The ‘PalExpo’ came back to London for 2019. A large, two day ‘celebration’ of Palestinian culture, history and arts. It is extremely clever marketing. In theory there is nothing wrong with Palestinians holding an exhibition of culture, but the show was built for a far more sinister purpose than teaching dabke. There are two parts to the PalExpo and whilst the main exhibition hall had a range of activities from vase painting to date picking, a chain of political talks delivered the lies and the constant drumbeat of delegitimisation. Even the children’s games they had spread out pushed little but decontextualised propaganda. For example a ‘bowling alley’, where the skittles represent the wall, and they carried logos of companies that people are meant to boycott. A real game for kids:

palexpo skittles

 

And this is not to mention the exhibits on the settlements, checkpoints and so on. They even had a UN tent from 1949. It is an exercise in how to use cotton candy as a means of delivering poison.

The deception works well. Many of those I spoke to outside could not understand what there was to protest. It is just a ‘cultural exhibition’, they said. And asked ‘why are you protesting against it’? Did they not see who was speaking inside and what they were telling the audience? The reality is that many of these people do not realise how lost they are to the propaganda. When they hear the Palestinian narrative, when they look at the maps and listen to their ‘history’, they have so completely lost themselves inside it all, they see all opposition as nothing more than those ‘few’ in power trying to shut down the ‘truth’. It is all about the dead children and the hateful army that deliberately kills them. There is nothing beyond that.

Inside the PalExpo

This was not my first PalExpo. In 2017, they unceremoniously threw me, my wife and my son out following complaints about my presence from some attendees. We were mid-meal when we were told to leave. It is perhaps worth mentioning that since then, two of those involved have been expelled from the Labour party.  In 2017 it was at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference centre. This year, the PalExpo was in Olympia London. The main organisers, Friends of Al Aqsa, had only taken part of Olympia for PalExpo and even then, the venue was far too large for the crowd. I am sure they will spin the numbers, but they were certainly well down on 2017. On Saturday they claimed it was over 10,000 which is absolute poppycock:

Palexpo 10k

Apart from inside the main auditorium during the more important sessions, the place seemed sparsely populated. Many of the exhibits had no queue at all:

Pal expo empty

The cotton candy was for the families, almost exclusively Muslim, who had come to experience a ‘day out’ with their children. But the more serious stuff was taking place in one of the four rooms they were using for the talks. Inside these, the demographic was different, it was far more mixed with a majority of ‘white’ Corbynista types taking up the seats. It was almost as if two separate events were taking place. And whilst the anti-Israel media outlets are distributing images of the central hall during the final event because it was full, the truth is that the sparse numbers were visible almost everywhere:

Pal expo half empty

The PalExpo ‘festival of hate’ speakers

The PalEexpo brought in the heavyweights to sell the propaganda to the crowd, and it is here the strength of the anti-Israel crowd can be felt. In the original program were a host of academics, including Professors such as Ilan Pappe, Joseph Massad and Hatem Bazian. Professor Salman Sayyid is another one with tunnel vision, co-authoring problematic definitions of ‘Islamophobia’ whilst actively participating in events that belittle antisemitism. The audience also heard from Professor Rebecca Gould who in the past has set out to overplay the size/relevance of the non-Zionist Jewish community and fight against the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Given the current state of the Labour party, it is no surprise it was well-represented. With Faiza Shaheen, the Parliamentary candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green,  Huda Elmi from Labour’s NEC, who recently helped reinstate Chris Williamson. Colin Monehen who spoke at the last conference, Julie Ward, the Labour MEP for North-West England, Andy Slaughter MP for Hammersmith, Steven Saxby candidate for City of London, Leah Levane from the Yevsektsiya group JVL and Rachel Obrien Chair of London Young Labour.

Unions Unite

Then there are the unions. Shelly Asquith, political advisor at Unite, who has worn a ‘victory to the Intifada‘ T-shirt. Zita Holbourne from the PCS Union NEC. Simon Dubbins Director of International and Research from Unite. Louise Regan who was President of the NEU and Latifa Abouchakra, International Officer at the NEU and who seems to be comfortable comparing Gaza to the Holocaust and sharing posts from rabid antisemite Sandra Watfa:

And the students unions. Fope Olaleye, Black Students officer. Amina Easat Daas, who perhaps thinks there is no hypocrisy in fighting Islamophobia at Leeds University, whilst appearing at events that ridicule antisemitism. And of course Zamzam Ibahim, current President of the National Union of Students.

