The more I engage with antisemitism, the more I realise that when it comes to people who hate Jews, most people really do not care. What happened this week in Edinburgh is a good example.
Two months ago, my report into the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign was published by Jewish Human Rights Watch. The research identified incredibly high concentration levels of antisemites within the SPSC. In fact, when it comes to their leading ‘on the street’ activists, the report found over 40% of them have shared highly offensive antisemitic material.
The findings suggested a correlation between levels of Jew hate and levels of anti-Israel activity. It is something we always knew existed, but were unable to show in detail. The report succeeded because it separated comments about Jews, from comments about Israel, before drawing them all together again to highlight the relationship. Recent academic research by Daniel Stajecki, discusses an ‘elastic view’ of antisemitism and further cements the existence of this connection.
My report into the SPSC suggests pockets of hard-core antisemites congregate wherever public anti-Israel activity is undertaken. Groups such as the SPSC (and the PSC in England and Wales) become magnets for Jew haters.
Yet if we are to gauge the dangers of antisemitism properly, we shouldn’t look at the groups like the SPSC, but rather, how wider society deals with these groups. In an ideal world, antisemitism should be roundly rejected and vilified. However, this knock-on ‘rejection’ simply isn’t happening.
After the SPSC report was published, a few media outlets ran stories calling for a societal response. In the Telegraph, Andrew Percy MP suggested that ‘we must acknowledge we have a problem‘. John Mann, head of the parliamentary body tackling anti-Semitism also called for ‘urgent action‘. Other MP’s including from Scotland, spoke of the findings and the need to take action. In the Scottish Sunday Times, Alex Massie said the report ‘is a clear warning for platform-sharing politicians‘.
The report was sent to many political figures in Scotland. In an ideal world, the job is done. Everyone knows now and nobody would give Jew haters a platform.
In the real world, the SPSC simply do not care. They brushed off the report with empty personal attacks and suggestions the people (their own activists) in the report do not represent them. This from their response:
Collier’s attack on SPSC as ‘antisemites’ and ‘Holocaust deniers’ is part of the Israeli Embassy’s widely publicised campaign against the BDS movement.. The end result is that nasty stuff by individuals most of us have never seen is listed by the Israeli Embassy front man as supposed proof that the ‘core membership’ of SPSC is involved…. Collier doesn’t only work with a keyboard – he is part of a team that actively disrupts Palestinian support activities on campuses…. All of them report back to the Israeli Embassy.
Firstly, I have never disrupted a meeting in my life, nor am I a member of any ‘team’. Secondly I entirely reject any notion that my opposition to Jew hate, is somehow part of an official ‘Israel Campaign’ (a good moment to point out to the SPSC that accusations against British Jews that they report to the ‘Israeli Embassy’ is, well, antisemitic). Finally, their dismissal of the core activists as ‘having never been seen’, by Mick Napier (SPSC Secretary) and Sofiah MacLeod (SPSC Chair) is simply absurd.
5th October 2017, Edinburgh
At this point, we can bring into the discussion an event that was held on October 5 2017. Hosted by Edinburgh PSC and the SPSC.
The speaker at the event was Khaled Khalil.
Incredibly, Khaled was included in my report (p124-125) because of several hard-core antisemitic posts he had shared. So the SPSC, who have been through this report , must know this too. Yet still they create events with him as the speaker.
The posts of Khaled Khalil
These are just some of the social media posts, that the SPSC speaker has shared. BE WARNED, some of the links in this section may not be safe to open within a work environment.
The YouTube video link is here. Powerful Jews controlling world events, forcing nations to go to war for their own gain. It suggests Germany found out that the Jews were responsible for their defeat in World War 1. Thus German anger towards Jews becomes understandable. Germans were angry and the Holocaust becomes punishment for Jewish treachery.
This is the link to the video. This one talks about how Rothschild owns all the central banks and has manipulated everyone into attacking Afghanistan, Iraq, mainly through the use of the 9/11 ‘false flag’ attack on the Twin Towers.
This is a link to the video. The video discusses the ‘Jewish war on terror’. The Charlie Hebdo attack becomes a ‘lesson in Israeli payback, due to France voting for a Palestinian State at the UN‘. Going on to point out ‘the Jews have descended on Paris’, ‘bringing their clash of civilisations with them‘, ‘where civil strife brings on a Jewish police state‘.
This post is long, and contains a long list of Facebook links to ‘prove it’s point’ and to give the reader further information about the twisted ideology behind it. These links highlight the mindset of those that share it. Have a look at some of them:
Jews, Jews, Jews. Jews killing Jesus, Jews and ritual killings, the New World Order, Israel is ISIS, attacks on Jewish religious writing and Jews faking hate crimes. The word ‘Zionist’ doesn’t even get a mention. Many other links not in the image, dealt with Rothschild or 9/11 conspiracy. An entire library of hard core antisemitic tropes, and a vilification, not of Zionism, but of everything Jewish. This is the link to the video on the Talmud, talking about how some Jews disguise themselves to pretend to be like ordinary people.
Khalil doesn’t just share one or two posts of this type. He shares many:
And so many of them are about ‘Zionist’ control of the United States. Jewish manipulation and control of the world. He wants everyone to understand ‘what is going on’. Khalil also pushes the Israel is ISIS conspiracy:
This is the person that SPSC ‘knowingly’ invited to be the main speaker at their event.
