LSE Falk20th March 2017. The London School of Economics (LSE) in Holborn. I am at a book launch for Richard Falk’s latest collection of essays titled ‘Palestine’s Horizon’. Falk has been invited to the LSE as part of a larger promotional tour of the UK. Last week he was in Scotland. Today sees two events, at the LSE and the P21 Gallery in Euston. On Wednesday he is at Middlesex University. Next week he leaves the UK and travels to Cork, Ireland, where he is the primary keynote speaker at Oren Ben Dor’s anti-Israel hate-fest.

Richard Falk at the LSE

Richard Falk carries a long history of  ‘controversial’ comments, statements, positions and actions, regarding Israel.  The Jewish Chronicle described him as ‘a conspiracy theorist’ who ‘has praised the work of notorious self-hating Jew Gilad Atzmon, as well as posting an antisemitic cartoon on his blog’.  During the talk he bats away the accusations with excuses, historical distortions and empty words, but this merely reflects part of the central problem with Jews and UK academia. He did post an antisemitic cartoon, he has made some remarks about ‘9/11 truth’ and he blamed the Boston bombings on the US and Tel Aviv.

On top of all this, he endorsed Gilad Atzmon’s book ‘The Wandering Who’. Note none of those controversies has anything to do with Palestinian human rights. Only when it comes to offending Jews is this type of activity considered acceptable. Nobody with such a long list of offensive statements against any minority group other than Jews, would still be given a  platform inside a UK university.

So when you invite Richard Falk to promote yet another anti-Israel piece he has authored, there should be no doubt most Jews will consider the invitation antagonistic. This isn’t a secret known only to Jews either. Publicly the UK government, has on three separate occasions, ‘condemned’ Richard Falk and his attitude / actions towards Israel and Jews.

Leading the panel was Mary Kaldor, a Professor of Global Governance at the LSE. Kaldor described Falk as a ‘very old friend’. Alongside Falk and Kaldor sat Chris Doyle, Director of CAABU (Council for Arab-British Understanding). Mary Kaldor’s introductory remarks, that set the tone for the entire event, were to suggest the recent UN rejection of Falk’s latest report was the “latest variant” of the argument over free speech and Israel.

The Falk report

I think it is fair to suggest that Richard Falk had been commissioned by a UN agency ESCWA to write a report calling Israel an ‘Apartheid State’. Falk did what was expected of him, and just a week ago, the report was published on the ESCWA website.

The UN agency ESCWA is made up of eighteen states from Israel’s neighborhood. Almost all of them consider Israel an enemy. Almost all of them maintain their regimes through oppressing their own citizens. The list of ESCWA nations includes states such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Libya.

The ‘Apartheid’ report was an outrageous product written by a man who has long been discredited. When it was published, the UN swiftly insisted the report should be pulled.  The report was a political stunt that used the UN vehicle for credibility. Part of a campaign that seeks to bolster the boycott movement against Israel (BDS) by applying the UN seal of approval. An attempt to shoehorn Israel’s complex conflict with the Arabs into the context of a black and white ‘Apartheid’ label. Between them, Falk and ESCWA got caught using UN funds to further sectarian hatred.

I am sure Kaldor understands that when a peer review publication rejects an article, it isn’t acting against free speech. By labeling the rejection of the ESCWA report  as part of the argument about free speech, Kaldor had allowed us a glimpse of the confusion in her head. It wasn’t going to be the only time during the event she did so.

The stupidity of the LSE panel

Kaldor is a Professor of Global Governance. Much of what is wrong with the UN, and more specifically, is behind the hypocritical and morally corrupt output of agencies such as ESCWA, is described in introductory texts on governance. If Kaldor adhered to the majority of academic thought in her field, there is little doubt she would side with me over the mechanisms that produce reports such as these. Instead, something is getting in the way of rational thought. Sorry Mary, but anyone who has hidden behind a report commission by Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Syria has given up the moral high ground.

