A Gazan has just scammed anti-Zionists out of £1000s. Pete Gregson, the Scottish man who ran the campaigns has even just admitted it. The truth here is that this is a cycle; The lies of anti-Israel propaganda creates anti-Zionists, anti-Zionism embeds antisemitism, and antisemitism makes people targets for scams. And trust me on this, the people in Gaza and the West Bank are fully aware of it.
A Gazan scammer – the backstory
Keeping this part short: Those who read this blog will know that throughout 2022, I ran several articles on the relationship between Pete Gregson, an active antisemite from Scotland, and a Gazan by the name of Mohammed Almadhoun. Gregson put out an endless stream of fundraisers to help Almadhoun and even ran the Gaza- Edinburgh twinning campaign alongside him. I went digging (as did one or two friends), tracking down Almadhoun and all his claims. It took a while, we had to dig deep – and I even ended up speaking to an Egyptian surgeon referenced in one of the campaigns (who denied ever operating on Almadhoun). My research showed beyond doubt that not only did Almadhoun’s family have ties to both Islamic Jihad and Hamas, but that the fundraising campaigns were a scam.
A Christmas Eve notice and the Boxing Day email
Pete Gregson carried on with his campaigns, ridiculing my research and standing by his Gazan ‘friend’. Until on Christmas Eve the latest campaign was suddenly closed. Then yesterday (Boxing Day), Pete Gregson personally sent an extraordinary email to all those that had contributed. It began like this (full email – see image) :
“It greatly pains me to admit to our having been victims of a humongous scam “
He even openly admitted that I had been right:
Gregson explains that he now knows that Almadhoun, the Gazan scammer will ‘tell lies with impunity if he can scam money‘:
The problem with twinning
Putting aside for a moment Gregson and the Gazan scammer, this scam highlights many of the problems that twinning with Gaza creates. It is impossible to deal with authority in Gaza – because the authority is a proscribed terrorist group. It means if you want to work with anyone in Gaza, you need to turn to people there – the very people that are reaching out for help. Yet these are exactly the type of people that need to be avoided. These people can work with the authorities, create receipts, make photoshoots inside clinics – and build any other fake evidence that they need – in order to get people in the west to part with their cash. And none of us have any idea who is behind it, nor where the money actually ends up.
Antisemitism makes people stupid
And this story firmly exposes a really vicious cycle. Pete Gregson was duped because he is an antisemite. Almadhoun was clearly a scammer. My research found that he had used multiple names, various campaigns, unbelievable stories, and stolen images. But Gregson still believed him – as did the many people who donated to the bogus campaigns.
Almadhoun spun stories about both his house and school being bombed, about the students he teaches losing their friends to Israeli attacks, and even one about his own child dying on the way to an Israeli hospital. It isn’t that these things could never happen in a conflict, but that Almadhoun created a caricature, akin to a man who claims that within a 12-month period he had been struck by lightning, run over, had a tumour, lost his wife, was mugged, raped, and also lost a young child to a strange illness.
Almadhoun was so confident of the gullibility of anti-Zionists, that the evidence he provided was just sloppy (mostly stolen images from news websites). It only worked because of antisemitism.
The rabbit hole to antisemitism is a money spinner for some
Let me expand on that. Much of anti-Zionist propaganda is blatantly false. The history anti-Zionists are provided with is often ahistorical junk. An endless stream of doctored or decontextualised images / footage is shared daily by anti-Zionists through social media. All of this material dehumanises Zionists and Zionism. It reaches a point where someone can be told a story about a woman losing her baby on route to a hospital because of the ‘inhumane Israelis’ – and these fools buy it wholesale – because they firmly believe that this is a daily occurrence, and that there is a monster Israeli soldier on every corner, cruelly calculating how to kill Palestinian children.
The anti-Zionist rabbit hole is a ticket to becoming a rabid antisemite. And those people, like Almadhoun – who create FB pages which turn Israelis into monsters, can then go and reap the rewards by scamming the very antisemites that they have helped to create. As my research exposed several years ago, anti-Zionists on social media are all targets for an endless stream of people from Gaza who send messages about how ‘brutal Israeli actions’ have left them unable to feed their children.
It does not even have to be so obvious a scam. All those ‘human rights activists’ from Gaza or the WB, making a name for themselves in western media – are doing the pretty much the same thing – making money and fame from the very anti-Jewish hatred that their lies have helped to propagate.
The only ones who care
Gregson is probably too far down the rabbit hole to save (although I am more than willing to meet him for a chat). But if just some of those who were duped can begin to ask themselves just what else they have been tricked into believing – then this bitter lesson they have learned will not have been entirely in vain.
For Jews and their allies the lesson is a different one. This was exposed only because of Zionists who do this type of research. The police did not care it was going on, the media did not give it any column inches, and all the while a terrorist linked Gazan was taking money from people who were mostly based in the UK. If it wasn’t for us – it would still be going on. Which is why we must never falter, and never rely on anyone else. If we want to fight antisemitism and anti-Zionism – we can rely only on ourselves.
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