General Antisemitism

So Shall You Reap

The distressing news that Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to the UK had been attacked by violent ‘pro-Palestinian’ protestors on April 28th at the University of Manchester came as no surprise to me: it is an event which has been in the making for a long time, the build-up to which I watched unfold with my own eyes during the time I worked on that campus.

Throughout Operation Cast Lead and for several weeks following it, the atmosphere on campus was one of aggression and menace as students staged demonstrations and occupied part of the university. Working in a building close to the Students Union, I found myself having to listen to hours of hostile chants through a megaphone and obliged to negotiate anti-Israeli posters, placards and demonstrations just to get out of the building and to the bus stop. On several occasions I was accosted by activists handing out of leaflets or soliciting donations. When I declined to contribute, a torrent of verbal abuse followed which became even uglier when the Star of David I wear was spotted. In February 2009 the Student Union newspaper reported that a Jewish SU leader had threatening graffiti scrawled on his door. Make no mistake; these protests were anti-Israeli, not pro-Palestinian.

Much of the activism at Manchester and other British universities is organised by a group called ‘Action Palestine’ which works together with organisations which will be familiar to many readers such as Jews for Justice for Palestinians, ICAHD UK, Friends of Al Aqsa, Machsom Watch, The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, BRICUP and the Stop the War Coalition. Among these organisations, Machsom Watch and ICAHD at least have received EU funding which they use to promote the delegitimisation of Israel. ICAHD UK advocates a boycott of Israeli goods based upon what it calls ‘the Manchester model’. In other words, the harassment of Israeli and Jewish students and staff at British universities is being aided by organizations receiving funding from British tax payers via the EU.

In December 2009, BRICUP organised a tour of several British universities including Manchester by the notorious South African trade union leader Bongani Masuku, together with Ronnie Kasrils and Omar Barghouti. At the time, my objections to the university hosting such promoters of hatred were dismissed on the basis of ‘academic freedom of expression’. In February 2010 an exhibition of Israeli science and technology at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry was the target of a campaign by assorted pro-Palestinian groups whose letter of objection to the exhibition was published in the then Guardian Media Group owned Manchester Evening News as well as in the Guardian itself. Also in February, Ms. Lador–Fresher was forced to cancel her planned talk at the University of Manchester due to a campaign by Action Palestine which included demonstrations and the statement that “we are calling a Protest against Israeli War Crimes in Palestine at 2 pm outside the Students Union steps before the Pol Soc meeting on the 18th to show Mrs Talya Lador-Fresher that neither she or the state she represents are welcome on the premises of our democratically run Union that prides itself on being a student-run establishment which does not endorse nor fund apartheid regimes responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians. “

Despite this, Ms Lador-Fresher bravely tried once more to exercise her right to speak at the university’s Political Society this week. The intimidation she suffered as a result gives out a very clear message: the basic rights of Israelis to free speech and personal safety are being deliberately suppressed by these activists. There is to be no opportunity for debate, no exchange of ideas and no respect for differing points of view. This is a generation of students which is not only being raised to believe that Israel is an illegitimate, apartheid state, but which is being denied the opportunity to discover any differing point of view on the subject. This is also a generation which is being raised with warped ideas of democracy in which the rule of intimidation and menace prevents the expression of ideas and beliefs deemed unacceptable to those who promote their political agenda by shouting down others. It is a generation for whom the concept of the human rights of one minority group- Jews- to freedom of expression and self determination are already foreign, and it would be a mistake to believe that such disregard will begin and end with Jews. Worryingly, it is also the generation from which Britain’s future leaders will spring, and that should be cause for concern to every right-thinking person in British society today.

Categories: General Antisemitism

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60 replies »

  1. Yohoho

    “And to call someone like you antisemitic when he/she makes antisemitic remarks ”

    Like what?

  2. Berchmans – you do have a short attention span and memory, don’t you?

    You told Mitnaged that you didn’t blame Hamas for hating Jews (note Jews not Israelis) “now.”

