Today I am in Cork, Southern Ireland. This is a story that began two years ago, with a failed attempt by a twisted academic at Southampton, to place a fake academic veneer on part of the delegitimise Israel campaign. Those that suggest this is not true are simply not listening to the organisers, the speakers or even the delegates. Activism as a central theme was ever present. There is little denying that this conference is about attempting to place additional tools in the arsenal of the anti-Israel activist. Indeed, it is clearly the primary purpose.
Two failed attempts to hold a conference in Southampton, sandwiched between legal attempts to force the hand of the university, has led us all to Southern Ireland and to Cork, where finally, Oren Ben-Dor got to hold his circus of hate. This, even though the University at Cork, distanced themselves from the event.
I have just sat through the first day of the three-day conference. I will put together a more complete write up of the entire event when it has finished. I am away from home and do not have access to many of my files for referencing. So today I just want to put some initial thoughts into words.
The setting for today was the impressive Cork County Hall. We are informed that filming is not permitted, which makes life more difficult for someone to report accurately on an event such as this. The organisation, was professionally done. The conference is split into themes, each building part of a picture that sets out to destroy Israel’s standing as a legitimate state. Just as was intended two years ago, in Southampton, each subject is discussed by a panel, all of who were presenting papers on the topic.
Of about 50 academics present, only one would consider himself Zionist. Almost all the others support the boycott of Israel, and most call openly for its demise. There were a few opening remarks to a room of maybe 170 people, and we were underway.
The rejected Falk / Tilley report
I have little doubt now that the Falk/Tilley report was timed to coincide with this Cork conference. Almost every speaker at Cork referenced it, and each in turn described it as an important ‘UN’ report. This in itself is enough to discredit every academic involved.
What we know is that a UN agency consisting almost entirely of enemies of Israel commissioned a notorious anti-Israel activist to write a report suggesting Israel is an Apartheid state. When it became clear upon the report being published what had occurred, the UN simply pulled the report. It is therefore unethical for an academic to suggest this is a UN report. They have to be aware they are pushing bogus goods. What this in effect highlighted is that we are dealing with activists willing to abuse academia to push their own ideological cause.
Richard Falk was the keynote speaker who opened the event today. It describes the Cork event perfectly that they chose to lead with a man who has been so dogged with accusations of antisemitism. Someone who has been accused of antisemitic actions by the UN, by the UK government, a man who has pushed 9/11 conspiracy theory and who has had to apologise for posting a blatantly antisemitic cartoon. This is the face of the conference at Cork.
It soon became apparent that the conference had attracted the true haters from across the globe. The first face I saw was Tom Suarez, who had delivered a vile talk at SOAS just a few months ago. Suarez has recently written a book about ‘Zionist terror’, that completely removed Zionist actions from context, used tenuous links to build vague conspiracy and that almost entirely airbrushed Arab violence out of existence.
Cork and a pyramid of sand
Falk during his speech, referenced the Tom Suarez book. This an indication of the incestuous nature of this ideological exercise. Suarez creates a conspiracy tale, Falk uses this as a basis for his own masturbatory acrobatics and this in turn will be used by others to further their own agenda with an ever increasing tale of nonsense. From Pappe’s highly dubious historical rendition, to the latest works of those like Falk and Suarez, a small group of academics are using each other as ‘legitimacy props’ , to build an ideological argument out of little more than internal strands of twisted hatred.
The day progressed and there were few surprises. Ronnie Barkan was also spotted in the crowd. The image on the left is Ronnie Barkan and Tom Suarez deep in discussion. Claire Short was in the row behind me. Sitting next to Claire was a vile antisemite from Norwich that had been picked up in my undercover report on the PSC. I spotted another ‘nasty’ from Richmond PSC in the row behind her. Familiar faces were everywhere. It is always the same people.
These are twisted academics defining the Palestinian narrative for them. For 100 years the Arabs of Ramallah and Gaza have been spoken for by those outside. People telling the residents of towns such as Jericho how another generation of sacrifice is necessary and how salvation is surely on its way. 12 speakers today. 1 Palestinian, and even then a Palestinian living in the UK. From the 1920’s all the way to the current day, scores of example of how others knew what was best for the Palestinians to do. And another generation of Palestinian children are sacrificed on the alter of this hatred. Today that empty promise is BDS. Comfortable westerners like John Reynolds suggest Palestinians should be patient rather than negotiate. After all, what does John Reynolds have to lose?
