9th Aug 2018. I was at Friends House Euston for a meeting of the ‘Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK‘ (AOHR UK). There were about thirty-five other attendees. Three speakers were present, Salma Karmi Ayyoub, Mahmoud Zawahra & Anne Irfan. The two headline acts were video-linked, Amal Abu Moaliqe from Gaza, and the new starlet of the ‘resistance’, Ahed Tamimi.
Focusing on antisemitism inside the Labour Party is taking up most of my time, but the drip-feed of anti-Jewish sentiment into wider society must still be monitored. The rise in antisemitism is not the result of Jeremy Corbyn winning the leadership election. The virus has been developing virtually unchallenged for years. Politics and academia have both been infected. Corbyn’s victory and grip on the party apparatus is merely a sign of developing antisemitic strength.
The new academic year is starting soon. The anti-Zionist activists are already in preparation. Take this recent post from Nicola Pratt from the University of Warwick:
We can see in the post above that Pratt clearly wants to press on the students her own highly flawed position. Needless to say, given the leaning of her ‘internet bubble’ the book recommendations were heavily one-sided. The two elements are related. As the false narrative is based on a demonisation of Jewish refugees, the dripping poison supplied by the anti-Israel industry ferments antisemitism. This places *all* fervent anti-Zionists on the wrong side in the war against racism. Protecting the right to be antisemitic (through a denial of that antisemitism) and the right to spread antisemitism (through propagation of the false narrative) become basic pillars in defending the cause.
The strange case of the AOHR UK
So going to these anti-Israel events remains a key part of my research. I had never heard of AOHR UK before but their website suggests it is a ‘human rights’ organisation. The listed company barely registers activity. The sole director is called ‘Mohammed Jamil’. He has a second ‘dormant‘ company called ‘Lawyers for Jerusalem’. The registered office address in Stratford has dozens of anti-Israel companies and hundreds of names attached to it. Some are well-known, including Ms Sarah Colborne, the ex-Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (it was the registered office for the now dissolved ‘Britain 2 Gaza Ltd‘).
There is also a recently founded ‘AOHR Britain and Europe‘, and an older company ‘AOHR in Europe‘. On documents for these companies, Jamil also uses the names Mohammad Jamil-Al Hirch, Mohammed Al-Hirch and Mohammed Jameel. Sometimes he spells Mohammad with an a, sometimes an e. It makes a comprehensive search difficult. Companies House have more than one listing for him (a, b & c).
AOHR and extremism
In Feb 2015, Andy Slaughter MP hosted an AOHR UK event in Parliament. Investigations at the time exposed links between the Company Directors and the Muslim Brotherhood. Here is an image of Mohammed Jamil with Raed Salah:
Salah had been arrested in the UK in 2011 and Jamil came to his aid when he faced a deportation order by the Home Office in 2012. Raed Salah has accused Jews of classic blood libels, pushed the notion that Jews were warned not to turn up for work on 9/11 and has called for a global caliphate. He heads the Islamic Movement in Israel and has been sentenced to prison several times. Salah’s UK arrest came as he had arrived to attend an event with Jeremy Corbyn.
At the time AOHR shared the same accountancy firm as the Cordoba Foundation. David Cameron called Cordoba a ‘political front for the Muslim Brotherhood’. AOHR have held several events at Parliament (read a report on a 2015 event by Richard Millett), the most recent, in July, was hosted by Chris Williamson MP.
At this point AOHR UK’s political activity makes sense. It is anti-Egypt, anti-Israel and anti-UAE. It isn’t guided by human rights but rather used as a channel to protect radical Islamist interests. When Saudi Arabia began sanctioning Qatar over it’s terror ties, it was AOHR UK that started holding events to oppose the blockade. Egypt & the UAE are states hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood.
AOHR and British Politicians
It shows the farce of the ‘humanitarian’ left. All that is necessary is to place the words ‘Human-Rights’ into the title of the organisation, and you have access to halls of power. Nobody knows who funds this group, they have a history of association with terror groups and yet they can hold events on campus and in Westminster at will.
They also take our politicians abroad and fund their trips. Just who are our politicians receiving freebies from? Take this recent article from the UAE paper ‘The National’. Titled ‘Web of obscure British firms try to tarnish UAE’s terrorism fight’ it focuses exclusively on those behind AOHR UK. This is something few people in the UK realise. Forces in the Middle East fighting terrorism have come to regard the UK as a place of ‘risk’, where pro-terror organisations can operate freely in the halls of power.
