It was known on 26 April that of the 40 Palestinians killed during the ‘great return march’ events since March 30, when the rioting began along the Gaza Strip-Israel border, 32 (80%) were terrorist operatives or individuals affiliated with them. The IDF simply does not shoot at ‘innocent protesters’. Only those who threaten to violently breach the border – with explosives for example – risk being shot. If this is necessary, the IDF tries to shoot in the legs, to immobilise but not to threaten life. Only if all else fails, does it shoot to kill. On the other hand, if immobilisation is necessary, there are no real alternatives to shooting. (Predictably Sir Mick Davis doesn’t understand this).
On Monday 14 May, tens of thousands of Gazans massed on the border with Israel. 62 were killed. There was a chorus of condemnation that Israel was killing ‘innocent protesters’. Those of us who combat lies about Israel knew this was nonsense. The IDF documents every use of weapons and is rigorous about not using them unless necessary. Sure enough, early on Wednesday Salah Bardawil, a Hamas official, said that 50 of the 62 killed were members of the Islamist terrorist group. The Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad had already said on Tuesday that three members of its Saraya al-Quds military wing were killed by Israeli forces in Khan Younis. Checking Twitter, Bardawil’s announcement was made early on Wednesday morning, before 9am.
On Tuesday 15 May, there was a notice on social media that a group of Jews was going to say ‘Kaddish’ (the memorial prayer for the dead) for the Gaza victims, in Parliament Square in London on Wednesday evening.
Already this looked highly offensive, because the names of the each dead person were to be read out, regardless of whether they were identified as a terrorist or not. Then on Wednesday morning the Bardawil statement broke. There was at least nine hours for the organisers to pull the event. But it went ahead.
49 people said they were going to the event. The Israel Advocacy Movement video (link above) is sickening. For a Jew to mourn the death of those bent on murdering Israelis is obscene. It is a השם חילול, an act of desecration of the name of G-d.
I am tempted to ‘name and shame’ everyone in the video who can be identified (some of the 49 do not appear on the video). But some of them are very young (though adults, being over 18) and hopefully they will have learnt a lesson from the outrage when the video went live. However I am going to name and shame ten of the 49. Because many are in leadership positions and should have had the sense to call the event off on Wednesday after the Bardawil statement. The eight leaders: Sam Alston, Amos Schonfield, Charlotte Nichols, Charlotte Fischer, Joseph Finlay, Maya Ilany, Ella Janner-Klausner and Rabbi Leah Jordan. The other two are the men who can be seen in the video intimidating Yochy Davis, a woman around half their size who simply wanted to film. If they were so ashamed as not to want the event filmed – why were they there?
The first bully is Daniel Mackintosh (images from the video unless stated)
Mackintosh works for Citizens UK (as does Charlotte Fischer, see below)
The second bully is Jon Roiser. Incredibly he asks Yochy for PROOF that 50/62 were Hamas terrorists (source: Yochy’s video). Unbelievably Roiser is a Professor at UCL.
Alston at the event.
Schonfield (he accepted the event invitation but is not in the video)
Nichols (she accepted the event invitation but is not in the video).
Fischer (she accepted the event, unclear if she is in the video)
Finlay at the event.
Ilany (she accepted the event invitation but is not in the video).
Janner-Klausner (she accepted the event invitation, unclear if she is in the video)
Alston and Schonfield are both Deputies (on the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a kind of Parliament of the Jewish Community – Schonfield represents Yachad, Alston represents LJY Netzer, the Youth Movement of the Liberal Synagogue; he is a former intern at Yachad). This puts them in a leadership position. Schonfield advertised the event. In addition they have agreed to abide by the Board’s Code of Conduct. Here is an excerpt:
It cannot possibly be ‘ethical’ for a Jew to mourn the death of a Hamas terrorist and it blatantly brings the Board into disrepute. The Board’s Constitution requires it to ‘Take such appropriate action as lies within its power to advance Israel’s security, welfare and standing’. Mourning terrorists who wish to maim and murder Israeli Jews – all Israelis – obviously puts two fingers up to that provision.
The fifth name is Charlotte Nichols. She is named because she has a high public profile. A recent convert from Catholicism, she attended the Jewdas ‘Seder’ and defended it. She is Womens’ Officer of Young Labour. She castigated the Board of Deputies for its Gaza statement, claiming to know the views of the Jewish community despite only having been in it for eight months:
The sixth: Charlotte Fischer. She is in a leadership position: age 30, she works for Citizens UK as the ‘Senior Community Organiser’ with the Jewish community. She has a degree from Oxford. In 2015 she was ranked 28 for the Jewish News’ ’40 Jews under 40′.
The seventh: Joseph Finlay, founder of Jewdas and therefore in a leadership position. He specialises in sabotaging Jewish Community events which presumably explains why he was at this one. He styles himself as an ‘activist and innovator within the Jewish Community’. Make that ‘wrecker’.