There were also a whole string of other propagandists and activists. Mandela’s grandson, Chief’ Zwelivelile Mandela was there too. And the host? Ismael Patel is chair of Friends of Al Aqsa. I have heard him give a talk at a university where he explained how Jews should be subordinate to Muslims on holy sites. The positions some of these people hold is frightening. They are spreading a narrative of hate and lies throughout the system.

Interesting to note there were some last minute changes and some backed out. Perhaps the upcoming BBC Panorama program on Labour’s antisemitism already has them running for the lifeboats.

Storytelling, antisemitism denial and the wonders of Narnia at PalExpo

The talks covered both days, all four rooms and every topic relevant to spreading hate, a false narrative and a denial of antisemitism. There were forty-two talks in total. I broke them down into five basic categories:

  • BDS, activism let us all stop Israel – 12 topics
  • Israel is the most evil nation on earth – 12 topics
  • Why dismantling Israel is the answer – 3 topics
  • Antisemitism is fictitious nonsense / everyone wants to silence Palestinians – 9 topics
  • Islamic / religious / community messaging – 6 topics

In just one speech, these are the messages that one attendee heard:

palexpo

As Luke Akehurst wrote on the PalExpo, ‘in this dark twilight world, everything is Israel’s fault’. But it is more than that. Theirs is Narnia, a make-believe world where an entire parallel ‘Paliverse’ exists. In the Paliverse no one questions, and no alternative voices are allowed. The discussions in anti-Israel events has long since parted from any resemblance to truth or reality.

There is no need to rehash all of their key arguments. This blog has been to enough events and deconstructed these arguments far too many times to need to go over 42 separate topics in this blog. What is true is that the combined message is a simple one: Israel is the world’s greatest evil, Jewish power, especially through a misuse of antisemitism, is denying the possibility of dealing with this at the international level, therefore only a united civil response can do anything about it. Ignore the ‘Hasbara’ and help us to destroy the demon state and rid it of the invaders. This is what the attendees were told. Whether they are aware of it or not.

Outside the PalExpo on day two

The second day I spend outside, amongst a handful of Jewish activists who had come to hand out leaflets and engage in dialogue. There had been some outside during the first day, but I had not joined them. On the second day I wanted to see how the event affected the attendees and wanted to engage with them outside. Predictably there were moments of real hostility. Despite some serious provocation, the Jewish activists maintained their composure throughout and whilst I am not sure of the value of these actions, there is a strong case to made that this is our only opportunity to at least try to reach some of these people.

It is never pleasant though. For every few that walk past with just a glare, there are those who take things further. In the first video you can see someone with a Palestinian flag painted on his face spit at me. It is no surprise. The people who spread the lies and the hate. The venue that allows it to take place. They must all share responsibility. They turn Israel and the Jews into monsters and demons. Walking out of such an event, leaves people with nothing but frustration and hate:

Joseph Cohen from the Israel Advocacy Movement was outside too. In my opinion, Joseph is a class apart when it comes to engaging those who hate us. He is always innovative and set up a table with a sign asking people to convince him to drop his support for Israel. I was watching Joseph talk to a man, who started spewing the nonsense about Adalah and their imaginary racist laws. I joined in. Then the man found out who I was. Worth watching what happened next:

 

A man who called me an ‘absolute scumbag’ for ‘falsely’ accusing people of antisemitism, went on to say the police ‘absolutely’ take their orders from the Jews. These are scripts fantasy fiction writers would think were too far-fetched to be believed. The security was not helpful. They were clearly ‘onside’ with the anti-Israel atmosphere and openly hostile. At one point one made some rather aggressive overtures towards Joseph. They realised they did not have the authority to do anything but wanted to make us feel uncomfortable.

