Richard Millett and Jonathan Hoffman Banned from Parliament

This is cross-post by Richard Millett

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.

Dan Judelson, also of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, who I supported in a meeting about Israel/Palestine that he was arranging in Parliament, also passed me by without enquiring why I was surrounded by three police officers.

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.

Categories: Miscellaneous

35 replies »

  1. The Arabs in Israel — the significance of the ship on the poster is blatant and hostile.

    I understand that only one kind of opinion was permitted in this forum. Not being British I am not certain what the chosen venue portends. Does it mean that the members of the House of Commons are expected to endorse the proceeding or that it would be a neutral and objective matter?

  2. I note that “our” Haneen Zoubi spoke.

    Doubtless she wowed them with her belligerent self-pity and whinged about being discriminated against because she is an Israeli Arab (rather than because she chose to join the Mavi Marmara and by doing so act against her country.

    I also note that the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is cranking up the negative emotion as usual. I am disgusted with the UK parliament.

    Democracy? What democracy?

  3. “The Jewish character of the State of Israel…”

    I see.

    Supposing the Zionist Federation or the BoD (heaven forbid they should stir themselves) demand a place in parliament to address issues with the Muslim threat to the Jewish people of Israel?

    No? Thought not…

  4. The chosen venue portends, I think, that these charmers have popular support within parliament and within the Lords too (think Lord Ahmed and his threat of thousands marching on parliament if Geert Wilders were to be allowed into the UK)

    Were I a betting person I would lay odds that every MP who attended came from an area with a large Muslim population or wants to get elected to such an area.

    Other than that, it’s a blatant disgrace and it shows the ignorance about Islamism of the elected leadership of the UK.

  5. Thank God&c, I don’t know where you hail from and I don’t care, but many who post here are from the UK.

    I am not going to boycott the UK. I’d much rather boycott anything with links to Islamist regimes.

  6. ” 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.”

    Guess again, this is the UK, no “Zionists” allowed. They started with the ethnic cleansing in the boards of the Guardian, now they’ve made their way to the halls of the English parliament.

  7. HerrShirt, I’m in the US. Born and bred. I am so disgusted with the “uk” and the segment of british Jews who cravenly curry favor with “anti-zionists” for some benefit I can only guess at – career advancement in british academia/”intelligencia”, guardianists, socialists, islamists.

    All the calls for boycott of Israel and companies doing business with Israel should be responded with boycotts of british exports especially with the shameful Pan Am 103 “compassionate” release and libyan oil contracts deal.

    Believe me. The shameful Pan Am 103 bomber release is an issue that will not go away.

  8. Surely a venue such as a room inthe Houses of Parliament is a public space tha must be open to all who wish to enter?

    You should sue them.

  9. Richard, you are a brave man doing important work. Since you were subjected to what the other side would call muzzling, censorship, silencing etc., there’s little purpose in my asking you whether anyone at the meeting made the obvious point that the one place in the Middle East where Arabs are guaranteed full political rights is, er, Israel.

    What more can you tell us about MEMO? How is it different to CAABU, which was traditionally the most accomplished Arab lobby group in the UK?

  10. Cheers, Ben. I’m an expert on neither except that the dealings I have had with CAABU have been much more respectful and Chris Doyle of CAABU is much more open to debate than MEMO. CAABU is more behind the scenes and more reasoned while MEMO is just an out-and-out-in-your-face activist group that takes no prisoners. Chris Doyle is a nice guy although being a lobbyist obviously sectarian.

  11. I think I’m confused—-this was a meeting in the House of Commons sponsored by the UK gov’t with its members calling meeting to order or was it an independent group using the House of Commons as it’s venue?

  12. Jane

    This was in committee room 14 – the same room used to laaunch the Pro Israel Initiative last week. Not gvt. sponsored – either of these events. The group may have been invited by some MPs who support them

    The poster does say attendees have to be registered but even so it does seem Mr. Millet was subjected to some rough handling.

    When contentious issues can no longer be discussed openly then democracy suffers.

  13. I take no issue with your point Leni, I just am amazed that you can reserve space in the Parliament for non gov’t sponsored events….that are open to the public and require reservations….I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a open to the public lecture without government involvement ever happening in the US Capital building (with advertising flyers no less)…..on something not even related to the business of doing government and more or less being supported on the taxpayers dime(the expense of monitoring the event) or am I still confused?

  14. Another question, so a MP can invite any private interest group to Committee Room14 in the Parliament Building, the seat of government, at any time irrespective of it’s signficance to the governing of the country? Tell me I have it wrong, because that doesn’t sound very equitable to me.

  15. Jane

    Organisations can hire certain committee rooms for meetings. I have never used them or attended a meeting there but I understand numbers are limited.

    Organisations wishing to control who does – or does not – attend seem to favour them although I/m not sure this is official policy. Most seem to have MPs sponsoring or at least supporting the organisation holding the event.

    I believe public meetings should be just that – open to the public.

  16. I agree with you, your preaching to the choir, I am still just amazed that you can reserve a room in your Parliament after hours for public lectures on whatever? aren’t there enormous security issues?

    Frankly, as far as I am concerned, any public presentation w/flyers in a building that represents the people of the UK, should be open to citizens(subjects?) of the UK, it’s the peoples house and belongs to the people—at least thats how we in the US view our Capital.

  17. Committee rooms may only booked in the name of a Committee of the House, Member of Parliament or an Officer of the House. They can be booked for a maximum of two hours for private meetings. Should any of the rooms be required for longer periods, you will need to find another MP to sponsor the remainder of the time.

