It was advertised with David Bellamy, the climate change sceptic and right-wing former environmentalist, speaking. But in end it was three nondescript scientists who spoke. However this didn’t stop the Zionist Community Security Trust getting up to their old tricks again, attacking dissidents in the Jewish community.
We have documented the CST's real purpose in a number of articles on this blog, in particular detailing their sources of income their dubious use of statistics on anti-Semitic attacks, their thuggery, their role in barring Jewish socialists, anti-Zionists and dissidents from meetings of the Jewish community and even the endorsement by the CST's chief spokesperson, Mark Gardener, of a comment by ex-Union of Jewish Student activist, David Hermann, expressing his desire to 'necklace' (i.e. murder) Jewish opponents.
This is an organisation that purports to oppose anti-Semitism (although it has never played any role in anti-racist or anti-fascist mobilisations in this country). Its opposition to ‘anti-Semitism’ only comes into play when Israel is on the agenda.
Last night about 40 of us picketted a meeting held by the Zionist Federation at which David Bellamy was supposed to be speaking about Israel’s wondrous contribution to destroying the environment. Unsurprisingly, a couple of Jewish anti-Zionists went along to ask a few questions.
Unlike Jonathan Hoffman, they didn’t disrupt the speaker or the meeting and waited patiently to ask a question. When they did they were immediately attacked by CST heavies who removed both people, a man and a woman, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, from the meeting.
This throws into sharp relief the real attitude of Zionists to freedom of speech. Whereas anti-Zionists have been liberal in allowing Zionists to attend and speak at our meetings, the Zionist attitude is one of violence towards those they disagree with. They just can’t take their ideas being subject to scrutiny. And of course this is a replica of their attitude to the Palestinians. Despite their talk of ‘peace’ Zionism constantly looks for an excuse to wage war. Below is a description of the events by one of those evicted.
Needless to say, not one member of PSC Executive attended. Betty Hunter apparently let it be known that they should have been 'formally invited'!!
Dear all,I have also written a letter to Mark Gardener, spokesperson for the CST, making a number of points as well as asking him some questions:
Here is some additional info on the events of Tuesday.
I phoned the Institute of Education today to complain about the treatment the man and I received. The person in charge of conference arrangements, MW, was extremely solicitous, apologised twice "for your treatment on our premises", asked me to write him a report of the events as I perceived them, said what he's heard from staff indicated that "the level of restraint used was inappropriate for the situation", that as a commercial venue the IoE tries to be "even-handed" but that they "will think hard about allowing that organisation to hold an event involving public debate again".
MW said that the CST's presence was "fairly routine" for Jewish events at the Institute, but they had never experienced anything like last night. He said they had been aware even before BRICUP's letter came in that the event had the potential to be controversial but he was clearly shocked at what had occurred. He had been called in personally, after I was thrown out, to help staff cope. He said he had seen me being hustled out of the building, though I did not know who he was at the time. He was shocked again when I told him they had tried to eject me from the building altogether, without my coat. (The man had been forced to sit on a chair in the foyer just outside the Logan Hall rather than being frog-marched up the stairs as I was). I refused, reminding them that they didn't own the whole IoE. A police officer went downstairs to pick up my coat and bag.
As indicated in the report Debbie sent to the JC for me and the guy (pasted in below), the subject matter of the presentations was interesting - it just ignored the whole question of Palestine and therefore totally justified our characterisation of it as a "greenwash". The explanations about how Israel uses its technology to benefit communities in developing countries were particularly galling given the gross contrast with the treatment of Paelstinians, but we were not given the opportunity to point out the irony.
The evening event began with a number of short films that had been shown to
schoolkids earlier and there was an exhibition around the walls and in the foyer of the Logan Hall. They were little more than PR for various projects and businesses including BrightSource Energy and Heliofocus (solar power), Netafim (sub-surface drip irrigation), IDE Technologies Ltd (de-salination), and many more.
There was also a short film about the history and role of the ZF, in which interestingly did not harp on about anti-semitism but referred to the dangers of anti-zionism.
i. Whether the 'anti-Semitic' incident involving Jonathan Hoffman, at SOAS on December 4 2009, which Gardener described as anti-Semitic, has been recorded as part of CST's statistics.
ii. Submitting a complaint about the outrageous attack on Hajo Meyer, an anti-Zionist Jew who is a survivor of Auschwitz, by Jonathan Hoffman and friends, and asking that this be recorded as an anti-Semitic incident.
iii. Detailing the forcible removal of Naomi and a man from the above meeting and asking how this was compatible with their charitable objectives.