Hostility and abuse

All of the others faced hostility and abuse. There were a few threats. The level of open antisemitism is astonishing and over the last few years it has got a lot worse and a lot more confident. I lost count at the amount of times people were told they were not ‘real Jews’. There are good Jews (anti-Zionists) and bad Jews (Zionists). We were often told to go back to Poland. Zionist Jews are openly abused as Jews, because the propaganda suggesting anti-Zionist Jews are actually a large force has been dangerously effective. There is a responsibility on anti-Zionist Jews to at least acknowledge they are a tiny minority. Instead the overstate it, deliberately blurring lines. This is a really dangerous strategy. It has enabled the normalisation of antisemitism. There was even someone with a sign saying ‘antisemitism is good for the Jews’.

Here is another video. Most of the abuse came from those walking by. One or two made a point. This man came and held up a sign simply saying ‘bullshit’. He ranted about plastic Jews, ‘Khazarian Jews’, wanting to create wars in the Middle East and own the earth. I know him. He is a regular on the circuit.

 

And it isn’t really about him, nor the other abusers. It is about those that came and applauded him. All those watching from the side. We saw plenty of examples of open and blatant antisemitism and not one person ever protested. This is how it happens. There are those who hate Jews and all the others who sit by and watch.

The truth of the PalExpo

There is one story that sums up the situation. Outside the venue, one of the Jewish activists, Mel, had engaged two Muslim girls. The exchange was sincere and cordial. There was underlying agreement about mutual respect and the need to achieve a deeper understanding of each other. The girls asked Mel to accompany them inside to watch a short movie. This a sign of how they believe these movies hold a truth that we are blind to. Converting a Zionist is as easy as showing them images of dead children. As if dead children are not on a tragedy for both sides or in all conflicts. Having built a rapport with these girls, Mel went in. They said they’d exchange contact information and continue the dialogue afterwards. Once inside, things changed. Mel was soon surrounded by haters and eventually the security was called. The girls changed their tune. They later said they’d been attacked for talking to her and had been ‘threatened’. Thus ended the relationship. A similar story to the one Joseph experienced with Zina after the Al Quds march.

This is why the moderates don’t matter. They lose. Whether in London or Gaza it is the extremists with their hate, threats of violence and ostracisation that rule the streets. Events like PalExpo is designed to create more of them. This is the truth of the PalExpo.

That all this could take place anywhere in 2019 is scary. But this didn’t take place in some private hut in an anonymous remote town. It took place in London Olympia, a major venue in the heart of our capital city. The speakers were Professors and MPs. And walking out of the conference the attendees felt wound up and confident enough to hurl abuse and spit at the Jews they saw outside, knowing there would be no price to pay. Nobody really cares. That isn’t just unsettling – we are in dangerous territory now.

 

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32 thoughts on “Hate and poison wrapped in cotton candy at the PalExpo

    1. Whereas the police now control Jonathan’s movement since his court appearance.

      “Hoffman and Lenszner are barred from coming within 10 metres of the three and face a potential maximum prison term of five years should they violate the order.”

      1. If I am not mistaken, you are talking about his confrontation with the rabid antisemite Sandra Watfa. A person who has shared Holocaust denial and uses hashtags such as #jewnitedstates. I don’t need to condone or support Jonathan’s actions to know I have no interest at all in letting you deflect from the topic by using my blog to attack Jonathan. Point me to a single post anywhere ever where you have defended Jews against those like Watfa, and I’ll reconsider. Until then – please don’t do that again here.

        1. “I have no interest at all in letting you deflect from the topic by using my blog to attack Jonathan.”

          I shall approach the topic as I usually do.

          You have supporters on this blog that do NOT stick to topic and use the blog to attack Muslims. If you are interested in having us stick to topic let’s see that in action in relation to those.

            1. Called off this week, Jurek.

              The Hall is being used instead by Israeli firing-squad conscripts learning how to spot children and medics at the fence, and where to shoot them to cripple them.

              1. 2019’s “PalExpo” was held on July 6th and JULY 7th.

                WHAT TIMING! How “sensitive”!

                7/7, July 7th, the 14th (Happy Geraldo?) anniversary of the 2005 Islamist TERRORIST attack on London Transport.

