemitism – said he would attend.  The Israeli ambassador is also expected.
Israel’s apologists attacked the Tricycle to try to distract the public from Gaza while children were killed in their homes as they slept, with their parents as they fled, in UN shelters where they were told they would be safe, in hospitals, in mosques, while playing football: by bloodied tanks, F16s, drones, bunker busters, sea-to-land missiles, remote-controlled machine guns . . .
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (Sept 2014) found that Israel committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and incitement to genocide.
Join our protest against collaboration with mass-murderers


October 15, 2014

Saying No to Brand Israel

From the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

NO ISRAELI FUNDING OF THE ARTS


IJAN is centrally involved in the No Israeli Funding of the Arts initiative – we want everyone we are in touch with to know that the Israeli-funded UKJFF (UK Jewish Film Festival) is taking place this year (6-23 November) in cinemas in Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham.
We have written to all the cinemas – see our letter below – and we are asking that you contact your local (or even a distant) cinema by phone, email, website, leaflet or street protest, and let them know what you think of them hosting an Israeli-funded event. (All cinema contact details are at end of this email.) Call or write to the local press or call-in radio to tell them what you think of their not caring for the Jewish films, only for the Israeli rebranding (see below).
Check the UKJFF calendar to find when each cinema is hosting UKJFF films.  The opening gala night is at the London BFI on 6 November – we are planning to protest their collaboration with the slaughterers of the Gazan people.
Note: IJAN workshop, From Gaza to Ferguson @ Anarchist Bookfair, 18 Oct, 3-4pm
NO ISRAELI FUNDING OF THE ARTS
LETTER TO CINEMAS HOSTING THE UK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL


We are writing to you as one of the cinemas hosting the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) 6-23 November, 2014, to ask that you reconsider.

Who we are
We are a diverse group, including Israeli and other Jewish people, most of us local to, and often in the audience of, the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, northwest London. In 2012 local residents leafleted the cinema to oppose its hosting of the Israeli-sponsored UKJFF; in 2013 we protested outside the Tricycle when it again hosted the UKJFF. (The protests were called by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.)

Tricycle / UKJFF
This year, many including ourselves, welcomed the Tricycle’s stand against the festival’s funding by the Israeli Embassy during Israel’s 50-day slaughter on Gaza.
The Tricycle had offered the organisers of the UKJFF replacement funding so that the film festival could go ahead at the Tricycle.  But the UKJFF refused their offer and to dissociate itself from the Israeli government – the priority was Israeli sponsorship, rather than the film festival.  Is the UKJFF merely a means to a political end, to give Israel a humanist image?

Who attacked the Tricycle
The Government’s Chief Whip, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the Israeli Ambassador, each publicly attacked the Tricycle for having refused Israeli sponsorship.  They slandered the Tricycle by accusing it of antisemitism; as did donors and local councillors who threatened to withdraw funds and involve the Charity Commission.

Who defended the Tricycle
Support came from National Theatre director, Nicholas Hytner, acclaimed director Lenny Abrahamson; over 500 artists, including prominent theatre directors and playwrights, some of whom affirmed “We artists have a right to boycott” (letter to the Stage); and note the artists’ solidarity page: “The Tricycle Theatre is Not Anti-Semitic.

In July, Scottish artists, including National Poet Liz Lochhead, signed an open letter in The Herald protesting an Israeli-funded theatre company at the Edinburgh Fringe. After vociferous public protest, the show closed after one performance.

Following the Tricycle’s refusal of Israeli funding, the Encounters Film Festival in Bristol and artists from the 31st Sao Paulo Art Biennial in Brazil also refused Israeli funding.

What Israel’s apologists did
While crying antisemitism, Israel’s apologists used their attack on the Tricycle to try to distract the public from Gaza: from seeing Israeli politicians, religious authorities, journalists and the public, calling for mass rape, mass murder, even genocide of Palestinians; from the bloodied tanks, F16s, drones, bunker busters, sea-to-land missiles, remote-controlled machine guns, that blasted schools, hospitals, mosques, blocks of flats, children playing football; and from the 2,200 Gazans killed -- over 500 children, and half a million displaced.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine found evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and also incitement to genocide.

What happened to the Tricycle
Even while Gaza was being destroyed, the Tricycle was forced to retreat.  But actress Maureen Lipman, advocating for the UKJFF admitted that they knew the depth of the community’s support for the theatre’s stand, announcing that the festival was unlikely to go back to the Tricycle any time soon.

That stand reaffirmed that the arts are social and political.  It was welcomed by anti-racists everywhere. And please note: both the local council and the Arts Council ruled out loss of funding.