Protesting the fight against terror
Last year, the UAE gave money to Interpol to assist in the fight against terrorism. Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock praised the funding. Who opposed it? OAHR UK, who held two events in London to protest the financial assistance given to Interpol.
This according to Emma Webb from the Henry Jackson Society:
‘The UK’s islamist scene is now an interconnected fluid alliance of movements sharing similar aims. They have built an ecosystem of organisations, media and literature outlets, lobby groups, educational institutions, charities, companies, hosting everything from conferences to recreational activities,” she said. “The Muslim Brotherhood spearheaded this approach – entering people’s lives and politics through every available route. By creating such a vast network, they are more than the sum of their parts and inflate their ability to influence.’
Three of the MPs linked to OAHR UK in the past year (Andy Slaughter, Chris Williamson and Graeme Morris) are three of only four Labour MPs who opposed the recent vote on the IHRA definition of antisemitism.
Was the AOHR boss arrested?
An incident seems to have occurred last month that involved Mohammed Jamil. The Emir of Qatar visited London and there were naturally some minor protests. Allegedly Mohammed Jamil assaulted at least one of the protestors. I have no way of currently verifying this news. Qatar are well known for their human rights abuses and their ties with terrorist organisations. Why would a human rights activist physically attack someone protesting against the arrival of the Emir? There is doubt over the story, another report speaks of face to face confrontation but no violence (some of the protestors even seem to have been paid actors). This is worth further investigation because of the clear pro-terrorist, anti-humanitarian, message that such activity would highlight.
Back to the conflict
It may seem odd to write this, but the discussion that unfolded during the event itself (Tamimi aside) can be categorised as ‘relatively tame’. This goes a long way to underlining just how rabid the level of antisemitism inside British politics has become. There was no Holocaust Denial, no talk about Rothschild Conspiracy. The Jews were not accused of being behind 9/11 or Charlie Hebdo. In comparison to the antisemitism I now encounter daily inside the Labour Party, this was a picnic.
Except of course it was still full of the usual propaganda tales that are always delivered with such expertise at these events. So well do I know the script, I could write it myself. Salma Karmi Ayyoub was meant to chair the event but ran forty minutes late. This meant that academic activist Anne Irfan was the first to speak.
Anne the clone
Over the last few years anti-Zionist activism has firmly occupied British academia. There are whole departments controlled by people who have little interest outside of anti-Israel activism. Some universities have become virtual conveyor belt systems. An industrial scale method of churning out new anti-Israel activists. Anne Irfan is a product of this system. There is little substance to her work, no originality and certainly no critical thinking. Her skillset is simply added to a clone-like pool of academic activists working to destroy the State of Israel. She is not a ‘bad person’ and she truly believes she is fighting for justice, but there is little of merit in anything she says. Anne has come to lay the groundwork, so she opens on the situation in Khan al-Ahmar and said this:
‘How this particular case (Khan al-
Ahmar) is really indicative of a wider unfortunate trend, we are seeing across Palestine in general in terms of threats to Palestinian education. So Khan al- Ahmar is a particular urgent and pressing case it is by no means exceptional. In fact threats to this school are representative of wider attacks on Palestinian children’s rights to education’
The statement is a blatant lie and it is classic anti-Israel propaganda. There are three unique hot-spots under Israeli control. Khan al-
Anti-Israel propagandists simply take the exception and imply it is the rule. Evidence of the exception is then provided. This becomes the focus of the discussion and everyone leaves a little more stupid and believing all Palestinians are experiencing this type of situation all the time. No context or counter argument is ever provided.
It may seem simple, but the truth remains that this strategy is devastatingly effective.
Mahmoud Zawahra the ‘witness’
Zawahra’s most offensive contribution was to come when he translated for Ahed Tamimi, but his own talk left little doubt he is an effective propagandist. His tales simply do not seem true, but they are delivered with force and he clearly understands how to distort a message. Zawahra works the audience well. He talks of olive trees, his childhood and non-violent resistance. At one point he claims soldiers have come to him ‘crying’ saying they wish to ‘leave the regime’.
This carefully woven tale of ‘all the people’ being held back by cruel ‘regime forces’ creates the Empire v Rebel Alliance imagery that so easily morphs into the Nazi analogy. He told a story of how he was once arrested:
‘I personally was jailed in an Israeli jail because I stood in solidarity with the victims of the Holocaust. When I wore the black and white and I jumped on the Israeli jeep, and they don’t want this dark face to be in the newspapers standing in solidarity with the victims of the Holocaust. They don’t want this.’
