General UK Media

Richard Millett reports from London on the latest ‘hate Israel’ event, starring Ben White


fThe following was written by London-based blogger Richard Millett

Israel Apartheid Week” kicked off on Tuesday night with star guests Ben White and Dr Ang Swee Chai speaking at a UCL Friends of Palestine event on Medicine And Apartheid in Palestine.

white eventDr Ang Swee Chai, an orthopaedic surgeon, set up Medical Aid For Palestinians and is a self-confessed fundamentalist Christian. She said that when she was growing up she had lots of Jewish friends and supported Israel. Then in 1982 she turned on the TV and saw Israeli planes dropping bombs on Lebanon. Many of those killed and wounded, she said, were non-combatants.

So she immediately resigned from her hospital job and flew to Beirut under the auspices of Christian Aid. She ended up joining the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, which, she admitted, was affiliated to the PLO.

She worked in Beirut’s Gaza Hospital near to Sabra and Shatila and learnt from Palestinians that “many lost their homes when Palestine became Israel”.

She said that the first two things Palestinian children in Sabra and Shatila learn are “their name and the village in Palestine they came from”. “Palestine was never a desert, but a rich centre of civilisation, culture, art and dance,” she continued.

Then she turned to the horrific events of 16th-18th September 1982 in Sabra and Shatila. She said that the day before 700 Israeli tanks drove from South Lebanon to Beirut and when the Israelis arrived they started shooting people.

At Gaza Hospital, she continued, the Israelis demanded that any foreigners leave. She presumed they were going massacre the patients. But two doctors refused to leave and so “our patients survived”.

Throughout her talk she showed graphic images (see below) of dead, dying and badly wounded people and of a mass grave containing, she said, 800 to 1,000 bodies. She finished off with that notorious map of a “disappearing Palestine“.

She described how an 11-year-old boy, who survived, was lined up along with his family as they were “systematically killed” and how he “heard his sister and aunties being raped and crying”.

She finished with an emotional plea:

“I realised what was going on. If I had any doubt about what the Palestinian refugees said to me about how they lost Palestine and had been brutalised, I had no doubt now. Why was I brought up to be so bigoted and prejudiced against the Palestinians. Will G-d give me a chance to do something right for the rest of my life? This story should be told. The Palestinians are still dying and suffering today.”

During the Q&A a Jewish student asked her whether being Christian was the reason for her failure to mention that the massacres at Sabra and Shatila were actually carried out by Christians, to which she responded (see clip here):

“This particular group of Christians was trained by Israel. Six of them confessed that Israel set them up…Where this kind of atrocity happens we need to know who made it possible, who planned it, who sealed the camps so nobody can escape, who flared the skies so the massacre can continue, who provided the bulldozers and all that. The Israeli Kahan Commission found Sharon indirectly responsible. The Christian militia itself was actually under the command of Israel.”

She said she now has further evidence, which has upset her Jewish friends, that the IDF were inside Sabra and Shatila when the massacres occurred.

She was awarded the Star of Palestine.

Meanwhile, Ben “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are” White did his usual “Israel is an Apartheid state” rant using slides to attempt to make some sort of case (see below). One slide is humorously headed “Israel is worried”.

Inevitably, White explained the aims of the BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement, called for a boycott of Israel and finished off quoting ex-IAF captain Yonatan Shapira:

“It is no longer enough to try and change Israel from within. Israel has to be pressured in the same way apartheid South Africa was forced to change.”

White didn’t mention that Shapira once sprayed “Free Gaza” and “Liberate all the ghettos” on to a wall nearby the Warsaw Ghetto where so many Jews lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis.

The same Jewish student asked White why anything he says about Israel is to be trusted considering he “is an anti-Semite”. White responded (see clip here) by saying that he had already made his “opposition to anti-Semitism perfectly clear”. It was a shame White wasn’t pressed about this racist tweet.

When I asked White to explain the difference between the tactics of the Nazis targeting German Jews in the 1930s and those of the BDS movement targeting Israeli Jews in 2014 he kindly plugged my blog before responding (see clip here):

“In one case you are talking about a fascist regime targeting a minority and persecuting them on an anti-Semitic basis. The other case you’re talking about a tried and tested method of civil society to resist oppression, a way of the weak challenging the powerful…Most people can tell the difference…”

White will be doing a reprise of his UCL talk at Amnesty International’s HQ in London on 21st March.

