antisemitism at UCC

The UCC, racism against Jews, and antisemitic conspiracy theories.

antisemitism at UCCIt is Sunday 2/4/2017. It is the third and last day of the Cork anti-Israel conference. A meeting of people who have chosen to spend their lives fighting against the Jewish State. The most liberal, most free, and most democratic nation in the entire region. Today saw the conference move from Cork City Hall onto the University College Cork (UCC) Campus. Despite the UCC publicly distancing the university from the conference, the UCC logo was visible everywhere.

The other element of this that must be noted are the constant references during the conference, by UCC faculty and staff, about how proud everyone involved with UCC is that this conference went ahead.

The first session at UCC

The first panel began with the ‘uncompromising’ ideas of Hatem Bazian, and swiftly deteriorated through a stream of self-hating rhetoric provided by Yakov Rabkin and Haim Bresheeth.  I have seen Rabkin before. Rabkin always talks up the European anti-Zionist arguments from the 1920’s and 1930’s without bothering to mention to the audience which cruel trick history played out on those very anti-Zionist Europeans.

Bresheeth is one of those people nobody in the world would have heard of, if not for his Jewish Israeli identity. I cannot say often enough that for Israel’s rejects, the option of a career in academia or public speaking awaits. The only element of these ‘troubled souls’ that differentiates them from unknown drop-outs in the UK or US, is the willingness of Israel’s enemies to glorify them.

Bresheeth wanted to blame Zionists for antisemitism. Bresheeth always blames the Zionists for everything. During today’s talk, he also spent his time apparently blaming the Zionists (he called it a ‘Ziophilic alliance’) for the rise of Islamophobia. But his central point was to argue that academics are clever, antisemites are stupid, therefore academics cannot be antisemites. Given how Nazi ideology found intellectual backing through academics, I would argue that Bresheeth is both an academic and intellectually stupid. He can pick which one of these drives his apparent hatreds.

9/11 conspiracy at UCC

It is the final comments of Independent Researcher, Joel Kovel that will no doubt take the headlines, but in truth, his entire speech could be classified as a horrific antisemitic attack. Kovel began his talk with a prophecy of doom. We are he declared, ‘at the end of days’.

He then began, as many ‘ecologists’ do, to describe how capitalism and human existence are destined for the ultimate clash, unless of course, we learn to return to ‘nature’. Which country does he see as underpinning the ‘existential’ ecological front line? Israel of course. The audience seemed to appreciate the suggestion that the world is ecologically doomed unless you can remove Israel from the Middle East. UCC cork is now pushing the idea that the outcome of the global environmental crisis centers on the destruction of Israel.

Then he actually conjured up the ‘dancing Israelis’ antisemitic conspiracy story from 9/11.  Remember, this is happening in an Irish university campus (UCC):

He was supported in his ideas, by an audience member who shouted ‘Mossad agents’, before Kovel confirmed it himself. But this is what you get when you allow these misfits to gather under one roof.  Yesterday we had accusations that Jewish mothers deliberately deprive their children of love in order to breed callous killers, today 9/11 conspiracy theories. Inside the UCC, from the front desk of a UCC lecture hall. Cork has placed itself firmly into bed with rabid antisemites.

*Important note*. Although someone in the audience did vocally oppose this horrific antisemitic conspiracy theory, there was no comment or official rejection by any of the organisers. Only antisemitism gets this type of public shrug, this air of acceptability. It isn’t as if the venues were  not warned this would happen.

Self censorship

The reason this video above was available was because the organisers had live streamed this part of the event. Once it became clear that perhaps they did not want to be publicly advertising the rabid antisemitism from the conference hall, the live stream stopped. This is more than mere speculation. I saw one or two speakers, including Eitan Bronstein (Zochrot) speaking to the creator of this conference, Oren Ben-Dor, telling him he shouldn’t have the conference publicly identified with this type of lunacy. Unsurprisingly perhaps, given his inability to control the output from the speakers, the live stream ‘failed’ shortly afterwards. This the ‘free speech’ of the hard left. Pure PR and censorship. Dishonest to the core.