                52 innocent people died, 4 terrorist jihadis, and 784 others injured/maimed.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_July_2005_London_bombings

                Was there any mention of the 7/7 terrorist jihad at “PalExpo”?

                Was 7/7 the only Islamist terrorist attack on the UK???

                Ask the families of Lee Rigby, Yvonne Fletcher, the people run over and killed as they walked across London and Westminster bridges.

  1. Yes we researched and protested in 2017. We were physically attacked. The police stood on by. We are still suffering from the fallout of daring to be Jews who stand up for ourselves. But despite all that is written in this blog, it will get worse if the problem is camouflaged by the Jewish community leadership who denigrate those who understand the foundation of this present day antisemitism, naming them as fringe, reporting them to prevent as though it is we Jews causing the problem. If it cannot be named it cannot be shamed. This Expo is simply the tool via which the present day world enemy of democracy gets its message out there into the hearts and minds of the silent majority who stand and watch, who finally accept as truth this propaganda simply because nobody will understand what books like Prophets for Palestine are about, books that are being distributed into schools for children as young as 3. We are all being betrayed by those who hold the ear of Government, by authoritarians too afraid to stand apart for the future in freedom.

  2. David

    I had, or rather tried, to have a conversation with the bearded chappie you engaged with ; but it was next to near impossible.
    As you found, the accusations came fast and furious; but evidence or fact to back up any statements was nowhere to be seen or heard
    And then he brought up Jewish Power; and as I tried to engage him on that , he was gone, shouting nonentities as he left

    The best though when someone in a fit of anger told me to ‘GO BACK TO PALESTINE’
    I wish I had recorded that
    It did make a thoroughly unpleasant day semi-passable

    I did ask a few people if there was a problem in the Middle East
    The answer was always YES
    I asked therefore if we should be looking for a solution
    The answer was either that there could not be a solution until the occupation of 1948 was resolved.
    A few of the more enlightened said it was the occupation of 1967 that had to be sorted first

    Very difficult to talk, let alone discuss issues with people who deny that Jews have ever existed in the Middle East and the usual litany of negative dialog

    Hohum

  3. David, has the guy who spat at people been a) reported to the Police? and if so, b) charged yet?

    Before one or both of the usual suspects come in and say it was trivial. It was assault. Nobody has the right to behave like that in public.

    ” Common assault (section 39, Criminal Justice Act 1988)

    A person is guilty of common assault if they either inflict violence on another person – however slight this might be – or make that person think they are about to be attacked.

    They do not have to be physically violent – for example, threatening words or a raised fist could lead the victim to believe they are going to be attacked – and that is enough for the crime to have been committed. Other acts like spitting at someone may also classed as common assault.
    ………….
    If violence is used in a common assault, it is called a “battery” and the perpetrator would be charged with “assault by beating”. This does not however, mean that the victim was actually ‘beaten up’ or even hit or kicked – it could be that they were pushed, grabbed or spat at.”

  4. “The second day I spend outside, amongst a handful of Jewish activists who had come to hand out leaflets and engage in dialogue.”

    Perhaps people took them for zionists, David..

  5. Count chant with this…

    From the River to the Sea,
    Pal-e-STINE Will NEVER BE!

    1. Edward, as David reports, there were people outside, including David, who wanted to engage in a dialogue with those attending.

      Do you believe that chanting your slogan would have encouraged people to take part in a dialogue?

      If not, what do you think would have been the effect of chanting your slogan?

      1. Geraldo, Try your powers of reason, persuasive dialog, with the gorilla with Pal-e-STINIAN War Paint on his face and a mouth full of saliva – assuming it was only saliva.

  6. glad to see antisemitism on the rise and becoming more acceptable. and good that people now have the confidence to spit at jews the way jews spit at christians and muslims in jerusalem. the writing’s on the wall for the jews. mend your ways or suffer the consequences.

    1. Yeah, dead right. Those bastards have had a free ride for far too long. Let’s take ’em outside and give ’em a right going over. Oops wait. Got a bit of a phlegm build-up. Just give me a mo while I hock one up on that party of Pontefract Pilgrims at the Kotel gift shop.

    2. May not have been antisemitic. What did the leaflets say, what did the placards say? Where they taken to be Zionists. i.e racists?