It’s obviously a very quiet time in foreign affairs for Amnesty to be hosting such an event.

Images used by Dr Ang Swee Chai:

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"Mass grave of 800,000 bodies."

“Mass grave of 800 to 1,000 bodies.”

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Slides used by Ben White:

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39 replies »

    • That number alone is enough to discredit her – she would need a grave about the size of Central park, I suspect. It’s strange no-one has been able to find it. Perhaps its in Syria?

      Of course, she and her colleague also bravely stopped those terrible Israelis massacring everyone in Gaza hospital, right?

      What a miserable piece of work she is.

    • Just for the record and thinking about it with the benefit of hindsight she might have said “800 to 1000”. I was amazed when i heard 800,000 and i did ask the person next to me who didn’t disagree. I do think i heard 800,000 though.

      • 800 – 1000 is the minimum amount given by some Arab sources.
        The Palestinian gave an estimated 3000 while Israeli journalist gave an estimated 3000 – 3500.

        If she was there as she claim she was, there is no doubt that the shock is enough to create such an emotional reaction.
        But stating that Israelis ordered and trained the Christians allies to do this is taking a step too far.
        She’s giving 6 Christian militias claiming this but provides no names or date when this conversation took place.

        This is all guess work but I find it hard to believe any Israeli commander would instruct the allies to kill, rape and empty the camp of its residents.

        Few Israelis are assumed to have been initially in the camp with the Christians but they also prevented some acts of violence according to Palestinian survivors.

        Her speech is a mixture of emotionally given speech mixed with some semi tested arguments and some disputed material which she uses as facts.

        Maybe she reaches out to her god for forgiveness?
        Who knows.

        Maybe she should start with the original Hebron massacre in 1929 which took place against civilians who didn’t shelter terrorists on a daily basis and which facts are not disputed at all.

    • Straight from the Goebbels handbook of propaganda . Tell a lie big enough and often enough and it becomes the truth . There will be many in the audience who will go away believing Israel killed 800,000 Palestinians .

      • you lot here know all about Goebbels and propaganda, you copy his methods so well, the victors are always bastards, it is they who write history, until all is lost of course

        • “.. the victors are always bastards..”

          Really ‘Noam’/’noam’, not sometimes but always.
          So in your topsy-turvy World after WW2 the Allies were bastards and the Hitler regime were the good guys?
          There are many other examples from history that clearly demonstrate that once again your posts are illogical and historically illiterate.

    • she did actually say “800 to 1,000 bodies”. I just listened to the recording. it did sound like 800,000 the way she said it.

      • Thanks for the correction and the honesty, Richard. The fact remains, though, that if you (and your neighbour) heard 800,000, then so did many at the meeting, and they will not have bothered to critically examine the claim. They now think that Israel murdered and secretly buried 800,000 Palestinians!

  1. where can we get tickets i will give them out to all the old gang here be a good night out for em all and they may learn something too

    • Noam:
      “be a good night out for em ”

      Talking about wars, conflicts and atrocoties is your idea of a good night out?

          • No such thing…
            Or so it seems…
            Don’t you know Fritz, only Jews can do bad things.
            I bet people like noam love what is happening in Ukraine right now.

        • Of course atrocities have been committed.
          It seems you only associate the word atrocities with Israeli soldiers.
          All most as if you say if it was Arabs who committed all of the atrocities in Sabra and Shatila it doesn’t count.

          You are a sad sick individual who like to dance on the graves of dead people.

  2. “Palestine was never a desert, but a rich centre of civilisation, culture, art and dance,”

    None of which has managed to survive to this day. It must be the Israelis’ fault. Everything else is.