The Edinburgh venue – Tollcross Community Centre
In the two months since the report was published, the SPSC have hosted events featuring several of those people building careers on the back of their own, or other people’s antisemitism. Both Jackie Walker and Thomas Suarez toured Scotland in August. Jackie Walker is completely lost inside a dangerous ideological straw man of her own making, and Suarez wrote a book that distorted history to such a degree it is no longer recognisable. So where does a group so tainted with antisemitism hold its events? The answer is that the event on the 5th October, like many SPSC Edinburgh events recently, was held at the Tollcross Community Centre in Edinburgh.
I am aware that others have written and complained to the Edinburgh Tollcross Community Centre about hosting such events. The Edinburgh venue is a public building, the centre is inside a school, and email enquiries to this centre even use a school email address. I am also told that emails are rarely, if ever responded to.
In my own email to the centre, I simply asked:
‘I am writing a piece on the event, and obviously your hosting of it & provision of legitimacy for a hate-group forms part of that story. I would like to understand how such a group can gather to hear a speaker inside a school venue just weeks after the report was published (and widely commented on). The report suggests 40-50% of those who gathered last night on your premises share hard-core antisemitic views. Do you have examples of events you hold where Islamophobes can gather? How about hard-core anti-black racists?’
I am unlikely to get a response, and will certainly not have the central question answered. But if I were to receive a response, then who would write it? It is time to meet the manager of the Edinburgh Tollcross Community Centre:
The Venue Manger
David Hewitt is Facebook friends with both Mick Napier (SPSC Secretary) and Sofiah MacLeod (SPSC Chair). He is also the Manager of the Tollcross Community Centre. His Facebook profile is not open, but some posts are still public. This should give us some clues:
According to Facebook, Hewitt was also at the May 18th Edinburgh protest, when Israeli Ambassador Regev came to the Scottish Parliament. Here is another public post:
The article pushes the line that nobody has been as good as exploiting 9/11, than Israel, because: ‘no one is as good as the Israelis when it comes to exploiting opportunities and events.’ Even horrific tragedies it seems. Those pesky Jews are feasting on blood again. Hewitt like many anti-Israel activists, shares fake news and uses extremist sites for information. Here he is pushing David Icke:
It isn’t just Icke. Hewitt is a ‘CLD worker‘, who is supposed to work on inclusion and social justice. He shares posts from websites that hold reprehensible views
Ignore the headline. As Muslims are massacred throughout the Middle East, and Christians also face persecution (or genocide), the article wants to suggest that those Arabs, Muslims and Christian, inside Israel, are the ones in ‘real danger’. We are used to these lies that anti-Israel activists share as ‘truth’. However, I want to focus on the website, ‘countdown2040.com‘. Hewitt has used it as a source more than once. The website contains a range of documents that support the idea Israel is a ‘bad place’ that has to be destroyed. Along with articles on prostitution and drug abuse in Israel, are articles on abortion and Gay & Lesbians.
Now I am not for one minute suggesting David Hewitt has a problem with homosexuality. Far from it. I fully believe he would be horrified to learn he is sharing material from groups that consider liberal gay rights laws as a valid reason to boycott Israel. What this shows, is how anti-Israel activists have a blind reflex with Israel. They link with conspiracy theories and hate groups and extremists, because that is simply where much of the anti-Israel material is being born. They don’t assess the source, it is enough that it is in the ‘hate Israel’ camp.
If I were to send a message for David Hewitt, it would only to suggest he looks long and hard in the mirror. He has entered a world where he shares posts from David Icke, false news sites and places where homosexuality is considered a crime against humanity. He probably discusses people like me with those that run the SPSC. Inside his world now, I have become the problem, because I oppose the hard-core antisemitism being given air inside his community centre. He protects groups that line up speakers who promote anti-Jewish hate speech. Somewhere along the line, he has taken a wrong turn.
The one in the group
This highlights the difficulty of the fight we are in. Whilst we are mainly passive, these ‘haters’ are aggressive. Single actors in a variety of settings become ‘enablers’. In unions, on councils, in schools. Intersectionality drives their strategy and in every setting where just one single member of the group has been tainted, the poison is spreading.
In this example someone who shared hard-core antisemitic material was a speaker at an event held by a group known for hard-core antisemitism. Yet such poison is still allowed to spread inside a school setting, just two months after the groups antisemitism had been laid bare.
This isn’t an exception. In February, my report into antisemitism inside the England & Wales PSC threw light onto the activities of Tapash Abu Shaim. A PSC activist who had helped run the PSC stall at the 2016 Labour Party Conference. Despite this receiving national coverage, despite complaints to the Labour party. Nothing changed. As I reported from the 2017 conference last week, Tapash was there, back at the PSC stall. Once again my own research is being shared, but if people are looking to groups like the PSC or SPSC, or even political parties like Labour, to ‘self cleanse’, they misunderstand the depth of the problem.
On every council, in almost every school, in every community centre, wider society is not dealing with toxic groups the way that it should because of individual sympathisers who have become activists. It takes just one member of the group to have ‘fallen into the trap’ of believing that antisemitism cannot exist where a humanitarian flag is waved. Where that happens, hard-core antisemitism is promoted and allowed to spread. When left unchallenged this turns each environment into a hostile environment that sees Jews as the problem. Because of this, society is not dealing with Jew hate in the same way it does other forms of racism. We have a real fight on our hands. We cannot stop, we cannot relax. Not for a second.
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