Mary KaldorThis blindness is almost inexplicable. Perhaps it is simply a matter of faith, a religion if you will. Whatever the reason, Kaldor was the ‘enabler’ of this LSE event.  As Jews, we shouldn’t need to point fingers at Falk any more. There is nothing left to explain. Beyond being a useful tool for despotic regimes and antisemites, Falk is too discredited to be associated with.

Kaldor was clearly taken aback, surprised at the unfolding events in the room. This a sign of her naivety or foolishness. Falk does not have to say anything vicious in his talk. At this point in his career, his presence is a catalyst. Jews turn up already offended that the University has allowed him a platform, and perhaps more importantly, acting as a light trap to fruit flies, he attracts antisemites into the room.  In Falk they receive wish fulfillment and Falk seems to gladly facilitate the ‘oldest hatred’. The venue fills with people, the offended Jew, the intellectually misplaced, and the Jew hater that wants to be fed.  This is the ‘academic’ level that a Richard Falk event can bring. The LSE sullied their name by inviting him. Kaldor, like a young child playing with a match, expresses surprise when fire breaks out.

The world is a more dangerous place for Jews because of people like Kaldor. Israeli Jews just become valueless specimens inside a test tube of Kaldor’s academically driven utopian ideologies. If she is wrong, hey, so a few 1000’s of Israelis die. It wouldn’t be the first time and it wouldn’t even touch the sides of Kaldor’s laboratory. There is no introspection present. She oversaw an event that was to witness Gilad Atzmon deliberately goading Jews, and yet still felt compelled to announce her ‘shame’ at the way the Jewish people present handled the incitement. This Professor has sold her intelligence and integrity up the river and can now be counted as one of life’s galactically stupid human beings.

Atzmon, his mother, and a woman named Pam

Early on in the talk, prior to any questions being taken, the audience was made aware of the presence of Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon takes pride in trolling Jews.  When I heard his voice and realised he was there, it simply made a bad situation worse. Atzmon was towards the back of the room, sandwiched between Pam Arnold (Hardyment) and Ariella Atzmon, Gilad Atzmon’s mother. More flies that had come to bask in Richard Falk’s light. How delightful.

signsQuestions were asked and left unanswered.  Someone asked Falk why the report was sponsored only by a long list of vile regimes, he received no answer.  Another dealt with problems in the underlying methods detailed within the report, he also received no answer. Falk chose instead to respond to those questions that were either personal criticisms or ideologically in tune with him. Deliberate or not, the academic challenge was avoided.

The event began to unfold because apparently, we Jews do not behave well when incited. An audience member at the back became vocal and aggressive with two Israel supporters who had asked a question. An audience member at the front told the panel that several Jewish audience members belonged to extreme organisations.

As Falk excused his antisemitic cartoon, his conspiracy theories, and attempted to hide his long history of inexcusable bias behind the academic protection of Mary Kaldor, the hostile questions spilled over into a visual protest. Two Jewish members of the audience, Jonathan Hoffman and Sharon Klaff, held up signs in protest at Falk’s presence. The signs were ripped up by security and the two were asked to leave.

As they were escorted out, it is claimed Atzmon and other audience members yelled antisemitic abuse both at those leaving and the Jews still in the room. Jews were told to read the work of Holocaust Denier David Irving and it was suggested Jews were expelled from Germany for ‘Misbehaving’. As those responsible for physically threatening Jews and hurling the antisemitic abuse remained in the room, it seems to Professor Mary Kaldor, being a protesting Zionist is the greater crime.

The LSE event finishes

There was an interesting exchange immediately after Hoffman and Klaff left the room. As some Jewish audience members expressed their outrage that Atzmon had brought up Irving and Nazi Germany, Mary Kaldor began to speak about how embarrassed she was at the behaviour of the Jewish Zionists. For her it was an illustration of how ‘free speech’ is being closed down in this country. When someone challenged her on those grounds, and asked her to also condemn BDS for the way it closes down free speech, she avoided the hypocrisy the question exposed and told the person he could just ‘leave the room’.  Kaldor visibly did not like being challenged and did not respond well to it.