    Members should be aware that any meetings booked in these rooms are subject to change or cancellation as Committees of the House have absolute priority in these rooms. Members will be notified of any change after the weekly Committee Room shuffle which takes place on the preceding Thursday.

    The above from the House of Commons Site. From the article here it would seem that James Corbyn was the inviting MP.

    There is always security present so I doubt it would involve additional costs.

  18. So it was sponsored by one of the MP’s, that makes a bit more sense….it sounded like you call up and just reserrve space(tell em your MP sent you)

    James Corbyn is concerned about the condition of Arabs in Israel, not enough problems in the UK….needs a distraction? Or does this represent the concerns of his district and he’s pandering?

  19. The muzzling is just a disgrace. I’m shocked. leni’s explanation may have some relevance but then mr. Millett’s report doesn’t mention space constrictions being mentioned as any reason for removal.

    Zoubi may be basking in the adoration of the ‘hate Israel’ looney left rabble but nothing can smother the fact that Zoubi is a member if the Israeli Knesset and has freedoms that no other country in the Middle East gives its ‘democratically elected’ representatives.

  20. Jeremy Corbyn, not James. And an MP can book a room without charge. It is free to the organisation sponsoring the meeting.

    The point is that an MP has the privilege of using a taxpayer-financed room in Parliament for meetings organised by his/her favourite cause.

    The argument of Richard and myself is that that privilege must carry responsibilities. If the MP is using a taxpayer-financed facility then the meeting must be open to all, subject only to health and safety considerations (that is, if the room is full).

    And to exclude people because of their beliefs is what one might expect in the Parliament of North Korea — not in the ‘mother of all Parliaments’, the UK.

    Something died on the UK on Wednesday night. Two Jews were excluded from a Parliamentary meeting because of their beliefs. Look upon it and weep.

  21. Two Jews were excluded from a Parliamentary meeting because of their beliefs.
    Great Britain will surely rise up against this since it reminds us of what happened in the 1930s and 1940s.

    I look forward to headlines in all the major newspapers.

  22. Space does not seem to have been the issue. Jonathan Hoffman was one of the first to apply for the event and was immediately rejected on the basis that it was full. He was placed on the waiting list but never heard back. Another friend who made it into the event said it was held in two committee rooms due to demand and the speakers switched rooms to give their talks. There were people standing and sitting on the floor to listen so it wasn’t a case of there being limited numbers.

    The rules need clarifying as to whether one can advertise an event to the public (so this wasn’t a private event) and then exclude people whose views you dismiss. At the pro-Israel initiative event there were plenty of hostile questions asked in the Q&A as I understand it.

  23. Egg and Sausage

    For want of leadership, UK chose a Clammy-egg

    to look after its affairs, fiscal, practical,

    to the delight of Moazzem Begg,

    and pals at Jihad International.

    Rhyming verse, it can only get worse,

    But it’s not over till we ask

    where’s the wurst?

    Don’t ask.

  24. This is democracy Hamas style and obviously it suits our parliamentarians very nicely, thankyou.

  25. At the pro-Israel initiative event there were plenty of hostile questions asked in the Q&A as I understand it
    Richard: Not plenty, but a couple of such quetions were asked and couple of very well known faces who often make offensive accusations in their questions who were admitted without a problem. Will be posting on this shortly, at HP hopefully

  26. “….the point is an MP has the privilege of using a taxpayer financed room in Parliament for meetings organized by his/her favorite cause…..”

    ….by calling what “appeared” to be an open invitation meeting in a tax payer financed room in the Parliament building(seat of government) for an MP’s favorite cause it becomes by default an event supported by the government ….so when 2 individuals (Jews in this case) were denied entry because of their beliefs to this program in effect the government of the UK denied them entry…….

    “the rules need clarifying as to whether one can advertise an event to the public and then exclude people who’s views you dismiss….”

    That is as critical a point as any other taken on this thread…..

    Apologize for the wrong name….

  27. Why would anyone expect Jeremy Corbyn to behave any differently? He has a record as long as your arm for anti-Israel actions and rants!
    Let us be clear the building the House of Commons and the House of Lords meet in is the Palace of Westminster. It is a Royal Palace not a public building, even if as with the rest of the Royal Palaces taxpayers money is used to maintain it.
    Responsibility for maintaining order, security and access to the House of Commons, including the Committee Rooms, is held by the Serjeant at Arms Directorate. It might be a good idea for both to write to the Serjeant at Arms and bring their cases to her attention.
    I understand that the e-mail address for the Directorate is hcinfo@parliament.uk

  28. “….the Royal Palace is not a public building…” but perception is everything, happening upon this invitation as a citizen from another country as I am, it would appear that the government of UK is supporting this presentation, (What’s that promotional—-Image is everything), or to put it another way, “It’s public enough!”……why split hairs? As far as I am concerned the entire episode is disheartening at best, despicable at worst.

  29. Gerald, I wouldn’t hold your breath….

    amie, I shall look forward to reading it. Once again, there is one law for Jews and anyone else pro-Israel and another for the anti-Israel lobby.

    “Jonathan Hoffman was one of the first to apply for the event and was immediately rejected on the basis that it was full.” So they lied, Richard. What a surprise!

    How is it that these people cannot be scrutinised in what is left of our democracy?

    JerusalemMite, quite right, she does, but don’t you see she can compartmentalise that when it comes to bashing the state which gave her those rights? It’s a peculiar cognitive weakness but I’ve come across it often.