      1. That is your response to someone who is praising the rise of antisemitism, thinks it is a good thing that people spit at Jews and says the ‘writing is on the wall for Jews’?
        Oh you are a peach.

        1. Can’t you see he’s taking the pee out of those who see only Jews as the abused?. You are worrying.

          “From Mohammed’s killer, Ben-David, to the settlers who spat at the Abu Khdeir family when they arrived for court,” … from my link above.

        2. … and here’s a real hate-spitting peach ..

          ______________
          David Collier
          mishtal
          Apr 5

          Lying, antisemitic, anti-west, terrorist loving, NATO hating, Jew-baiting, IRA supporting, community splitting, economy wrecking – Corbyn

          A useful idiot for despotic regimes, terrorists and all our other enemies

          Supporting Corbyn is not just stupid

          It’s dangerous
          ______________

          “our other enemies”? Is that Britain’s enemies … or Israel’s enemies?

  7. Can’t you see he’s taking the pee out of those who see only Jews as the abused?. You are worrying.

    “From Mohammed’s killer, Ben-David, to the settlers who spat at the Abu Khdeir family when they arrived for court,” … from my link above.

      1. These comment sections merge seamlessly into each other with the same Panto activism from the same cast of comedy extras in each. Seriously, use the rule of 3 and randomly sample any trio of blogs from the archive and check out the comments. Go back 3 years and it’s the same slogans and personal insults. Personally I have loads of time on my hands for this bollox and taking the piss out of Michael and Bellers amuses me. But for the real activists looking for impact , it’s not exactly blowing yourselves up on a Jew-packed bus is it?

        1. “These comment sections merge seamlessly into each other with the same Panto activism from the same cast of comedy extras in each. Seriously, use the rule of 3 and randomly sample any trio of blogs from the archive and check out the comments. Go back 3 years and it’s the same slogans and personal insults.”

          I agree.

          I suggested to David a while ago that he consider setting up a separate chat/space where the comments of Edward, Mike Farmer and the rest of the kindergarten could trade slogans and put downs. This would allow any good faith posters to comment on the content of David’s blogs. I am sure that there are others like me who simply don’t post because the extent and nature of the brown noise.

          It seemed for a short while above that David had managed to impose a modicum of decency on the thread but that was quickly broken by Mike Farmer and then Edward’s auto respond chimed in again and the spell was broken.

          David is, to an extent, a victim of his own success; he can no longer sit undetected in the meetings upon which he used to report and the baseless and often ad hominen attacks upon him and his work have increased in direct proportion to the success in shining a light on the haters of Israel and/or the Jews.

          It’s sad really. I know that you think that all of this should be seen as some sort of historical/anthropological monument to this time. But this blog at one time offered folk the opportunity to offer an alternative opinion and to have it debated.

          Mike Farmer – you know the sketch from Mitchell and Webb, where dressed as Nazis one asks the other whether they might be the baddies. Well. when you support or defend any post from sigerico, that’s what I think of! Just saying…

          1. “the baseless and often ad hominen attacks upon him and his work ”

            Baseless?

            Several blogs ago David blogged about 52 examples of antisemitism. There weren’t 52 examples. The vast majority were antiZionis and antiIsrael comments.

            When I pointed this out to him I was patronised as naive, I didn’t understand.

            Have a look, Peachy ….. how many genuine antisemitic comments can you count out of the 52 … and which.

  8. In one of the videos you and the moron with the beard, forgot his name, bang on about somebody or other being investigated by the police. Could you tell the people what was the outcome of this investigation ?

    You also tell us that you are a member of the Labour Party. Could you confirm that, were there an electction tomorrow you would vote for the said party, and would encourage others to do so?

  9. Interesting that one of the skittles to be boycotted shows the iconic Coca-Cola logo because Coca Cola is a major player in the Palestinian economy.

    A glance at the National Beverage Company (HQ Ramallah, Palestinian Authority) website shows ‘It is the largest company in the food and beverage sector in the Palestinian market, providing work opportunities to hundreds of employees and producing high quality products that have received numerous awards from local, regional and international bodies.

    I wonder how many skittles call for boycotts of other companies producing or simply distributed in Palestine.

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