      • Seems that among other things you are not adept at (connecting comments to articles, having your facts straight) we can now add “recognizing sarcasm.”
        By the way, you’re a fantastic poster, your arguments are unassailable, and you should always assume that myself and everyone else on this site is jealous of your genius and unshakable moral beliefs 🙂

  3. I was thinking that if you claimed pictures or information attributed to Israeli aggression on palestinians were to be fake, certain so-called supporters of the palestian cause would go blue in the face wanting to convince you they are real, instead of saying ‘ oh thank god for that, I would hate to think this suffering is going on ‘. the hatred for Israel trumps the desire to eradicate suffering and i wouldn’t be surprised they wish for more suffering as long as it gives fuel so they can continue hating Israel. Well we know the palos like to stuff their houses with women and kids and shoot from the rooftops.

    • Now where’s noam to point out what real confirmation bias is?
      What snuffy here is pointing out is just that.
      Noam, hey noam… Are you there?

      • The confirmation bias – like the spoilt kid who comes home from school crying, his mother asks why is he so upset and he explains the teacher at school had said there was no such thing as dyslexia and that the kid was just bad at reading. Of course the mother goes to school the next day in a hissy fit and calls the teacher a fascist. His mother, of course, prefers to wallow in some kind of victimhood rather than getting on with the issue of getting the kid to improve his reading skills. This is why I call Islam the religion of Special Needs

    • He’ll say that this SA is the corrupt one.
      Only the ones that don’t tag the party line are corrupt (so it seems).
      You see, corruption is not about brown envelopes or dementia fueled allegations, that everyone much confirm.

  4. “She said that when she was growing up she had lots of Jewish friends …”

    Well that’s really interesting. Because there are over 5 million people in Singapore where she grew up, and the current Jewish population is 300. I think Dr Ang Swee Chai is a little liar.

    • It’s not impossible that if she went to school in the right place where many Jews were living she may have made friends with some.
      She might be talking about her University friends?

      Never the less it appears she mixes up a lot of things.

  5. The pictures of injured people shown by Chai are indeed horrible and sickening. But they are entirely without context. First, I will assume that she said these were all Palestinians injured/killed by Israelis.

    1. Did she simply assume this to be the case? Might some of them have been injured/killed in other ways – e.g. by their own side/Christian militias etc.
    2. Even if she was told that this was how they got those injuries by relatives etc, does that make each case true? There have been plenty of documented cases (certainly in recent years) in which injuries caused by all sorts of things (e.g. Hamas mining the beaches in Gaza) have been falsely blamed on Israel.
    3. How many of these poor people were involved in direct fighting, either against Israeli troops or otherwise?
    4. Even if some of these pictures are of innocent Palestinian civilians and were injured by Israeli weapons fired by Israeli soldiers, well it was a war (and remember there was a civil war raging at the same time in Lebanon too). Sad as it is, some civilians do get caught up in war. That fact is not evidence of brutality or even of human rights abuse at all. Is she sure these were deliberately targetted innocent civilians?
    5. Does she ascribe any responsibility to the PLO who used (as their successors still do to this day) civilian homes, hospitals, schools etc as bases for their terrorist activity and against all standards of ethics, morals and humanity, rely on the civilian population as human shields?

    A photo can be very powerful. Nobody can fail to feel horrified by these particular ones. But context is EVERYTHING.

    • “But context is EVERYTHING.” She and Ben White will contextualize everything so we need not worry our pretty little heads. They’ll be doing a whole lot of lying, but after all, their role models lie too, so it’s all very progressive.

  6. Apart from the question on Sabra & Shatila she should have been asked what she knew about all the Palestinian Muslim atrocities in the Lebanese Civil War.
    And she should have been asked about what is happening to Christians in the ME, being expelled and exterminated by Muslims.
    As for her 800,000 bodies, they’re far more likely to be Muslims killed by other Muslims.

  7. There is something truly sick about people whose outrage is confined to Arabs killed by Jews, but couldn’t give a tinker’s about the many many more Arabs killed by Arabs.
    Instead of Israeli Apartheid, where’s the lecture on Syria’s and Lebanon’s apartheid treatment of their Palestinians.

    • Why go so far.
      She should have stayed behind in the far east.
      She’s much more needed there when a certain dictator has just executed his entire uncle’s family just because his uncle went south of the border.

  8. Aside from the abuse he gets sometimes, Richard Millett deserves a medal just for staying awake during these events. I mean: there’s never any kind of debate among the “star guets”, is there?