Male domination and a wide range of views

During the course of the three days, I had many conversations with delegates. To highlight how dangerous giving this type of rabid propaganda any sort of legitimacy can be, I counted no less that 15 different audience members comment to me on how wonderful it was to hear opinions from every side. The main compliment this  one-sided  hate-fest was given, was to commend it on not being one sided. Before Cork or UCC had permitted a rabid anti-Israeli festival to take place, it should have ensured it was not enabling deceit by providing any level of fake legitimacy.

One complaint that did arise from several quarters, was the male domination of the conference. Today for example, there were fifteen speakers, and fourteen of them were male. As almost all of the anti-Zionist academics are male and given the sexism that is rampant in Palestinian society, perhaps it is unsurprising. But as usual with the hypocrisy of these left wing anti-Israel movements, much is forgiven in the name of the anti-Israel cause. In fact, if we remember that many of the female panelists present were human rights activists (not academics), this entire conference becomes one mess of classic gender discrimination. Well done Ireland!

Self destruction of the Palestinian propaganda

One paper of note, that should be filed and recalled whenever Palestinian propaganda is placed on the menu, is the paper delivered by Dr Salman Abu-Sitta. Salman presented a paper proposing the return of the ‘refugees’. He is considered an expert on the issue. Salman wanted to show how possible it is, considering both land availability and resources, for all the refugees to return.

How is this possible? It is possible because *we were shown* that almost all of the villages and towns that Palestinians claim to have lived in, are not sited in areas were Jewish towns exist. Placing maps on top of each other, at one point Abu-Sitta suggested only about 8% of Israeli towns had ‘supplanted’ Arab towns and in general, this only occurred when an existing city began to expand naturally.

This is a Palestinian admitting, through a carefully prepared academic paper, that the claim Israel is built on top of Palestinian towns is pure propaganda. Rather, as per the Israeli narrative, the two lived side by side, until the Arabs rejected partition and civil war broke out. So my advice when this paper is published is to download it and use it. This single piece of academic work undermines almost the entire Palestinian ‘Nakba’ narrative.

UCC expels all that is Jewish

The absurd and surreal continued to arrive at breathtaking pace.

Far too many incidents to mention them all. Like George Bisharat suggesting Israel ‘owes’ compensation to the Arab states for taking the Jewish Arabs away from them. There are no limits to absurdity at a conference such as this.  And of course, every time Oren Ben-Dor opened his mouth, the same words seem to reach the microphone. A story of ‘being’ and ‘denial’ and ‘Jewishness’ and ‘pathology’. He asked several questions during the three days, which boiled down to a single repetitive refrain:

“dear (insert name of speaker here), are your thoughts about Jewish ‘pathology’ as twisted as mine”?

It is difficult to express how accurate the above is, to someone who has not just sat through three days of this conference.

One final incident worthy of comment came at the very end of the final panel. Philip Franses, who suggested he had a ‘Jewish upbringing’, was painting a utopian picture of everyone living together and sharing the land. Franses was indeed an odd one. At one point in his talk, he seemed to suggest the Arabs had welcomed the Jewish refugees as they entered British Palestine (go take a history lesson Philip). Anyway, during an exchange, he asked Dr Atef Alshaer, another panelist, whether he thought it would be possible to create a shared poetry, both  in Hebrew and Arabic together. (I know, I know, just accept it).

Alshaer had politely navigated the question. This accommodating position was far too nice to the Jews for UCC’s very own James Bowen, who felt he had to interject.  Bowen suggested that Alshaer had been ‘too nice’, and went on to repeat Ghadi Karmi’s absurd stance that Palestinians were the real descendants of the Jews. But then he went even further.

He actually  laid a claim for the Palestinian people to ‘Hebrew’, as being their language. I imagine in his head, Judaism is a Palestinian invention too. The Jews were visibly stripped of their entire identity. Zionists are fake invaders with absolutely no ties to the region at all. That Bowen’s internal issues are driving his agenda are clear. How this conference ended up at Cork should also be clear to all.