BDS was constantly referenced throughout the event. It always is. None of this has anything to do with real academia, but rather, it is academia being used to promote BDS to students by artificially providing it with academic support. It is why suddenly Israel is spoken of as an example of ‘settler colonialism’. If BDS is not positively referenced, then the entire event becomes an opportunity wasted. In any event, this awful event was over.

Apples and trees

The bad feeling created inside the room spreads outside and there were several verbal exchanges as more of the audience leaves the room. One of the students had even left in tears during the event itself. Atzmon and Arnold bask in the reaction of others. Eventually, the LSE security begins to shepherd everyone out of the building. There is yet another confrontation, this time with Atzmon’s mother, who suggests the behaviour of the Jews is the reason nations keep expelling Jews. The apple never falls far from the tree.

The LSE stewards try to split the sides up, encouraging them to walk in different directions. ‘Maybe peace will come one day’ they say. This the reduction at work at the LSE; Jew and antisemite, becoming two problematic sides that need to learn how to accommodate each other. We even got to see what side LSE academics chose to stand on. A truly sickening experience.

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35 thoughts on “A sickness at the heart of Academia, blindness at the LSE

  1. Thank you for such an intricately described account of the LSE evening with Richard Falk.

    Just imagine it , the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)(supposedly ranked 2nd in the world for political science, – oh how academic standards have fallen into the gutter ), holding a meeting ( 20/3/2017) lauding and praising the work of David Irving.

    David Irving, about who Judge Charles Gray in the HM High Court of Justice (QBD) said had “for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence” in order to portray Hitler “in an unwarrantedly favourable light” particularly in his treatment of the Jews. Irving had “significantly” misrepresented, misconstrued, omitted, mistranslated, misread and applied double standards to the historical evidence in order to achieve his ideological presentation of history. Judge Gray also found that Irving was an “active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-semitic and racist, and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism.”

    Fellow admirers of David Irving’s work accompanying Richard Falk who’s latest UN report was summarily removed from the UN website accusing Israel of being an Apartheid state, was admirer was Gilad Atzmon who identifies himself ‘self hating Jew ‘,who calls Israelis Nazis and genocidal, and purportedly shouted ‘Raus’ at the Jewish members of the audience when they were ejected for a silent opposition protest.

    Welcome to the LSE 2017. .

  2. Oh David , David. Jonathan goes around like a 17 year old bovver boy albeit with a late middle aged paunch, gets thrown out of pretty much everywhere for hooliganism, including the Albert Hall but is always the poor put upon innocent victim.

    Anyway here he is being demolished by Jackie Walker. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

    And then here is another poor victim Sharnon’s eulogy to the Muslim hating/ baiting EDL. You do keep the most amazing company David. Just as well there is no guilt by association huh ?

    “Hey Richard – great piece! Nice to see the view fromWagamamas as it is evident that the suport was miniscule!! Bravo to the youngsters who came out for Israel – no violence on their tongues and no hatred in their eyes; and thanks to the EDL who supported us from across the road, respecting the fact that many amongst the Jewish community did not want them to mingle with us, unlike the hate filled mob sporting Hizbollah flags emblazoned with a rifle, supported by those frock-coated filthy bearded Yiddish speakers. They will one day have to account to God for their sins!”

    1. This anonymous Troll is obsessed with me. Terrific. Shows I’m doing something right.

      I hear Richard Falk has an unexpected free afternoon tomorrow, Troll.

      Why don’t you two Nazis go and bust up some gravestones in a Jewish cemetery together?

    2. jew-baiting freak, nothing to say about the blatant anti-semitism, only criticism is of JH…. typical. I also like the implicit support for David Irving, obviously your type of historian.

    1. Rather I like Hitchens way of dismissing bigoted morons like you: “fascist crackpot.” Sounds about right.

    2. Marvelous. Jackie performed a mitzvah on Jonathan!

      Be a mensch David and post that video on your blog.

      May Jonathan long continue in his faithful service to the people of Palestine.

      Shabbat shalom.