One of the loudest rounds of applause is reserved for the ‘true Torah Jew’. The one who denounces the vast majority of Jews as ‘false’. The crowd love this. The hypocrisy passes everyone by. This is not a humanitarian, but rather a fundamentalist who has an entirely different vision of what should come to pass. At a coffee break, this true Torah Jew spoke to me about anti-Zionist Jews in Europe during the 1920’s. I pointed out the vast majority of those people burnt in Auschwitz. Given that I argued, they support my argument far more than they do his.
Humour and venom in Cork
There were moments of humour too. After the true Torah Jew had delighted the crowd by refuting the Jewish nature of Zionists, a woman ran up to give him a hug of appreciation. Two impossible world’s colliding for a brief moment of total awkwardness. Another reason to smile came at lunch, when I notice Tom Suarez trying his best not to be seen counting how many of his books had not sold.
But the majority of the time was spent feeling deeply uncomfortable. The Q&A during the third session brought a vile question rooted in antisemitic conspiratorial thought. The inarticulate rancid rambling of Oren Ben-Dor reinforced the notion he is truly disturbed and Ghada Karmi could not help but spew venom at all those present to hear her talk. It was Karmi that wrapped up today’s session by declaring that Jewish Zionists were all foreigners. She argued that the Palestinians were really the Jews of the bible. Given historical understanding of the invasion of the Arabs over a millennia ago, this is a narrative you simply could not make up. Well, Ghadi Karmi could.
There was no context to any of the discussion. No Arab violence, no cause and effect. No honest evaluation about Jewish history, the reality of the Middle East or what would actually happen if the Jews let down their guard. Just a utopian ignorant radical ideology willing to push the Jews off a cliff in some twisted drive to prove something to somebody. Oh, and quite a lot of hate mixed in too.
This was only the first day, and there are many notes to work through as I put together a complete picture of this event as it unfolds. Needless to say there is plenty more to come. And when it is done, I will be more than happy to return to London. As pretty as Ireland may be, it has done itself no favours by allowing such a vile hatred to be expressed so openly. There is no place for a Jewish state in this academic world. If these people had their way, the Jews would once more be victims of violent destruction. Hidden behind the veneer of academic talk is just the same old request. They just discuss it all in a more polite manner.
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38 thoughts on “Cork, Ireland. Politely wishing the Jews to a nasty death”
Reminder – Suarez’s book ………….
Didn’t the woman who hugged him realise that a “Torah true Jew” might resile from such an embrace?! Oh, but maybe she figured that they are so “Torah true” that they readily join street marches on Saturdays against Israel.
Brilliant reporting as always – you are awesome, David.
As a matter of fact, in the coffee break I went to shake the hand of the naturie karta Jew David refers to and he would not allow me to touch him. I very much doubt he allowed a woman to hug him as David says she did. Also, his purpose in speaking was to explain that the basis for his anti Zionism is a religious one in that he and the group to which he belongs believe only the Messiah can restore Israel. However much we might disagree with these views, he is entitled to hold them. There was no hatred in his expression of them. However, the fact that his car was torched in 2014 after he sided with protesters in Manchester against the war on Gaza does demonstrate hatred.
I didn’t say he allowed her to hug him. I pointed out that her attempt left them both in an awkward situation.
As someone who is Irish/Israeli I really hope this conference won’t affect your view of Ireland or the Irish people. Ireland is generally a pro-Palestine country, however it’s not by a huge margin, it just so happens that the pro-Palestine “activists” are much louder than us pro-Israel folk. I appreciate you coming to Cork to document the happenings of this conference and wish you a pleasant stay in Ireland.
Best of luck.
Liam, he hasn’t documented the happenings of the conference, he has given his selective interpretation of it, from a very biased point of view.
“a UN agency consisting almost ENTIRELY (my emphasis) of enemies of Israel”. Surely ALL of the members of the agency are anti-Israel? We ought to have a conference to deny the legitimacy of the Hashemite kingdoms, after all they were created by the British who handed power to the despotic rulers of a couple of Arab tribes.
Then have one.