I certainly won’t be returning to this city. Yes, it is pretty, and yes, the people seem externally friendly, but Cork did the Jews an absolute disservice. I witnessed it and I won’t be coming back. For me, the three days in Cork are now over,  and it is time to return home. But the hate I saw here will move forward, this is a malignancy we must continually fight.Wherever it reappears, we have to be there too.

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34 thoughts on “The UCC, racism against Jews, and antisemitic conspiracy theories.

  1. Jezuz three slow news days on the trot.. Lower case t notice. You would have been better served spending the time getting yourself off to Baltimore, taking the short ferry trip to Sherkin island and having a good uplifting walk around it,

    Day 2) Hire a care and drive through Dunmanway and on to the Kilmichael monument. Sit on the wall that Tom Barry fired from, and eat your sandwiches in the pale late spring sunshine. Reflected on how the folks of Co Cork took on the might of the British Empire and won, And how they were unlikely to be bullied by a bit of Zionist bullshit.

    Day three) A day in Bandon. Lunch with my aunt Cait and ……..well I leave the rest open. She is so freaking unpredictable.

    1. Bellamy – you are prepared to write any old garbage in order to get a link back to your dreadful little blog.

    2. Tom Barry- the great Hitler and Nazi admirer. a disgraceful person.
      When Hitler blew his sick brains out, Barry spent days crying such was his love for the sick monster

        1. Bill Kavanagh, You might be thinking of Dan Breen who was known to have fetishized hitler and had quite a collection of nazi memorabilia. By all accounts, Breen was a dangerous sociopath.

    3. Ye mean ”how we bate the British Empire with the help of the Jews ” Monsouire Bel ami. If you want to pretend to be an Irish nationalist from Cork you could at least get to know the real history of the Irish Nationalist movement and who it’s only real allies were.. it was the Jews who aided us when the shells were flying on the streets of Dublin in 1916 … and it was the jews who helped to get us the arms so we had something better than hurling sticks to point back at the brits. The dream of Irish Nationalism and Jewish Nationalism were very closely linked in the late 1800’s and the begining of the 20th century – we had 800 years of nonsence and racism thrown at us ( hmmm mostly by ‘english’ of Norman origin ) they had 2000 years …. and strangely enough, one of the Roman legions used to wreak genocide and expulsions under Hadrian in Judea was a British one’) . Both Irish nationalists and Jewish nationalists had huge respect for each other and both just wanted to be able to live safely in our own indiginous homelands without being persecuted, dhimified or having foreigners repeatedly try to rob or enslave us … not much to ask realy is it? Herzl and Parnell had massive respect for each other – with Herzl even saying that he’d like to be remembered as the ‘Parnell’ of the Jewish people. Our histories were also joined in the fact that the same empire that promised both of us our indiginous lands and self rule again began to suddenly back track on home rule for both of us by the end of WW1 … they split both Ireland , they also split the mandate – giving half to the Saudi Prince Fisal after the french booted him out of Syria and giving him the entire east bank of the Jordan as the Heshemite kingdom of Jordan after he invaded Amaan…. they then opened the doors on the remaining mandate for the Jewish homeland to mass arab migration ‘ … in a mode similar to the ‘english settlements in Ireland’after Cromwell’ designed to slowly push the indiginous Gael out’ … so the Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron who were historically a majority long before Herzl ever became inspired by Parnell began again in the 1920’s to be subject to many of the kinds of pogroms we suffered historically by foreign invaders … We didn’t seek to invade foreign lands in our nationalism , we just wanted our own land and culture to be no longer trampled under foot with mallice. And just as the jews allowed the Drews, Circassian, Christians, Samaritans and many other ethnic minorities to stay – in spite of civil wars and a long history of persecution … we let lary Norman and English settlers like you stay. So cop on, stop being a twit – and stop blaming the Jews for everything you hate about yourself.