        1. Stephen – nonsense, no idea why the site places some comments in for moderation and others not (even when the author has previously posted – my only stated criteria). I will have a word with the elders and see if they can sort it out. In the meantime, I have okayed all the comments. I do however take issue at your use of the word ‘truth’. Just three days ago I saw someone accuse Jonathan, Sharon and Harvey of being part of the ‘JDL’. The proof? A worthless ‘slanted’ photo from a demo. This for some people creates ‘truth’. Truth in my book is not something that you shape to suit your own agenda, but rather it defines the factual pillars on which your agenda should be built.

          1. Well my apologies o:)

            This isn’t the place to write a book, so one point.

            I wouldn’t say Jonathan and Harv and Sharon are part of the EDL but that they are sympathisers and for a considerable time acted in collaboration with them. And not just the EDL but with Victor Vanciers terrorist org the JTF. And the evidence goes way beyond a photograph.

            https://hoffmanchronicled.wordpress.com/the-zionist-federationedl-alliance/

            A couple of highlights….

            Sharon…….

            ” Hey Richard – great piece! Nice to see the view fromWagamamas as it is evident that the suport was miniscule!! Bravo to the youngsters who came out for Israel – no violence on their tongues and no hatred in their eyes; and thanks to the EDL who supported us from across the road, respecting the fact that many amongst the Jewish community did not want them to mingle with us, unlike the hate filled mob sporting Hizbollah flags emblazoned with a rifle, supported by those frock-coated filthy bearded Yiddish speakers. They will one day have to account to God for their sins!””

            Harv……

            “It’s much the same as the EDL turning up to demonstrate outside Ahava alongside supporters of Israel. There is a COMMON CAUSE”

          2. I really do not buy into personal feuding. Not sure what you get out of it. You seem to have a constant desire to attack Jonathan, even though this is not his site, nor is he the focus of the article. It seems as if you are intent on deflecting, by trying to attach significance to something that at the end of the end, didn’t define the unfolding events at the LSE.

            As for the smear campaign, I don’t buy into it all either. Given that so many of the ‘opposition’ aligns with Hamas & Hezbollah, having people trying to use groups like the EDL as a way of tarnishing the ‘brand’ of individual pro-Israelis seems a little too ridiculously hypocritical for my taste. Whatever your cause, from opposing child labour to FGM, you will always have those aligning with you that you do not feel comfortable with.

          3. The problem here David is there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of ” discomfort”.

            And if Jonathan to quit his juvenile antics, disrupting meetings, lynng about what transpires in them and desist from racist smears we could all move on

  3. The UN was put together on the assumptions and premises of Enlightenment rationality and a fair hearing . In contrast the Arab anti-Israel campaign abuses process and numbers for an aim that is against the founding UNO principles. What starts by picking on Jews sets evil precedents to hit others. Arabs and other Moslem countries should not therefore be surprised as the petro age winds down of those with memories and grudges will one day turn on them.

  4. Your work is fantastic.
    Please do not use the phrase ” the apple never falls far from the tree”. I find it offensive in this context. It impies a racial or at leadt inherited concept of guilt.

    1. I think pathologies like Atzmon’s can be inherited. Although I’m sure nurture as well as nature played a role.

  5. I can add to this my version of the meeting at P21 on 21/03/17.. When I arrived, I was not allowed in. I asked why. The reason was that I might have been one of the disrupters of the LSE meeting. I explained that I was not at that meeting. Still, I was not allowed in. I asked for the name of you the young man at the door and added ; ‘Is this the end of democracy?’ Eventually, I persuaded them that I was not a disrupter.

    I find Falk so boring l spent most of the session doing a sudoku and crossword. However, I did take in much of his ‘diatribe’ to conclude that this man has serious mental issues.

    However, it is Q&A. One question put by Khalifa was; ‘Now that relations with Jews in Europe is much improved, Germany can invite the Jews back?’. I kept schtumm.. This question was a disgrace to humanity but, I wanted my question heard.

    My question referred to a quote by an Israeli-Arab that states that Lebanon has laws preventing Palestinians from taking on certain jobs which in turn makes Lebanon apartheid. Therefore does the allegation that Israel is Apartheid absolute garbage?. There was an audible level of boos and hisses.I DID NOT GET AN ANSWER from Falk. The chair then said; ‘You must answer the question.’ I started to walk out in disgust and said sarcastically; ‘Thanks for answering the question’. He replied in desperation ; ‘Read the UN report’. This is called a cop-out. There were cheers from the audience.

