Friday, December 24, 2010

Mapping the Organizational Sources of the Global Delegitimization Campaign against Israel in the UK

Ehud Rosen
December '10
Posted before Shabbat


In mid-December 2009, Member of Knesset Tzipi Livni, Israel’s former foreign minister, was due to arrive in London and make a speech at a Jewish National Fund (JNF) event, held at the Hendon Hall Hotel in London. Having had a warrant issued for her to be arrested for alleged war crimes while serving as a minister during the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead, Livni canceled her plans and never came to Britain. A clip, still available on YouTube, shows two and a half minutes of a demonstration held in front of the hotel. This is a rather small demonstration; the few dozen protesters chant slogans such as “Zionists are terrorists” and “Free Palestine.” They are holding signboards referring to “Apartheid in Palestine,” and calling to bring “war criminals” to justice and to boycott Israeli goods.

A closer look reveals that these signboards either carry the logo of the British Muslim Initiative (BMI), a main Muslim Brotherhood front in Britain, or of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and its Boycott Israeli Goods (BIG) Campaign. Despite the small number of participants, top UK Brotherhood (Hamas’s parent movement) figures are featured such as like Dr. Kemal Helbawy, Muhammad Sawalha, and Zaher Birawi, alongside top PSC figures such as Betty Hunter. In the clip, Hunter says they will pursue “these people” wherever and whenever they can. She also tells the crowd about a decision taken the same week by the British government for supermarkets to label Israeli-settlement goods, and says they have to ensure that “this small step…is turned into a huge movement of boycotting all Israeli goods.”

(Read full "... the Global Delegitimization Campaign against Israel in the UK" pdf)

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