        1. And you see you are so entrapped by your narrative you read things that aren’t there. You do that because you need for them to be there.It just has to be about ” the Jews” doesn’t it.? I have to be blaming ” the Jews” for stuff don’t I ? Otherwise it just doesn’t work for you does it ? It is a well established strategy. Someone says something about some one that is Jewish or a primarily Jewish organisation they are talking about ” the Jews.” Been there, seen that. So needy are you, that in your anxiety to establish antisemitism you slide in to antisemitism yourself.

          While not impressed by your history I am impressed by you picking up on ” Bel Ami ” . That probably is the origin of the name isn’t it ? Even if the gender is a bit mixed up.

          And I find your ” Boo hoo I am more Irish than you ” schtick a bit of a yawn. To be honest.

          And in all my countless discussions in West Cork I have never heard a single reference to ” the Jews”. Now that could be because they are all antisemites. Or maybe because they are not . I will raise the issue in August.

          PS It’s Monsieur Bel Ami if you don’t mind

          1. I was spelling Mon Souire … it’s a pun on monsieur in your old language because your current lack of self knowledge, identity and history makes people laugh. The key point which is evident from your blog is that you are indeed trying to project all your self hate and self loathing on the Jews. You need to face that and realise it because no matter how much you wish harm on the Jews, the person you are really destroying is yourself. It’s not about them, it’s about you. …. if you want a lifeline out of the all consuming pit of rage and grief I know one. xxx

          2. Billy Boy telling me you have a lifeline that will free me from my self hate and not telling me what it is……..well that is not very nice is it ?

            I guess ” bate” is a pun too ?

          3. I am guessing ” Liam” is a pun on ” Billy” and Billy is the Grand Wizard of the Ballymena Orange Lodge.

            Anyway I have been genning up on these Jews that Billy reckons were the only ally of Irish Nationalists. It turns out they were IRISH JEWS.

            But to Billy they were not Irish men and women the were JEWS

            What a raving antisemite you are Billy.

  2. We must all applaud the time and energy that David has put in to this. I find it hard enough to keep schtumm at an anti-Israel meeting in London that might last for two hours. He manages to keep schtumm for 3 days.

    Gezinterheyt David.

  3. Hi David
    Thank you for observing and reporting this snake pit of hate over three days. The effect will be noted far beyond the confines of this blog.

  4. According to the University of Cork which partly hosted it, this was a balanced academic conference with around 40 anti-Israel speakers v 1 pro-Israel speaker. Would you want your child to go to such a university? What a breeding ground for hatred!!!!

  5. I’m saddened but not surprised to see such wildly biased, misleading and inaccurate writing from a conference which was not at all like the one described, but I don’t expect to change such a closed mind. Could I, however, advert to just one factual error concerning me personally? When the 9/11 myth was mentioned – and I think it was not only outrageous but also entirely irrelevant in the context of the conference – you wrote “Although someone in the audience did vocally oppose this horrific antisemitic conspiracy theory, there was no comment or official rejection by any of the organisers”. That someone was me, I did stand up and publicly dissent and I am one of the organisers. Thank you.

    1. Piaras

      Thank you for your comment. I came up to you and personally thanked you for vocally opposing the outrageous comment. I take this opportunity to personally thank you again. I would also say that given such an outrageous racist comment, something should have been publicly announced that distanced the event from the remark (hence my criticism). But anyway, this was only one incident. One of several that Jewish people attending had to put up with. I understand you think I have a ‘closed mind’, but unfortunately it merely reflects how lost you currently are to the argument. I’d wager I am far more susceptible to new information that you are. In any event, none of this has anything to do with Palestinians or the situation in the West Bank or Gaza. In fact, I think it is a tragedy, that the future of the Palestinians, may be in the hands of those we saw at the conference.

      If you were at a conference about Africa and on the first day, someone spoke out about how Black people make too much of slavery, on the second day have someone suggest that black people deliberately deprive their children of love so they make great gang members, and on the third day have a speaker begin to make severe racist comments on top of the general atmosphere you had already experienced, you would make no allowances whatsoever. NONE. You can pretend it is different, except it isn’t. Until you realise that, you will continue to find my writing ‘inaccurate’. That fault however is with you, not me.