    You proved then, and have umpteen times since, that you don’t care to distinguish between them when your mad is up.

    (Go look up the other instances. I don’t have the time or the inclination).

  3. The amoral Berchmans attempts to preach morality to me ordering me not to describe Hamas as behaving like rats. The description was his while the identification was unavoidable.

  4. Yohoho

    “You told Mitnaged that you didn’t blame Hamas for hating Jews now”

    Its the Jews that are their enemies isnt it? Do you expect Hamas to love them…what kind of pillock would that make you? You are again sliding about between calling Israel ” Israel” and the ” Jewish State.” You slip in and out of gear like a novice, crunching them as you go.

    I repeat …out of say ten thousand posts …maybe more (4 years at 365 days at 10 a day ) that is it? Thats your evidence??? Case dismissed!


    ” ordering me not to describe Hamas as behaving like rats. The description was his ”

    Nose getting longer there brother ? You know very well I never said that. I said ” scurrying from the IDF ”

    This is a monitoring site ..details are important…you should post before you uncork.

  5. Only just saw the following:


    You can be sure that if it were Jewish students merely heckling a Palestinian-supporter it would have been splashed all over the British media as “Jewish anti-democratic actions”.

    Even allowing for a bit of hyerbole (which we’re all prone to indulge in on occasion), this is still way OTT.

    I can appreciate giving a post the thumbs up because you agree with its overall sentiment – but surely people here don’t agree with every single word of the above post, do they?

  6. Berchmans, Oooer missus! I have got you rattled, haven’t I? Were you always this slow? All these years and you still can’t tell the difference between what is anti-Israel (which may or may not have some foundation) and antisemitic (which can never be right). Not very self-reflective are you?

    Yes, Israel is fighting Hamas and Israel is a Jewish state, but it does not fight against Hamas Muslims because it is Jewish. Hamas Muslims fight against Israel and want to wipe it out because it is Jewish. They, like you, regularly confuse “the Zionist entity” with “Jews” or “Jewish.” Are you getting it yet?

    Hamas wants an Islamist state and quotes the Koran; the word, allegedly of its god to its prophet, to underpin its hatred and have Muslims world-wide support it like sheep. This means that Hamas-type Jew-hatred is a very Muslim thing to do. Still with me?

    However, I know that neither Israeli Jews nor Jews anywhere do not routinely hate Muslims (their Torah certainly does not tell them to kill Muslims wherever they find them as per the hadith quoted in the Hamas Charter to lend its mindless hatred more substance); indeed there are many Israeli Muslims in positions of power in the Israeli government.

    Once again, are you getting it yet?


    Why am I not surprised?

  7. A friend forwarded me the reply he got to his email of complaint to the University. Self-explanatory and sickening. Note how Dr Henshaw says that the university is “unmoved” by outside reaction to what took place, and the usual bleating about freedom of expression (which in this case obviously includes threatening behaviour provided it’s towards Israelis and pro-Israelis. Note also how she says that the university is committed to freedom of speech within the law (but I guess not as committed to ensuring that the walk matches the talk):

    This lot are a thoroughly disreputable shower – there’s no other name for them:

    “Thank you for your email concerning the presentation by the Deputy Ambassador to the Student’s Union’s Politics Society on Wednesday 28 April. I can assure you that the University takes most seriously the issues you have raised.

    “The University is fundamentally committed to freedom of speech exercised within the law. This commitment is elaborated in the enclosed Statement which is not only a guiding principle for the University, but is also a requirement of the provisions of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986.

    “More than any other institution, universities have an obligation to permit robust debate and accept that the true test of freedom of speech is not whether we tolerate views with which we disagree profoundly, but whether we accept the right of others to express lawful views that we find shocking, deeply offensive or repulsive. It is always disappointing when opposing groups choose to try and shout down rather than engage with speakers expressing different positions on human rights or other issues – but it is not unlawful.