    The sheep following the shepherd in to the pastures of stupidity.

    1. Don’t worry Michael . Falk was cancelled at both University of East London and Middlesex University. A reminder to BDS that boycotting speakers and disrupting Israeli cultural events such as Habimah , the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Bat Sheva is a double edged sword . The difference being that it is racists such as Falk who are being ‘ no platformed .

    2. Hi Mike, thanks for adding this report. The first question, about returning to Germany, was it answered?

  6. Richard Falk is a pro Jihadist terrorist supporter who supports Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti.

    In Falk’s article from 2013
    Whose ‘Two State’ Solution? End game or Intermission?

    Falk basically supports a Jew free Palestinian state and flooding Israel with millions of Arabs.
    He constantly quotes Marwan Barghouti like he’s a saint and Falk calls for resistance against Israel as Barghouti calls for.
    Falk doesn’t want you to know the terrorist atrocities Barghouti was responsible for against Israeli civilians.

    Mr Falk admits his goals.
    He wants 2 Palestinian states and no Jewish state.
    He wants a Palestinian state that is Jew free and wants an Israel flooded with millions of Arabs, so Jews are a minority and living under Sharia law.
    Mr Falk must think Israelis are insane to live under Palestinians who glorify murdering them.

    Barghouti is so savage he was behind the murder of a Monk in Israel.
    http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_article=351&x_context=8
    The following are some of the more heinous terror attacks for which Marwan Barghouti is responsible:

    Jun 12, 2001 – The murder of a Greek Orthodox monk on the road to Ma’ale Adumim.
    Jan 17, 2002 – The shooting attack during a bat mitzva celebration at a banquet hall in Hadera. Six Israelis were killed in this attack, 26 were injured.
    Jan 22, 2002 – The shooting spree on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem. Two Israelis were killed, 37 wounded.
    Feb 25, 2002 – The shooting attack in the Jerusalem residential neighborhood of Neve Ya’acov. One Israeli policewoman was killed, 9 Israelis were wounded.
    Feb 27, 2002 – The murder of an Israeli at a coffee factory in the Atarot industrial zone of Jerusalem.
    Feb 27, 2002 – The suicide attack perpetrated by Daryan Abu Aysha at the Maccabim checkpoint in which two policeman were injured.
    Mar 5, 2002 – The shooting spree at the Tel Aviv Seafood restaurant. Three Israelis were killed, 31 wounded.
    Mar 8, 2002 – A suicide terrorist was killed in Daheat el Barid as he was on his way to carry out an attack in Jerusalem.
    Mar 27, 2002 – The interception of an ambulance and the confiscation of an explosive belt which was being smuggled from Samaria into Barghouti’s terrorist infrastructure in Ramallah.
    Marwan Barghouti was also directly responsible for operating the terrorist cell of Raed Karmi in Tulkaram which carried out a series of deadly terrorist attacks.

  7. Sorry but this is laughable what Falk is saying. I don’t see Israel training their children to become terrorists or naming streets after them.

  8. Falk in 2014 tried to give the impression that Israel is responsible for Assad slaughtering Syrian civilians.
    This proves more and more what a fool Falk is.

    Falk basically absolves Arabs from all guilt and blame for their violent murderous behavior. .
    Falk knows Arabs and Muslims cannot be expected to behave like civilized people so he makes excuses for their terrorist atrocities.

    Let me put what Falk wrote.
    https://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/the-emergent-palestinian-imaginary/#comment-17195

    Leadership in the region that dares challenge or threaten Israel. Iran has been the principal target of this Israeli projection of a tendency to punish disproportionately and violently those that stand in the way or exhibit hostility to the Israeli National Project. Syria is illustrative of the sort of fragmentation that weakens a neighboring country that has been hostile or in a conflictual relationship with Israel. A welcoming of the Egyptian coup that displaced the democratically elected government with an oppressive military leadership is a further disclosure of Israel’s conception of its security interests.

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