  6. David, Thank you so much for this. I stayed away, knowing I couldn’t handle it emotionally or intellectually. Your courage in entering this lion’s den and reporting its doings afterwards is really considerable. And, of course, the statements you cite just serve to confirm everything we all warned UCC about. They did exactly what we said they would do. You are now an honorary Irishman.

  7. David, I continue to admire your work and the manner in which you report it. Moreover you demonstrate remarkable toleration of the Media Response Stalkers that I imagine are tapping out their bizarre semi-literate counterpoints here for a few euros per post. The chap Bellamy, who regularly features here (and who I assume has been assigned your column for subversion by his paymasters) may be the same responder who appeared some time ago in another place writing equally contrary posts in support of a Yachad boy who opposed charitable giving to the needy. Between the two of them they attempted to construct an argument that asserted that when Jews make charitable donations to the most vulnerable people in society there is somehow a more sinister motive behind it. If this is the same fellow then I think that told me all that I needed to know about his bona fides. I imagine that you are ahead of me on this.

    1. Ian. Thank you for your comments and support.

      I spent a long time on internet forums and chat rooms way back when, so the idea of multiple identities, trolls and so on, is inherent in the way I view the internet. Real identities online only came much later. Back then you had two choices, troll or discuss, so I am well used to trying to maintain discourse with a lot of noisy trolls around me.

      Having said that, I have had several posts about Stephen, and although he and I view the world with very different glasses, I do not for one minute believe he is being paid by anyone. His political comments are familiar to me, in that I have met those with similar arguments before. I do not think he is the classic troll, who has fake personas across a spectrum, but rather a genuine human being with very (nasty) extremist positions. He may have more than one online identity, but I would wager they hold a pretty consistent political line.

      From my side as long as he refrains from personal abuse, I will not generally edit or delete his comments either. I think free speech is a vital part of the message we must deliver and I think it important we learn to counter the arguments rather than avoid them. Stephen likes to go fishing, so it helps if people practice not biting his ‘bait’ sometimes. If truth is on our side, we have nothing to be afraid of.

      Personally, much of my intricate knowledge about the Holocaust was achieved because I spent much time debating vile deniers with handles such as ‘Jetblast’ on anonymous forums. I will debate anyone, about anything relevant. It is the best way to challenge your own paradigm, and then learn, revise and strengthen it. I tolerate it, because I have learnt to benefit from it. Their hate has made me stronger.

      1. David I would find it very interesting to be given an example of my extremist opinions. Just one would be fine.

        I ask this without prejudice . Please do not represent this as accepting that virtue is always located towards the centre of a spectrum.

        I don’t have more then one online identity actually; I do have two wordpress acounts and do occasionally forget which one I am logged into. But it is always very deffo me. For better or worse o:)

        1. Stephen, isn’t this to engage in a game? I am sure, that you consider many of the visitors to this site ‘extreme’, and I would be surprised if I was not also labelled ‘extreme’ in your internal lexicon. These are subjective positions. If we are a great distance apart from each other (and I believe we are), then at its core, our viewing each other as extreme, merely denotes the distance between us, rather than where virtue is situated. As nobody starts off believing their own position is wrong, there is also an inherent cockiness to anyone’s political argument. I believe I am right, you believe you are right, and there is (I believe) quite a wide gulf between our positions. I am surprised that you took to questioning this, it seems self evident.

        2. As a note, just so my response does not appear deflective, I consider anti-Zionism an extremist position. With anti-Zionism, I suggest it is a shifting position. 200 years ago, I think it was similar to suggesting not having sex, 100 years ago, it was similar to suggesting abortion, today, it means killing the child. Israel is a state today, with millions of voting citizens who live inside. Arguing it shouldn’t be there, however you seek to justify it, is an extreme position.

