Have you heard the one about the Jewish activists who said Kaddish for Palestinian terrorists?
The story starts in November 2015 during the ‘stabbing intifada‘ that saw a wave of stabbing attacks by Palestinians against Israelis. British students honoured Palestinian terrorists who died whilst killing or trying to kill Israelis.
The great invasion
Fast forward to May 2018. The Hamas are weak and facing unrest inside the Gaza strip. We cannot know for sure whether the idea of a border protest was really a grassroots movement or not, but if it were, it was soon hijacked by Hamas. They began promoting ‘peaceful protest’ along the Gaza border with Israel. Then using peaceful demonstrators as human shields, violent operatives could elicit a military response by trying to engage in attacks. Hamas was back doing what it does best, manipulating the narrative.
On the first day, 30 march, seventeen Palestinians were killed by the IDF. All male and aged between 19 to 32. Israel claimed most fatalities were terrorists. By the time 14 May approached, about fifty Palestinians had died. These included a group of six Hamas operatives who died handling explosives, and another four from the Islamic Jihad who seem to have died the same way.
What was absolutely clear on the morning of 14 May, was that with the explosives, kite bombs and armed operatives, the vast majority of fatalities had been engaged in violent activity.
The fourteenth May
Israel had been warning people not to attempt to cross the border. With Israeli citizens less than a mile away, there was no room for error. On 14 May between 59 and 62 people were killed. With the US embassy in Jerusalem opening the same day, international media played their role to perfection. They created a dual screen image. On the one side, celebrating Israelis, on the other dead Palestinians.
Watching the scenes from Gaza was difficult. The media doesn’t catch the firefight when eight terrorists reach the border. They don’t see terrorists laying explosives either. The media camera just zooms in on smoke and Palestinians in a crowd, as the death toll in the news ticker keeps rising. The obvious conclusion is that Israelis are just shooting into the crowd. Carefully selected or doctored images sent to the news outlets by the Hamas PR machine make it all worse. The word ‘massacre’ begins to appear.
The Jewish left
Since the violence of the Second Intifada exposed the mirage of Oslo, most of the Israeli left shifted a little to the right. They see themselves as the ‘pragmatic’ left. A minority took a different path and shifted to the left. A small band who sit on the borders between Zionism and non-Zionism. Still Zionist, but only to the extent that Israel already exists.
For the most part they agree with the sentiments of the anti-Israel movements even if they do not support the goals. They feel major internal discomfort when they see Israel behaving in a way they view as unnecessary. These Jews, normally young and from privileged Ashkenazi backgrounds, are part of a tiny minority of the community. They feel frustrated, and because their voice has been rendered so irrelevant by reality, politically disenfranchised.
Groups like Yachad in the UK or J-Street in the US, formed to provide an ‘alternative’ voice for these people. They are hindered by three main factors. Firstly their support-base is small. Secondly they are currently politically redundant and thirdly, most potential support comes from a part of the Jewish community that is best defined as ‘disinterested’. To maintain public awareness of their existence, these groups have to make noise. This results in them taking action that will inevitably raise anger in the majority of the community. The publicity they receive from the backlash remains their best recruitment tool. The events of May 14th provided a near-perfect scenario.
The May 16th gathering
As with the extreme anti-Zionists like JVL these people create different groups to make them seem more numerous than they are, as well as to protect existing organisations from ‘brand’ damage. At the event people who flirt with Yachad and Jewdas and Meretz attended. Left wing Zionists and anti-Zionists together.
The Kaddish ringleaders
The person sharing the event in the image above is Amos Schonfield, of Yachad. He is listed as attending but does not seem to have gone. Amos currently represents Yachad at the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
Maya Ilany, the Deputy Director of Yachad, also indicated she would go to the event. I am not sure if she did. She apparently removed her name from the list of attendees on May 19th. I have asked her why she did this, but so far, have no response from her.
On Facebook, about sixty are listed as having attended this event. About twenty of these did not attend. I have no intention of listing all the names because I am interested only in the ringleaders. People in responsible posts who interact with Jewish youth from a position of authority.
