Antiracism’s gone down the plughole in Bath

You wouldn’t imagine that Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution – a venerable Charity with a 250 year history) would be a friendly venue for the PSC, would you?

After all, its objective (see its Articles of Association) include ‘the promotion and advancement, for the public benefit, of science, literature and art in the City of Bath and its surrounding areas by such means as the Directors of the Company think fit.’

You wouldn’t imagine that this would include hosting the PSC, an organisation that desires the end of Israel as a Jewish State and which is a refuge for antisemites, would you?

But apparently it does. In April the PSC (aka Bath Friends of Palestine) at the BRLSI hosted Thomas Suarez, author of a viciously antisemitic book. In September they hosted Kamel Hawwash, the PSC’s Chair.  Hawwash defended Mohammad Halabi – who murdered two Israeli men and injured a woman and baby in 2015 – calling him “a martyr” because he was subsequently shot and killed by police.

Now the BRLSI is hosting this meeting on 1 November.

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Look first at the title ‘Messiah Mode: The rise and fall and rise of Israel’s biggest racists’.

To refer to Israel’s religious or political leaders as “Messiahs” is profoundly offensive to Jews. The Messiah in Judaism is a significant figure, with the characteristics of a priest and king, who will change the world order, in accordance with the will of God.  The Messiah has yet to come. To suggest that Israel’s leaders imagine themselves to be the “Messiah” is a very nasty slur. Even nastier is that the title refers to them as ‘racists’. The rights of Israel’s non-Jewish population are protected by law and non-Jews can be found in senior positions in every profession, including as diplomats and as Judges on the Supreme Court.

Now look at the speaker, David Sheen. Sheen lies about Israel and demonises the country, see here.

Sheen also fabricates quotes in order to demonise Israel, see here. 

The widely accepted IHRA definition of antisemitism states that ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective’ is antisemitic. Sheen clearly falls into this category.

The response of Betty Suchar – the BRLSI Chair – to protests is that she believes in free speech ‘and that any group within reason can hire a room at BRLSI’.

But the maintenance of ‘free speech’ is conditional, as set out in Article Ten of the European Convention on Human Rights. This says that ‘free speech’ must be subject to ‘the protection of the reputation or rights of others’.    Jews have the right to not be subjected to antisemitism.

Would it be ‘within reason’ for the BRLSI hire a room to David Irving for a meeting to promote Holocaust Denial?

Or to the English Defence League for a meeting to be addressed by a White Nationalist?

If not – how is accepting this meeting ‘within reason’?

And look how Bath Friends of Palestine is promoting the meeting on Eventbrite and Facebook:

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It is a fake image. It is photoshopped.  Binyamin Netanyahu NEVER shook hands with Meir Kahane who died nearly 30 years ago

Read to the bottom of the event description and they even admit it’s photoshopped. But of course it will be reproduced thousands of times by Israel haters without such a qualification.