Yesterday, 24th Feb 2017, I went once again to SOAS. I had heard that Israeli and UK Jewish students were setting up a stall outside the main SOAS building. They came to engage SOAS students that were interested in dialogue. SOAS is the ‘capital city’ of the UK campus ‘haters’, and has several Palestinian students. This promised to be an interesting event.  It was a worthwhile journey.

SOAS hopeFor those that don’t know the SOAS set up, it is just a short walk from Russell Square in London. Sitting on a pedestrian walkway, with a building on either side. Each building containing many students who would happily see Israel burn. For a Zionist Jew, it can be intimidating.

But yesterday was different. In the square, positioned between the two buildings, a group of Israeli and local Jewish students came to talk. The Israeli flag was out and being waved, proudly held in a place that I don’t think it has visited in a while.

The event passed successfully. I was surprised by the amount of students that engaged. Israeli chocolate was handed around, very few SOAS students refused. I think it highlights how minority opinion is allowed to rule over everyone, even in (especially in?) the most hostile of environments.

I did what I normally do, and wandered. Listening to the exchanges between Israelis, and some of those, who in a few short days, will be screaming about the ‘Apartheid state’. I had a few interesting exchanges, but not many. The SOAS Palestinian Society had set up an ‘opposition stall’, but they were ineffective. However, the message I want to deliver today is not about the successful event, but rather to tell a short story through one Palestinian SOAS student I met there.

Hope not Hate

As I was considering that the majority of feedback I was hearing was positive, I came across two of the Israeli girls talking to someone who identified as a Palestinian SOAS student. I listened intently for about 10 minutes. Question, answer; another question another answer. But this was a two way street and the Israelis were interested in asking questions too. It proved to be an opportunity for real dialogue between two groups of people, who are normally unable to engage properly. Exactly what we should be used to seeing on campus. After a while, I said to the Palestinian student that I wished there were more like him, and went away.

Shortly after this, he left the crowd where the Israelis stood. I saw him begin to make his way back into the SOAS building. A couple of girls from the SOAS Palestinian Society stall were clearly unhappy that a SOAS student, and a Palestinian one, had spoken to the ‘enemy’. So they approached him to bring him into line.

This is the exchange:

 

“This is what is wrong” says the Palestinian

This is a fascinating exchange on so many levels. The central driver here is the pressure being applied by non Palestinians on a Palestinian by the SOAS PalSoc. It shows what happens when someone becomes interested in dialogue. This student has real personal investment in finding a solution to the conflict, but it is discarded by those whose only investment is hate. He may not be the ‘norm’, or maybe he is, how would we know, if any effort made by people like this, is shunned and diverted towards a more extreme stance.

Is that what our universities are for?  To teach a Palestinian that dialogue is not the way? SOAS must be proud. To allow extremist elements to take over the conversation, to drive the narrative and to force any inclination towards moderation back into the shadows. How different, if a student like the one engaging was to be the head of the Palestinian Society? In the end, only the extreme ones are left standing. Only Palestinians that want to see Israel burn. It is a twisted form of virtue signalling within a group where ‘virtue points’ are gained through extremist positions.

Once this exchange had finished and the two had walked away, the PalSoc team went for reinforcements. A minute or so later, two more came to try again.  They were treated cordially but failed. This one wanted to talk. Once everyone had given up, I approached him again, we had an exchange about how we both believe the conflict could end. Whilst talking, I corrected him on his misunderstanding of Zionism.

A twisted definition of Zionism

For those that watched the video, it cannot have escaped notice that he described the Israelis he had spoken as not ‘Zionists’. He was wrong. They were 100% Zionists. This is part of the stolen narrative, the propaganda machine through which all Zionism is smeared.

In the recent undercover investigation into the PSC I released last week, I found this, part of a post from Chester PSC in 2014:

“Zionism is a virulent form of Jewish nationalism opposed by many Jews. It asserts the right of the Jews to the land of Israel as defined in biblical scripture- a land significantly bigger than Israel’s current border. Clearly many believe that the policies pursued by the Israeli government gave elements of Zionism…”

The Palestinian I spoke to yesterday, has fallen for the same fake narrative. It shows just how deep rooted this smear has become.  Zionism is defined as only the extreme, so to be a Zionist or a Zionist state, automatically makes you an extremist. The Palestinian spent some time talking to Israelis, those willing to talk, to understand, to compromise, and that, for the student was enough to suggest they were not Zionists. This, even as they wore the Israeli flag.

An impossible peace

The problem described here and witnessed in the video above, is from my own experience, the major issue with discussion on the conflict in the UK.  Extremists, those who don’t want dialogue, have pushed away those that do. In turn they have made the environment so unwelcoming for supporters of Israel, that there is little left to counter the hate that exists. It is not as if the discussion is not difficult enough, but a hate that will not be quenched, has entered the debate.

I will end with a simple question. Research showed that 42% of the activists at the recent anti-Netanyahu demonstration on the 6th February, push hard core Jewish conspiracy theory. That means they seem to believe Jews were behind 9/11, 7/7 that Judaism pushes pedophilia, the Mossad did Charlie Hebdo and that ISIS is Israel. These are the people leading the protest.

How on earth can any Jew make peace with that?

 

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21 thoughts on “You don’t want dialogue! Says the Palestinian to the SOAS PalSoc

  1. With a student as shown in the video one can only weep.

    One has to hold on to hope, but it is like holding on a cliff edge above a ravine.

        1. ……..and the only racist oppressors are the IslamoFascist who hate Jews so much that they will never tolerate them on Arab lands.

    1. you know Stephen. You can repeat it and repeat it and repeat it. But it still won’t be true.

    2. It was mostly brute force, Saudi Arabian oil, and White control of the media that sustained Apartheid in South Africa, but I will let your historical ignorance pass.

