University of London Panel Calls for Annihilation of Israel as Solution to Global Antisemitism
Speakers at a Wednesday evening University of London Student Union (ULSU)-sponsored panel called for the destruction of Israel as a solution to antisemitism, a British watchdog group reported.
According to UK Media Watch, several panelists issued the calls during an event centered on the theme of antisemitism in the Labour Party and alleging that the ongoing uproar over widespread anti Jewish rhetoric in the party is being used to silence critics of Israel and bring down leader Jeremy Corbyn. A leaflet handed out at the beginning of the panel, titled “Labour Jews Assert,” stated, “some people…are wielding ‘antisemitism’ allegations as a stick to beat the Corbyn leadership.”
Speaker Tariq Ali — a British Pakistani writer, journalist and filmmaker, who is an outspoken supporter of Hamas — said the annihilation of Israel would greatly benefit both Palestinians and Israelis. Antisemitism, according to Ali, is a result of the creation of a Jewish state, and once Israel is wiped off the map, antisemitism will disappear. Ali’s calls for a one-state solution were seconded by fellow speaker John Rose, a notorious anti-Israel and anti-Zionist author.
Ali also accused Israel of branding those who criticize the country as antisemites, stating, “This is not a decision that was taken here [in Britain] or in Washington, DC. This was a decision that was taken by the Israeli government in Israel.” He referred to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as the “first mass non-violent movement to get Palestinian rights and defend Palestinian rights.”
Ali said the Holocaust “taught as a unique crime is not helpful” and minimizes other global atrocities. “If what is being done with Muslim communities today were being done to the Jews again, how many would tolerate it? Very few. And these are the double standards,” he said.
Also present at the panel was Weyman Bennett of Unite Against Fascism, Arthur Goodman of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Lindsey German of Stop the War Coalition, and “As a Jew” activist Walter Wolfgang.
According to the report, Goodman said Jewish organizations should not be allowed to take part in defining antisemitism, due to a conflict of interest. He claimed Israel “ethnically cleansed” Palestinians in 1948, referring to it as the Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe.” Echoing Goodman’s ideas on the Nakba, Wolfgang asserted that Palestinians were “driven out of their habitations” in 1948 and called for Israel to withdraw to pre-1967 lines.
Bennett praised the Left for its fight against antisemitism, citing his organization’s protest against Hungarian party Jobbik leader Gábor Vona’s visit to the UK in January 2014. German called for open criticism of the political ideology of Zionism and argued that many Jews do not support the state of Israel.
Present in the audience of 300 attendees was Israel activist Jonathan Hoffman, the report noted, who handed out copies of the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) Working Definition of Antisemitism. During the question-and-answer session at the end of the panel, Hoffman attempted to “articulate Israel’s case under immense pressure.”
The University of London has been the site of high-profile anti-Israel activities. In January, police were called to the scene of an anti-Israel riot on campus, in which one Jewish student was physically assaulted. The riot broke out after a speech by former Shin Bet (Israel security agency) chief Ami Ayalon. In March, the ULSU passed a motion supporting the BDS movement.