See what he is taking ownership for here? Zawahra wants to mourn the Holocaust victims, but the white racist Jews won’t let him, so they throw him in jail. This story actually works on those who may not realise the glaring fallacy, that Zawahra’s face is no darker than many Israelis. Including those who may have been sitting in that jeep. Had he been pictured in the newspapers, people would have thought he was an Israeli. His story makes no sense and is clearly distorted if not a blatant lie. Given the attempt to use Holocaust victims to stir up hatred for Jews, it makes for a pretty vile fiction to spread around.
When Zawahra discussed the failed peace process there was no mention of Arab violence. Arab violence is never mentioned at these events.
Amal Abu Moaliqe
The first video link came from Gaza. Amal is officially part of the Middle East Children’s Alliance. Unofficially she is part of a massive propaganda campaign. Her talk was interesting because of the timing. It came at the end of a day of violence. Amal painted a desperate picture of life in Gaza without electricity and water. Tragic as the reality (even given her exaggeration) may be, there was no sense of any Palestinian agency and everything was Israel’s fault. She said there were only two crossings into Gaza, both under Israeli control (in fact there are three, one of these is with Egypt). She spoke about all the innocent people injured and killed during the ‘great return march’. There is no mention of Hamas, rockets, kites or any other form of violence.
She describes how Israel have been bombing all day and that she couldn’t sleep the night before. This is delivered as witness testimony. Powerful, effective, unchallenged. Amal already had the information about the destruction of the ‘cultural centre‘. She says she was there (impossible to know if she meant on that day) and adds that her friends dance there. It is all about making it personal. She had been briefed, she knew how many stories the building had and how quickly the building had come down. Amal then lied and said eighteen people had been killed (none were).
Amal is aware of the propaganda she is spreading. She talks about how she has ‘survived today’, but doesn’t know if she will survive tomorrow. Israelis apparently target ‘women, children and old people’. It is all deliberate, false and scripted.
Someone in the audience asked a question about whether people in Gaza support the rockets. It was a good question. In return this means that it would unsettle a propagandist and it clearly did. She gave an answer that lasted 90 seconds. She used the word ‘peace’ ten times in that response. Her answer was full of contradiction. In short this is what she said:
The only way to achieve peace is by peace. The rockets are harmless. We want peace. Some people think if we hurt the Israelis they will want peace (with ‘harmless’ rockets?).
Ahed Tamimi, and violent resistance
I wanted to see Ahed Tamimi. I imagine several attendees had only turned up because of the promise she would speak. When it came to her turn, there were problems with connectivity. Tamimi was at a wedding (when she was finally connected we could hear a party in the background). I also noticed that the Skype account wasn’t hers. It belonged to a ‘Mohammed Khatib‘. Khatib is a Board Member of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee. It shows how this drip-feed- is controlled and how Tamimi is now considered a prize asset.
Tamimi was as I expected, a teenage loudmouth with a vastly exaggerated opinion of herself. She was asked a question about the fight against Israel.
In the response, Mahmoud Zawahra translated her words as these:
‘People under occupation have the right to resist the occupier, and the natural rule is to fight the occupier. This is to fight through education, arts, any means of resistance, in a way of following the crimes of the occupation internationally, and sue the occupation for their crimes, all the means of resistance, especially the non violent resistance is the best way of fighting the occupation’.
I have bolded the last section of that response for a reason. People in the room were given a distorted translation. Tamimi does not say ‘especially the non-violent resistance’ (the audio is included if anyone wants to verify).
I had the audio checked by Arabic speakers and Mahmoud Zawahra seems to have distorted her message, to make her say what he wanted her to say. In Arabic she apparently states that ‘all forms of resistance are acceptable’ and the non-violent emphasis is fake. In essence, this a microcosm of the entire anti-Israel movement in a few short seconds. Hide the truth. Lie.
Zawahra went on to address the use of ‘Jewish’ by Arabic speakers (like Tamimi). They don’t mean ‘Jew’ when they say ‘Jew’, he said, they mean ‘Zionist’. And here we come full circle to the Labour party. Isn’t it odd, that no matter what people say about Jews, whether with or without the umbrella of the term ‘Zionist’, it seems nobody ever actually means ‘Jew’. Even when they use the term explicitly.
And then it was done.
It is wrong to underestimate these events. This is how the hate is spread. Through false witness statements, lies and distortion. We ignored them for far too long and are only now waking up to the damage that has occurred in our society through our inactivity. If the Palestinian cause is not willing to accept any responsibility for any of the major mistakes Palestinians have made (and continue to make), there is only one option left open to them – blame the Jews. As the distortion of the Tamimi translation shows it is not about the truth, it is about deliberate deception. It is what they have been doing for decades.
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