What we want you to do
The assistant manager of the Everyman cinema insisted that “refusing to host any arts festival on political grounds will cause more harm than good.” (Email, 10 September 2014.) The Everyman’s is not a principled position – it is complicity and appeasement.  It is the argument of those who refused to boycott South African apartheid.

Who knows better than Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a proponent of cultural boycott, who said, “We in South Africa know about oppression and occupation and know about the power of BDS” (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions)?

We ask that you take direction from the anti-racist, non-violent, Palestinian-led BDS movement.

We ask that you refuse to host the UKJFF – not because it is Jewish, of course, but because it is funded by the Israeli Embassy.  The embassy’s job, especially in London (the boycott “hub”) is to promote what it calls Brand Israel – state-sponsored propaganda, designed to camouflage Israeli brutality within a smokescreen of culture, including film festivals.

We ask that you side with the victims and survivors of the assault on Gaza – not be part of the cover-up of war crimes being committed against them.



CINEMAS HOSTING THE UKJFF
Glasgow
Venue              CCA (Centre for Contemporary Arts)
Address           350 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3JD
Email               gen@cca-glasgow.com
Telephone       0141 352 4900

Venue              Glasgow Film Theatre
Address           12 Rose St, Glasgow, Lanarkshire G3 6RB
Email               jaki.mcdougall@glasgowfilm.org (Chief Executive)
Telephone       0141 332 6535 
Leeds
Venue              MAZCC
Address           311 Stonegate Road, Leeds LS17 6AZ
Email:              enquiries@ljwb.co.uk
Telephone       0113 268 4211

Venue              Seven Arts Centre
Address           31(a) Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 3PD
Email               info@sevenleeds.co.uk
Telephone       0113 26 26 777

London

Venue              Arthouse Crouch End
Address:          159A Tottenham Lane, N8 9BT
Email               info@arthousecrouchend.co.uk
Telephone       020 8245 3099

Venue              BAFTA British Academy of Film and Television Arts
Address           195 Piccadilly, W1J 9LN
Email               info@bafta.org
Telephone       020 7734 0022

Venue              Barbican
Address           Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS
Email               film@barbican.org.uk
Telephone       020 7638 4141

Venue              BFI Southbank
Address           Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XT
Email               director@bfi.org.uk
Telephone       020 7255 1444

Venue              Ciné Lumière
Address           17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT
Email               box.office@institutfrancais.org.uk   
Telephone       020 7871 3515

Venue              Curzon Mayfair
Address           38 Curzon Street, W1J 7TY
Email               manager.mayfair@curzon.com

Venue              Odeon Muswell Hill
Address           Fortis Green Road, N10 3HP
Telephone       0207 321 6237 (conferencing & events)

Venue              Everyman Maida Vale
Address           215 Sutherland Avenue, W9 1RU
Email               maidavale.manager@everymancinema.com
Telephone       0871 906 9060 

Venue              Everyman Hampstead
Address           5 Holly Bush Vale, NW3 6TX
Email               hampstead.manager@everymancinema.com
Telephone       0871 906 9060 

Venue              JW3
Address           341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET
Email               info@jw3.org.uk
Telephone       020 7433 8988

Venue              LJCC (London Jewish Cultural Centre)
Address           Ivy House, 94-96 North End Road, NW11 7SX
Email               admin@ljcc.org.uk 
Contact form   http://www.ljcc.org.uk/contact/ 
Telephone       020 8457 5000

Venue              Odeon South Woodford
Address           60/64 High Road, South Woodford, E18 2QL
Telephone       0207 321 6237 (conferencing & events)

Venue              Odeon Swiss Cottage
Address           96 Finchley Rd, NW3 5EL
Telephone       0207 321 6237 (conferencing & events)

Venue              Phoenix Cinema
Address           52 High Road, East Finchley, N2 9PJ
Email               management@phoenixcinema.co.uk 
Telephone       020 8444 6789

Manchester
Venue              Cornerhouse
Address           70 Oxford St, Manchester M1 5NH
Email               info@cornerhouse.org
Telephone       0161 228 7621 

Venue              Cineworld Didsbury
Address           Parrs Wood Entertainment Centre, Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M20 5PG
Contact form   https://www.cineworld.co.uk/contact  (250 words max.)
Telephone       0208 742 4010 

Venue              Menorah
Address           198 Altrincham Rd, Wythenshawe, Manchester M22 4RZ
Email               filmclub@menorah.org.uk
Telephone       0161 428 7746

Nottingham
Venue              Broadway Cinema
Address           14–18 Broad St, Nottingham NG1 3AL
Email               info@broadway.org.uk
Contact form   http://www.broadway.org.uk/contact/steve (Chief Executive)
Telephone       0115 9526 611