The Palestine Centre at the antisemitic sewer aka ‘SOAS’ (School of Oriental and African Studies) in London held its annual lecture last night (6 March). The speaker was Haneen Zoabi. Zoabi –a former Arab Party member of the Knesset – wants to get rid of Jews from Israel. She travels the world to persuade audiences that Israel is an “apartheid state”. She has accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing modelled on Nazism.” She supports Israeli Arabs joining ISIS and has called the IDF “worse than ISIS”. She has provocatively met the families of terrorists who killed Israelis. Zoabi has allied herself with the terror group Hamas and has written to justify firing terrorist rockets at Israeli civilians.
Zoabi is not even supported by many Arabs in Israel. Arab Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh wrote that Zoabi betrayed her constituents by grandstanding in the Knesset and intentionally working to inflame racial tensions, rather than working to address the daily life issues of Arab voters.
The title of Zoabi’s lecture was itself antisemitic: ‘The Injustice of the Century: The Legitimation of Israeli Apartheid.’ (See here for slaying of the Apartheid Smear).
Much of it was condemnation of the recently announced US Peace Plan (which – like all its predecessors – has been rejected by the Palestinians). While she stuck to her script it was not extreme, but as soon as she spoke freely without a script, we saw her true colours and Lie followed upon Lie. Israel has “dozens of laws giving Arabs inferior status because they are not Jewish” ..”Israel wants to get rid of the Palestinians” ….”Israel does not need to respect international law”…. “Israel doesn’t need peace” …. “European media is always influenced by the Zionist Lobby” ….”You cannot support Israel unless you are undermining international law”. And of course endless parroting of the Apartheid Smear. And in discussing UN publications, the failure to tell the largely student audience that in 2017 incoming UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ordered the removal of a report accusing Israel of apartheid from the website of the UN body that published it.
She spoke for 71 minutes, double the time that the Chair, Dr Dina Matar, had indicated. Then came the Q&A. A man who gave his name as Naftali asked Zoabi for a single example of racism in Israel against Arabs, pointing out that she herself had been a member of the Knesset and that the Supreme Court had annulled attempts to bar her from running for re-election, due to her treason. Her response – suggesting that she had been discriminated against – elicited calls of “You were elected!” from the pro-Israel audience members. Matar promptly threatened to evict them. In response they held up signs, in a silent protest:
Matar’s incredible response (it can be heard here) was “So you think Palestinians are not Semites?”
This needs explaining. The stock response of antisemites to allegations of Arab antisemitism is that ‘Arabs are Semites too so how can they be antisemitic?’ But the word ‘antisemitism’ denotes Jew hatred and has nothing to do with ‘Semites’. To misuse it in this way is simply a crude attempt to deny Jews the right to call out prejudice. For a senior academic to do it is utterly despicable.
The disorder then increased. Cries of ‘Israel is a democracy’ were met with a sinister chorus from the mob of “Zionists Out”, chillingly redolent of the cries of “Juden Raus” on Kristallnacht in 1938 in Nazi Germany.
An elderly woman dressed in pink in the front row announced herself as a ‘Holocaust Survivor’ (video here). The truth is that she was born in Budapest in 1944 so knew nothing about the Holocaust. She’s a charlatan, she was never in a death camp. But to call herself a ‘survivor’ adds to her cachet among the antisemites when she maligns Israel (there are several similar examples eg Hedy Epstein). And of course adds to their faux indignation when we call out the Lie.
SOAS is virtually a Jew-free university. Listening to the mob baying “Zionists Out!” you can see why. It is an utter disgrace that most Jewish students should effectively be barred from a British University. A new Director starts in January 2021. He needs to declare that SOAS recognises the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism and to fire any academic staff who object. And in its daily operation, the Definition must be respected. If not, taxpayer funding should be withdrawn.
There was so much that was appalling about this hatefest that I forgot to mention the most cynical, calculating, loathsome thing about it ….. that it was deliberately held on a Friday night thus preventing many Jews from being there.