David , you forgot to mention Geoffrey’s contributed and how he was applauded despite the majority in the hall not agreeing with him. Not have you mentioned how he was invited to lunch with several of the vile human beings you describe- I assume I’m part of this collective who you shook hands with following a very cordial exchange of words.
Thank you David for shining a light on this cess pool .It needed to be done and who best to do it . It begs the question as to whether are professional journalistic agencies i.e. The JC and Jewish News are in attendance , or whether they are waiting to glean some crumbs from your in depth reporting. Perhaps I shouldn’t be too quick to condemn . It takes a strong stomach to attend such an event. I’m pleased to see the university has distanced itself from the ‘conference ‘ . It would have been better if it had cancelled it altogether. I’m sure neutrals in attendance will see it for what it is. Just a hate fest of bigots and antisemites applauding each other in mutual adulation .
I know there is at least one JC journo in attendance.
I used to love Ireland, my company was registered there, we had 12 employees and i was drunk from beauty, music and beer.
This sounds like paradise. The only problem: i am Jew and extreem pro-Israel.
I was confronted and even molested for the sole crime of reading an Israeli newspaper.
Needless to say, i closed my company, i fired all the employees and moved every activity from there. I don’t even enjoy the music anymore and i drink other beer
Dan – by your own definition you’re an extreme Zionist. Aren’t you supposed to be fighting boycotts in solidarity with Israel against BDS? Yet you’re prepared to boycott Ireland because you’ve been insulted…what, by the entire population of Ireland?
What a proud and glorious time to be a Munsterman.
We’ll raise our voices in Munster’s praise
Glad are our hearts today
The Boys From The County Cork
Of course Bellamy . No surprises that you an Irish Provo would support this event . No surprises that one terrorist group IRA would twin with Hamas . However unlike Hamas, Sinn Fein realised that after 9/11 they were either with the USA or against and rather than jeopardise their multi million dollar earnings through drugs prostitution,extortion etc better to sign a peace treaty and keep their empire intact . That and the fact British Intelligence had infiltratedto a point their terrorist operations were no longer viable.
By the way you owe me a Black and Tan .
The Provos date from 1969.
The black and tan deal was conditional on your drinking it in Kilmichae. I will be in Bandon, West Cork in August. Don’t be late.
I merely am making the point Harv, that the refusal of the University and City not to buckle in the face of Zionist threats and blackmail is in the best traditions of Co Corks love of freedom.
What threats were made Stephen? I’m aware that certain groups/people made efforts for the conference to be cancelled due to it’s unbalanced nature and ridiculous contents, but I haven’t heard of any threats being made.
Imagine if this was a conference about bashing Palestine and there was only 1 pro-Palestine speaker out of 40-odd, I know for a fact you wouldn’t be happy. You would dismiss the conference as “Zionist propaganda” or something along those lines, along with one flurry of the usual buzzwords.
Personally I support the conference going ahead, but that doesn’t mean people can’t object to its structure or contents.
along with a flurry*
” Imagine if this was a conference about bashing Palestine and there was only 1 pro-Palestine speaker out of 40-odd, I know for a fact you wouldn’t be happy”
They are happening all the time Liam. How many pro Palestinian speakers were there at AIPAC.”
At the We Believe In Israel gigs ?
Doesn’t trouble me in the least. People are free to assemble and talk about anything they want so far as I am concerned. The undercurrent of of David’s scribblings is that such things should not be allowed to happen.
The details of what was visited on the University of Southampton is a work in progress. I have little doubt the University at Cork and the City got similar treatment.
AIPAC? AIPAC is a pro-Israel conference where people gather to celebrate the relationship between Israel and the US. They showcase new Israeli innovations, discuss ways to strengthen relations, etc. They don’t sit there talking shit about Palestinians, AIPAC’s conference is a celebration not a hatefest.
Stephen if can provide me an example of a conference that was designed SOLELY to question the legitimacy of a Palestinian State, SOLELY to take a shit on Palestinians and paint them as demons then I will say fair enough. Either way I didn’t have a problem with this conference going ahead.
Oh its just a party with no political agenda. Thats all right then.
Liam – you ask for an example of a conference based solely on questioning the legitimacy of a Palestinian state? Are you kidding? The history of contemporary Israel is one long talking shop about how to prevent the formation of a Palestinian state. You should read some of the things Ben Gurion and others said, even then.