    “The University of Manchester is proud of its record on freedom of speech issues. It will maintain the policy under which lawful protests can take place on its campus, constrained only by an obligation on those making such protests to use their best endeavours both to minimise the disruption to normal University activities and to avoid seriously compromising the rights, freedoms and convenience of other members of the University community. We are determined not to tolerate unlawful behaviour, including extremism, verbal or physical harassment or incitement to hatred in this University, not only because this is our obligation under the law but because it is contrary to our own policies.

    “In implementing its policy on freedom of speech the University always works closely with the Greater Manchester Police, including as appropriate its anti-terrorist unit, and keeps all relevant national security agencies well-briefed. We would always cancel an event should these external authorities so advise us.

    “Except for feeling disappointment at what seems a limited understanding of the limits to freedom of expression in a liberal society, we are unmoved by criticism from people outside the University community (most of whom were not present at the meeting) that the University tolerated “extremism” and failed to stop a protest at a meeting held on the University campus on Wednesday, 28 April 2010, and addressed by Israeli Deputy Ambassador Lador-Fresher.

    “I understand that the Deputy Ambassador later described her experience as “thoroughly unpleasant”, and have no reason not to believe her. But it was her choice to speak and it was the right of protesters to confront her with their own strongly held views. Freedom of speech is not limited to pleasant experiences.

    “Wednesday’s event was monitored by a police presence as well as by our own security officers and our Associate Vice-President (Equality and Diversity). The University in collaboration with the police and the Deputy Ambassador’s own security had in advance taken all reasonable action to put in place appropriate security measures for the meeting. These included a complete lock down of the building, a high–level security presence – which included the police as well as University and Embassy security- ID checks on the door and ticket-only arrangements.

    “We were pleased that the Deputy Ambassador was able to participate fully in the meeting and those present also had the opportunity to express their views. While we were disappointed that a small group of protesters blockaded the Deputy Ambassador’s car when she sought to leave the building at the conclusion of her address, University security officers and the police were present and as far as we are aware no arrests were made and no complaints have been received about the conduct of specific individuals.

    “Should anyone have specific evidence of individuals breaching the law at Wednesdays’ meeting, or on University premises at any other time, these should be brought to the attention of the University and the police in order that the allegations can be thoroughly investigated.

    “For the avoidance of doubt, however, let me stress that we will not ban protests or place any limit (other than an obligation to uphold the law) on protesters, whether they are Palestinian sympathisers protesting against Israeli policies or Israeli sympathisers defending such policies. Any attempt by the University to censor lawful views or curtail lawful protest runs the far greater risk of turning these legal protests into something much more malign.

    “Whilst we do not of course expect everyone to agree with our policies or the manner in which we implement them, I can assure you that we are determined to continue to manage freedom of expression in a balanced and liberal manner.

    “Yours sincerely

    “Jacqueline Henshaw

    “Dr Jacqueline Henshaw
    Office of the President and Vice-Chancellor”

  8. Now that’s interesting, Serendipity.

    Essentially, Manchester University is saying that it doesn’t give a damn and yet it is committed to manage freedom of expression in a “balanced and liberal manner.”

    What precisely is “balanced” about doing nothing while a foreign diplomat is threatened and how liberal is it to describe this mob as executing their fair right to free speech?

    Is this twonk in a different reality from the rest of us? She certainly seems to be.

  9. Just look at this piece of snot:

    “I understand that the Deputy Ambassador later described her experience as “thoroughly unpleasant”, and have no reason not to believe her. But it was her choice to speak and it was the right of protesters to confront her with their own strongly held views. Freedom of speech is not limited to pleasant experiences.

    I wonder if St Andrews managed Ambassador Prosor’s visit better. I think it must have if he spoke for 20 minutes then answered questions for 2 hours.

  10. Why are there never such physical protests against the anti-Israel hatemongerers appearing on UK campuses?

    Let’s leave aside Muslim/Jewish/Palestinian/Israeli protesters.

    Where are the “neutral” students when it comes to anti-Israel hatemongerers?
    Where are the protests?

    This shit was not happening when I was a student. Back then it was all about Thatcher and South Africa. I can only suppose the kids need some new cause célebère.