  8. David, I suspect that you may have heard from many protagonists over the years whose opening gambit is “I’m anti-Zionist but don’t believe that there should be no Israel”. They see no conflict between the two positions whatsoever, or, in some cases simply choose to ignore it as an inconvenience. I have discussed this dichotomy with ant-Zionist Jews many times and always at comfortable diasporan dinner tables and have been fascinated to see their ‘working out’ and often the true motivations behind their assertions. I think that there are some loose similarities between them and your contrary contributor here. Both appear to have an emotional disconnect to the land and its Jewish history. Both have an instinct that a status quo must be wrong that sees strong, clever, Western-looking people prevailing over less strong, less clever, non-Western looking people. From this, both have been susceptible and sympathetic to a decades old global propaganda machine that has generated a sustained and amplified message for the PLO even when its own members publically admitted that there is no such thing as the Palestinian people. Neither group can completely harness their intuitive discomforts and come out against a de facto and de jure state. That would be a step too far. Instead they moderate their positions by advocating the Arab position of land, refugees and rights. For them the capitulation by Israel to these demands and the endgame that would certainly ensue is incidental and absolutely not their problem. In any event it is way beyond the scope of their arguments. They can leave their dinner parties and social media blogs with clean hands because they were never anti Israel, merely anti-Zionist and any conflation of the two is someone elses problem.

  9. ” A meeting of people who have chosen to spend their lives fighting against the Jewish State”. So says a guy who has chosen to spend his life going around trying to find people he thinks hate him because he’s a Jew. And just as ghost hunters tend to spot ghosts and UFO spotters tend to report UFO sightings, so our blogger finds that just about everyone is a Jew hater.

    What a sad, pathetic way to live one’s life.

    1. Unhappily he doesn’t have to try too hard John, if at all. Your remarks remind me of the way that Simon Wiesenthal was criticised in the sixties and seventies as he sought to hunt down Nazis and bring them to justice. People dismissed the need for his endeavours suggesting that the war was over and the enemy defeated and should be forgotten and consigned to history. He too was called sad and pathetic and often worse. The thing was that with his tenacity and determination he ensured that those that perpetrated the worst crimes against Jews In history or abetted their enterprise, couldn’t sit back with complacency. Despite their innate and enduring hatred of Jews they knew that there was someone who was fighting back to ensure that at the very least they would have to think twice before repeating their foul acts and that any such conduct would be robustly challenged. This is David’s role and despite your efforts please understand that he is admired and respected for his endeavours.

      1. Comparing a person who brought Nazi war criminals to justice with our sad blogger is actually quite funny. He goes to public meetings and declares that they “welcome ” Holocaust deniers because he (claims to) hear one person whisper something he thinks suggests they warrant that label. Like the UFOologist who looks into the sky and sees a star and declares it as proof that UFOs exist.

        It’s very sad that the thinks so many people hate him because of his ethnicity or religion. There are certainty anti-Semites out there but the looney tunes who seem them everywhere just strip the term of any meaning and – albeit unwittingly – assist the genuine racists.

        And in that category I’d include those who choose to join rallies with fascist and neo Nazi groups like the EDL. Which would include Jonathan Hoffman.

        1. I’m not sure what point you’re making John. David makes it his business to seek out those that are vocally anti-Semitic and presents evidence of their endeavours to promote their position. He attends meetings at which these people speak in order to present his evidence in a first hand manner. As an agenda based activist this seems logical and sensible in order to mitigate challenges from opponents like you who would seek to deny the veracity of his testimony. The body of proof that he presents here is often film based and is rarely the subject of dispute. In fact it is more often than not corroborated by reputable and credible news sources. So to clarify, your criticism appears to centre upon the fact that he is using his own time and resource in this endeavour in a wholly voluntary fashion and in so doing is presenting a factual if inconvenient record of the events that he witnesses. You have characterised this as ‘sad’ and ‘pathetic’ but I wonder why. Did you hold the same views of the late Darcus Howe, an anti-racism activist who spent his own time confronting anti-Blacks? Did you regard activists like Orson Wells, Joan Baez and Burt Lancaster as sad and pathetic for seeking our racists and outing them for their extreme and unacceptable views where they found them? Do you regard Germaine Greer as a loony tune for challenging sexist views here she encounters them? Or do you only attempt to demean those that seek to place the spotlight on people that dislike Jews?

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