There would have been one more academic to put the Zionist case alongside Alderman, had Alan Johnson not chosen to boycott the event in protest at Richard Falk’s presence. He squandered an opportunity, don’t you think? The point of the conference is to debate the issues, uncomfortable as it is to do so, not shut them down.
The organisers would never have allowed more than a symbolic Zionist attendance. The conference is to create tools to use in activism, not to have a serious academic debate. The majority of speakers are here as activists, not academics. It is silly to pretend AJ or any other Zionist would have been allowed to make a serious impact.
Yeah, 40-odd vs 2 that would have made it so much more balanced. I don’t blame Alan Johnson for dropping out, having a discredited anti-Israel lunatic as a keynote speaker is an insult to academia. The fact is, regardless of Johnson dropping out, the conference was organised in such a way that pro-Israel voices would be completely drowned out. 40-odd people vs 1 or 2 is not a debate, at least nothing close to a fair one. It’s lopsided, unfair and essentially turns into an echo chamber for the 40-odd to agree with each other on just about everything.
How about 20 pro Israel speakers presenting papers ? Would that have been ok? How many is just enough to give the hate fest an undeserved veneer of legitimacy without diluting the message ? Five, ten . Of course GA was applauded to his face – and scorned behind his back
Johnsons pull out was a carefully timed piece of drama queenery. Poor baby.
Richard Falk doesn’t even realize, Arab states define themselves as apartheid states, by their own definition. Read
That’s irrelevant to the case. The question is not whether the states around Israel practice apartheid, the question arising in the conference is about whether Israel does, and about how its policies and behaviour affect the Palestinians under its control.
The entire argument around Apartheid is a giant straw man. This is a conflict situation. The walls went up as an act of defense. The apartheid argument is merely a desperate attempt to bolster BDS and make it more akin to the SA boycott movement.
it’s entirely relevant, as is the fact that the surrounding Arab countries all expelled their Jews. The claim that both are irrelevant are simply convenient rationalizations for closing one’s ears to fair and relevant counterarguments.
Only 14,000 Jews live in the 22 Arab countries and Iran.
1.7 million Arabs live in Israel.
So who’s about apartheid.
Jews are practically barred from living in all the Arab countries except a few thousand Jews who live in Tunisia and Morocco.
I know of one Jew David Gerbi who tried to return to the Arab country Libya he was from.
After Gaddafi was overthrow in Libya in 2011, Gerbi tried to return to Libya where he was forced out in the late 60s.
When the Libyans found out Gerbi was in Libya trying to return there he nearly got lynched by an Arab mob saying “there is no place for Jews in Libya.
Here’s an article about this.
My main reaction to reading this article is one of admiration. How could a rational being sit through this absurd rubbish being spouted by Jew haters without being a superhuman! Well done Mr. Collier!
Well done David.
Ghada Karmi is much more high profile than what I assumed when I first heard her at P21. At that meeting her question to Falk was ‘why can’t the Jews from Europe (the Ashkenazim) return to their ancestral countries, Germany was mentioned, now that diplomatic relations with the Jewish state has been established fro some years. The answer by Falk was irrelevnat. What wax relevant was the incredible depth of racism eminating from this educated woman. Her question reminded me of the Skinheads of the 1970s who said very similar statements about the immigrants from India and Pakistan. In other words, ‘Yids go home’.
The language used by Mr Collier is simply disgusting and totally filled with hate. He loses any credibility for his arguments by the foul way in which he writes about other human beings and the attacks he makes on their character. I cannot believe that any thinking, reasonable person would want to applaud this piece of writing and not perceive the bigotry within Mr Colliers makeup. The conference is NOT a closed event and anyone could attend….there has been no attempt or desire to bar any attendees…Jewish, Palestinian or Raving Looney Party.
But whatever else Mr Collier would do better to be more polite in his writing, and remember that everyone has a right to an opinion and an open debate without resorting to assassination of an individual’s character.
Phil obviously comes from the Bizarro world, where ideas and concepts are turned on their head: good becomes bad, up becomes down and David Collier’s language is “disgusting.”
No, buddy, it’s the conference and its 44 of 45 speakers that are disgusting.
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