30 October 2018

Sussex Friends of Israel’s Attempt to Disrupt and Prevent a Palestine Solidarity Stall in Brighton Town Centre

Fascist Tactics as the Zionist Far-Right and Christian Fundamentalists Unite to Silence the Palestinian Voice

Daniel - one of the main Christian Fundamentalists

James Dyer, a Christian Fundamentalist who was warned by the Police, who registered a racial incident, when he called me a kapo - I told him if I was a kapo he must be a Nazi!

In 2014, after two years of demonstrations, Israel’s Sodastream shop in Brighton closed.  Sodastream had intended the Brighton shop to be the first of many. However so unhappy was their experience, it being both a financial and public relations disaster, that they thought better of it.
Sussex Friends of Israel, which had been formed to defend the shop, was at a loss. Not knowing what to do, some of them relocated to Brighton’s New Road handing out leaflets persuading people to oppose ‘anti-Semitism’.
In fact it was mainly the Christian fundamentalists of SFI who continued the battle, replete with Israeli flags.  Most people who encountered these god botherers realised very quickly what they were about and either ignored them or, it would seem, gave them a hard time. Earlier this summer SFI had had enough in New Road. They complained that because the Police wouldn’t protect them from the public they would relocate to the Clocktower in order to harass us.
Brighton and Hove PSC has had a stall at Brighton’s Clocktower for nearly two decades. Every Saturday between 12 pm and 2 pm we hand out leaflets and mount exhibitions to demonstrate the plight and oppression of the Palestinians. This has been a source of continuing annoyance to SFI who have nothing positive to say about Israel and find it difficult to defend things like house demolitions, shooting unarmed demonstrators and gaoling children. For the Christian zombies all and every injustice if part of Gods plan to return the Jews to the holy land!
Blowing on whistles is their main form of activity as they have nothing positive to say
So once every 2 weeks for the past few weeks, SFI have turned up in the same place as the PSC stall, with the specific intention of trying to disrupt what we were doing. This has included standing directly in front of our stall or as was the case last weekend blowing whistles and making as much noise as possible to prevent conversations, coupled with a few individuals who tried to snatch leaflets from people. They have even employed someone who is mentally ill to harass people.
This is not unique to Brighton. It is clear that as part of Israel’s counter-BDS strategy, groups of Zionist activists nationally have decided to try and harass and disrupt Palestine solidarity activities. I have covered this in a number of posts and identified many of the individuals involved.
me on the megaphone which they tried to prevent on a couple of occasions!

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Many of these same people have taken to picketing and trying to disrupt Palestinian solidarity meetings, led by one particular individual, Jonathan Hoffman, a former Vice-Chair of the Zionist Federation. These Zionist activists are on the far-Right, many of them involved in Tommy Robinson’s DFLA.
Brighton & Hove PSC has maintained a stall at Brighton’s Clocktower for nearly two decades.  In that time we have distributed thousands of leaflets, help in the education of many people concerning the world’s only Apartheid state – it has been almost completely incident free.
The Zionist call to arms
The clocktower - this is SFI's justification for relocating to the Clocktower
There is no doubt that with the level of provocation and deliberate disruption that SFI are already causing a public order problem will develop.  Indeed SFI are going out of their way to provoke incidents. SFI are not interested in persuading people of their cause because they don’t have one.  And as they have found out from New Road people are not interested in apologetics for racism and apartheid.  That is why they are intent in causing as much disruption and as many incidents as possible in order to prevent Brighton PSC holding its stall.
Although a couple of Police have been posted in the vicinity of late that is just a palliative.  It is therefore important that supporters of the Palestinian, anti-racists and anti-fascists and those on the Left in Brighton and Hove show their solidarity and support the right to organise and hold anti-racist/anti-imperialist stalls and activities without attempts by supporters of Apartheid to disrupt and close down free speech and the right of free assembly.
Sussex Friends of Israel were formed during the campaign to close Sodastream

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Tony Greenstein

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