I shall be interested to receive a reply and in the event that Gardener clams up or prevaricates there will be a number of options in dealing with this dishonest but rich organisation that hides its real agenda behind the term ‘anti-Semitism’.
London Head Office
Community Security Trust
By email: email@example.com
Dear Mr Gardener,
Incident of 4th December 2009
In the Jewish Chronicle of 23.12.09. it was reported, in respect of a meeting at the School of Oriental & African Studies of 4.12.09, that:‘'CST spokesman Mark Gardner said: “Mr Hoffman merely repeated what the South African Human Rights Commission had said about Bongani Masuku’s alleged incitement of antisemitism. For daring to raise this he was jeered with outright hatred.
“The UCU’s attitude to antisemitism is disgusting, and those who collaborate with it should be ashamed of themselves.”
You clearly categorised what took place at the meeting as anti-Semitic abuse of Jonathan Hoffman, despite the evidence of others to the contrary. I have detailed the history of what took place in an article on my blog and Jonathan Hoffman posted 3 comments underneath the article, on 28th December, by way of reply, reasserting that what took place was, in his view a clear instance of anti-Semitic abuse.
I am therefore writing to you to ask whether or not you have recorded what took place at SOAS on 4th December 2009 as an anti-Semitic incident? In view of the forthright nature of your comments above, I will take a refusal to answer or a non-committal response as confirmation that the incident above was indeed recorded as an anti-Semitic incident.
Incident of 27th January 2010
On 27th January, Holocaust Memorial Day, the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network, held a meeting at Portcullis House, Westminster, where the speaker, Hajo Meyer, a survivor of Auschwitz extermination camp, was subject to virulent abuse by, among others, the said Jonathan Hoffman. Mr Hoffman described Mr Meyer as a ‘dancing bear’ among other comments, something which is not only insulting in itself but anti-Semitic, belittling as it does Mr Meyer’s terrible experiences. I am therefore asking that this attack on Mr Meyer be recorded as an anti-Semitic incident. Please confirm that this will be done.
Ejection of Jewish anti-Zionists from a Zionist Federation Meeting – 9th January 2010
Yesterday, 9th January 2010, David Bellamy came to speak at the Institute of Education in London, on the subject of Israel and the Environment. A picket was held of the meeting and two Jewish anti-Zionists who were present at the meeting asked questions of Mr Bellamy after his speech. They were not in any way disruptive but were clearly critical of the context and substance of Mr Bellamy’s speech. This is quite normal in public meetings. Immediately it was discerned that they were critical of Israel and Mr Bellamy, they were physically ejected by stewards from the Community Security Trust. What took place raises fundamental questions as to the role of the CST.
The charitable aims of the CST are, according to your entry on the Charity Commission website:
1. To promote good race relations between the Jewish community and other members of society by working towards the elimination of racism in the form of anti-semitism.
2. To promote the efficiency of the police within the community at large and the promotion of good citizenship and greater public participation in the prevention of crime with particular reference to the maintenance of public order and racially motivated especially anti-semitic crime.
3. To relieve the victims of racial or religious harassment and especially anti-semitic harassment who are in need or who have suffered hardship or distress.
4. To promote research into racism and anti-Semitism and to publish the useful results of such research and otherwise to promote public education about racism and anti-semitism.
5. To promote and support such other charitable purposes or institutions as the trustees may from time to time think fit.
Perhaps you would be so kind as to tell me just what part of the above remit covers the ejection of peaceful (Jewish) members of an audience who attend and ask questions at a meeting of the Zionist Federation? Or is it the view of the CST that the presence of anti-Zionists at such a meeting is, in itself, anti-Semitic?
UPDATE - VICTORY
We have just learnt that David Bellamy pulled out of all the meetings that he had agreed to do with the Zionist Federation. In the end Israel had to supply its own scientists!!! Congratulations to all those who were involved in this victory. It is noticeable that PSC Executive chose not to participate!