The eighth: Maya Ilany, newly appointed as Deputy Director of Yachad. She removed her name from the list of attendees on May 19, no doubt in a futile attempt to try to distance Yachad from the obscenity. But the link with Yachad is unmistakeable. 22 of the 49 (45%) who said they were going have also signed the Yachad letter lambasting the Board of Deputies’ excellent Gaza statement (the 22 include Alston, Ilany, Jordan, Roiser and Schonfield).
The ninth: Ella Janner-Klausner, Youth leader with RSY-Netzer; leads Israel tours for young British Jews.
The tenth name is Rabbi Leah Jordan.
Jordan can be seen in the video wearing a Tallith (prayer shawl) and leading the Kaddish. (I tweeted and emailed her to confirm her identity. She didn’t reply but she was on the acceptance list and has been identified by photos and by her American accent). A Rabbi is a community leader. In addition she works extensively with young people.
Her attendance at this sickening event and her failure to call it off when the Bardawil news broke is an absolute disgrace. There is no way that she should be working with impressionable young people. The same applies to Alston.
All ten in this ‘Roll Of Shame’ owe an apology for failing to call off the event and then for saying Kaddish for Hamas terrorists. What next? Rending garments? Shiva? Yahrzeit? It’s obscene.
The truly sickening thought (voiced by David Collier in a blog published simultaneously) is to imagine that the Hamas terrorists had succeeded in breaching the border fence on 14 May. Imagine that they had reached Kibbutz Nahal Oz, just 800 meters from the border, and that they had murdered Israeli children. What then? Then there surely would have been no ‘Kaddish for Hamas’ on Thursday. But neither would these Jews have gone to Parliament Square to mourn the dead of Nahal Oz. They mourn only for the Hamas killers of Jews. It is as obscene as it is accurate.
If the ten leaders are reading this: You owe an apology to those of us who say Kaddish for parents who loved Israel:
Above all, you owe an apology *NOW* to the heroes of the IDF and their families. Hundreds of Israeli lives have been lost to Hamas and some soldiers – like Taylor Amrani’s boyfriend – have suffered life-changing injuries (he lost his eyesight when a bomb exploded in a Hamas tunnel).
Now they have been named, I call for action to be taken against these ten. By the Board of Deputies under the Code of Conduct; by the Labour Party; by Liberal Judaism; by Yachad; by others. I also call on communal leaders – including the Rabbinate – yes, including the Chief Rabbi – to speak out to condemn the obscene event. It should surely not be left to a few bloggers to show the red card.
These people should not be allowed within 100 miles of Jewish children or students.
Never again must London see anyone praying for dead Hamas terrorists.
Let alone, Jews!
David Collier’s analysis of the event is published simultaneously here.
Addendum: Eight more names (with thanks to David Collier)
Rob Abrams is the man in the video who read out many of the names of the terrorists. He is the Youth Engagement Coordinator at the Jewish Council on Racial Equality.
The other person who read out the names is Rachel Diamond-Hunter:
As an example of her activities, here is a 2015 post from Malia Bouattia giving a ‘shout out’ to her for coordinating a ‘confront Israeli Apartheid’ event sponsored by BDS and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Helping Daniel Mackintosh intimidate Yochy Davis was an unidentified woman who spoke with an Israeli accent. She pushed Yochy, stood ‘guard’ over her for much of the time and tried to interrupt filming on more than one occasion.
Another LJY-Netzer movement worker who attended was Simon Lovick. He also signed the Yachad letter.
He also co-signed the letter from Liberal Judaism criticising the Board of Deputies statement, dated 16 May – the day of the Bardawil announcement!
A second RSY-Netzer leader there was Jake Cohen. He signed the Yachad letter and wrote a blog in Times of Israel (22 May) defending his participation in the Kaddish for Hamas. The blog shows not a scintilla of understanding of why what he did was so offensive (……….’all that we did last week was calmly and publicly express our viewpoints’). This man is a youth leader ……….
Nina Morris Evans was also there – and signed the Yachad letter and also wrote a blog defending the event, in Times of Israel (22 May). Incredibly in the face of all the evidence she refers to the terrorists who attempted to breach the border fence ‘unarmed protesters’. She is in her first year at Oxford, reading PPE ………let’s hope her essays for Prelims are considerably more respectful of the facts than this blog (and she learns the difference between ‘its’ and ‘it’s).
Nina wasn’t alone. She was with her mother, Abigail Morris.
Nina’s sister Shulamit (ex-Cambridge) was there too.
A third RSY Netzer educator was there: The Director of Informal Education of the Reform Movement, Josh Martin.
Addendum 2: Interview with the cabbie hero who intervened
“I was absolutely fuming. I’m a taxi driver. I turned off my For Hire sign, spun the cab round and drove the three miles from Bayswater to Parliament Square………………”
Addendum 3: RSY-Netzer has barred Nina Morris Evans from leading tour groups in Israel this summer