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October 28, 2016 11:11 am

Palestinian-British Author Who Took Part in Controversial House of Lords Event: Israel to Blame for Global Antisemitism

avatar by Rachel Frommer

Karl Sabbagh. Photo: Facebook.

Karl Sabbagh. Photo: Facebook.

Israel is responsible for global antisemitism, a Palestinian-British writer and filmmaker told The Algemeiner on Wednesday, on the heels of a House of Lords event promoting anti-Zionism.

After delivering a speech at the UK parliament-hosted re-launch of a Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) campaign to get the British government to apologize for the 100-year-old Balfour Declaration, Karl Sabbagh said that Jews around the world “would be better off” if Israel had never been established.

“They would not be the focus of hostility, and sometimes antisemitism, because of the actions of a state which they do not support but which claims them as its potential citizens,” asserted Sabbagh, whose talk at the event was described as being about “how successive British governments fell in love with Zionism, until it was too late” — referring to the political history of Britain following the 1917 letter sent by Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Jewish community leader Baron Walter Rothschild, saying that the British government “views[s] with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Sabbagh told The Algemeiner that he belongs to a group working to “counteract the influence” of British-Jewish organizations, which “insist on a regular series of meetings with ministers and parliamentarians to make sure their views are being heard and acted upon” and hurl an “organized torrent of abuse” whenever politicians “support Palestine or speak out against Israel’s actions.”

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The PRC program, “Time to Say Sorry,” was hosted by notoriously anti-Israel Baroness Jenny Tonge, who resigned from the Liberal Democrat Party Thursday, after being suspended for her part in the controversial event.

Israel denounced the “shameful” gathering, during which a participant blamed the Jews for the Holocaust and the audience applauded at the suggestion that “if anybody is antisemitic, it’s the Israelis themselves.”

David Collier, a blogger who attended the program, told The Algemeiner, “When I go to events like this, I see the Jew-hatred. I see the antisemitism. I feel it.”

Fiona Sharpe, co-chair of Sussex Friends of Israel (SFI), told The Algemeiner, “There is a very thin line between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. It would appear that some at the meeting seemed to cross that line.”

In addition to Sabbagh’s talk at the event, speeches were delivered by Professor Manuel Hassassian, ambassador of the Palestinian Mission to the UK, who has accused Israel of extrajudicial killings of Palestinians, and Betty Hunter, honorary president of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, a group with a history of antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

According to the watchdog organization NGO Monitor, the Palestinian Return Centre has accused Israel of war crimes, apartheid, genocide and other “flagrant violation[s] of international law.” It has also said that the PRC may have ties to Hamas.

Watch video from the PRC event below:

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