      The historical ignorance that I will not let pass is the atrocious lie that Israel is Apartheid.

      Apart from being a disgraceful and offensive lie, it also belittles and besmirches the memory of scores of brave Black Africans who fought and died to rid the world of Apartheid.
      To dance on the graves of fearless Zulus by abusing the word Apartheid smacks of racism. Is it because they are black that you think you can do this?

      1. Israel was one of the few countries in the world that collaborated with apartheid South Africa, Saudi Arabia didn’t. Apartheid South Africa used brute force but it also claimed to want “dialogue” to give its degenerate regime “legitimacy”. Israel is no different.

        Here is what Black Africans have to say about Israeli apartheid: A South African academic study has found that Israel is practicing apartheid and colonialism in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) has released a study indicating that Israel is practicing both colonialism and apartheid in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The HSRC commissioned an international team of scholars and practitioners of international public law from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Israel and the West Bank to conduct the study. The resulting 300-page draft, titled Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?: A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law, represents 15 months of research and constitutes an exhaustive review of Israel’s practices in the OPT according to definitions of colonialism and apartheid provided by international law. The project was suggested originally by the January 2007 report by eminent South African jurist John Dugard, in his capacity as Special Rapporteur to the United Nations Human Rights Council, when he indicated that Israel practices had assumed characteristics of colonialism and apartheid. The Executive Summary of the report says that the three pillars of apartheid in South Africa are all practiced by Israel in the OPT. In South Africa, the first pillar was to demarcate the population of South Africa into racial groups, and to accord superior rights, privileges and services to the white racial group. The second pillar was to segregate the population into different geographic areas, which were allocated by law to different racial groups, and restrict passage by members of any group into the area allocated to other groups. And the third pillar was “a matrix of draconian ‘security’ laws and policies that were employed to suppress any opposition to the regime and to reinforce the system of racial domination, by providing for administrative detention, torture, censorship, banning, and assassination.” The Report finds that Israeli practices in the OPT exhibit the same three ‘pillars’ of apartheid: The first pillar “derives from Israeli laws and policies that establish Jewish identity for purposes of law and afford a preferential legal status and material benefits to Jews over non-Jews”. The second pillar is reflected in “Israel’s ‘grand’ policy to fragment the OPT [and] ensure that Palestinians remain confined to the reserves designated for them while Israeli Jews are prohibited from entering those reserves but enjoy freedom of movement throughout the rest of the Palestinian territory. This policy is evidenced by Israel’s extensive appropriation of Palestinian land, which continues to shrink the territorial space available to Palestinians; the hermetic closure and isolation of the Gaza Strip from the rest of the OPT; the deliberate severing of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank; and the appropriation and construction policies serving to carve up the West Bank into an intricate and well-serviced network of connected settlements for Jewish-Israelis and an archipelago of besieged and non-contiguous enclaves for Palestinians”. And the third pillar is “Israel’s invocation of ‘security’ to validate sweeping restrictions on Palestinian freedom of opinion, expression, assembly, association and movement [to] mask a true underlying intent to suppress dissent to its system of domination and thereby maintain control over Palestinians as a group.”

        1. The second paragraph is claptrap, engendered by a false narrative, laced with outright lies and unsubstantiated conclusions.

          I will deal with the first.
          I do not know if you are naive, weren’t born when apartheid existed, or don’t remember it. Where on earth do you think South Africa got its oil? Greedy oil producers, already swimming in cash, systematically ignored sanctions and propped up South Africa’s economy, thus sentencing black South Africans to years more apartheid than necessary.

          Many countries collaborated with apartheid South Africa, Britain maintained a naval base there for decades, right up until nearly the very end of apartheid. If you don’t know and want the details, just ask.

          Apartheid South Africa rarely, if ever, claimed to want “dialogue” .

          Black South Africans mostly lived in poverty with almost no access to basic amenities and education – 1/7 of the funds allocated to White kids, went to Black kids.
          Israel is, basically, completely the reverse,
          On the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), since Israel liberated it., 7 universities have been created, all paid for by Israel. There was not a single university before, under Jordanian occupation, nor under British occupation, nor Turkish occupation,
          Child mortality has plummeted, the population lives far longer and the population has increased exponentially, i.e. the reverse of ethnic cleansing etc etc
          You can ignore facts, and pretend they don’t exist, but they are facts: check them.
          Also, look at the historical claims to the land.
          The hard fact is that the only time in the last 3000 years
          (apart from a few years pre-1948 due to two bouts of racist ethnic cleansing) that Jews have not resided in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank)
          is from 1948-67, when they were expelled by Jordan.
          No one else, bar Jews, has ever claimed the land, as their homeland, in the entire 10,000 years of human history.

  2. Hi,

    At 2.25 there appears to be a significant exchange.
    The man asks (inaudible) …”apartheid?” and the aggressive lady says “What?”

    Can you make out what the man asked? Thanks!

    1. The girl had just said they had countered all of the arguments in their flyers. He responds and asks “why should the first thing I got up to and speak to them about is ‘Apartheid’. That blew her fuse.

    2. It sounds to me like “Why should the first thing I should go up to them to speak about is apartheid?”

          1. you give yourself away with both phrasing and content . Grow up .
            #gulp

          2. Stephen. Reply to me please, don’t divert by attacking others, thank you.

  3. Let us be positive. There was a dialogue albeit short-lived. As for the Arab student, one must take in to consideration her age, lack of knowledge and the extent of her brain-washing by extremists. My friends, the issue is not with the Palestinians or even most Arabs. The issue is the gross intervention of the extreme left-wing trying to poison the minds of the young with their policies and convictions that Karl Marx had all the answers.

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