The event was always offensive. This people don’t meet at Parliament Square to say Kaddish for Jewish victims of terrorism. It is obscene virtue signalling and a perfect opportunity to stick two fingers up at the establishment. It is why many of those who attended have an image like this somewhere on their Facebook page:
The truth becomes known
During the early hours of May 16, the news broke that Hamas had publicly identified fifty of the fatalities as being operatives. Islamic Jihad had named three of the fallen as their own a day earlier. What this meant was that the list of 60 names the organisers were carrying with them, was effectively a list of terrorists. The nature of the event had changed from a distasteful act of virtue signalling, into a group of Jewish people about to say Kaddish for Hamas terrorists.
At this point, all the arguable legitimacy for the event fell away. They would be saying Kaddish for terrorists. Any responsible ‘influencer’ would understand the essence of the event had changed. The responsible thing, the ethical option, would have been to cancel the event. But they didn’t cancel, they went ahead, and that is unforgivable.
Joseph from Israel Advocacy Movement made a video of the event which he uploaded to YouTube:
The man in the video screenshot who read out many of the names of the terrorists is Rob Abrams. Rob is the Youth Engagement Coordinator at the Jewish Council on Racial Equality. The other person who read out the names is Rachel Diamond-Hunter:
As an example of Rachel’s activities, here is a 2015 post from Malia Bouattia giving a ‘shout out’ to her for coordinating a ‘confront Israeli Apartheid’ event sponsored by BDS and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Yochy Davis, a Zionist who came to witness the disgraceful event was visibly stopped from filming. Firstly by the bullyish Daniel Mackintosh:
Helping Daniel remove Yochy was an unidentified woman who spoke with an Israeli accent. She pushed Yochy, stood ‘guard’ over her for much of the time and tried to interrupt filming on more than one occasion.
Yochy was also interrupted several times by Jon Roiser:
Jon Roiser was there with Anna Roiser:
Anna is on the staff of the New Israel Fund. Here are both of them tagged into an image at the Yachad Gala 2018:
Other notable people listed on Facebook as attending (unverified actual attendance) include Annie Cohen, the Jewdas anti-Zionist who ran for UJS president. Also Charlotte Nichols from the Young Labour National Committee. Charlotte is a recent convert who spends time aligning with other anti-Zionists to attack some of those fighting antisemitism in the Labour Party on Twitter:
And yes, you read that tweet right. A recent convert belittling the great work Labour Against Antisemitism do by dismissing their input with the word ‘goysplaining‘. Another who did attend is Joseph Finlay, Jewdas founder, who describes himself as a contributor to the ‘New York Times and Huff Post UK, Vice, The Forward, Jewish Chronicle’.
Two more activists listed as attending but unconfirmed as being present. One was Ella Janner-Klausner. A ‘youth-leader’ from Netzer (RSY).
And part of the Jsoc at Goldsmiths.
Another was Charlotte Fischer. Charlotte works for Citizens UK as the ‘Senior Community Organiser with the Jewish community’. In 2015 Charlotte was named as one of the 40 ‘inspirational individuals poised to define Anglo-Jewry in the years to come’.
Another LJY-Netzer movement worker that attended was Simon Lovick.
Another LJY Netzer
Not to be left out, RSY-Netzer were also represented by Jake Cohen. Jake was one of two people who wrote a blog defending their decision to take part. The word terrorist does not appear in his article.
Perhaps it is not surprising RSY Netzer was well represented. The Director of Informal Education of the Reform Movement was in attendance. Josh Martin.
Jake Cohen was not the only attendee to write a blog AFTER the news about Hamas was known and in support of the event. Nina Morris Evans also did. The headline (courtesy of a Jewish News editor) suggested those people killed by Israel were ‘murdered’.
Nina wasn’t alone. She was with her mother, Abigail Morris.
Finally, the Rabbi leading prayers at the event was Rabbi Leah Jordan
Leah is the Student and Young Adult Chaplain for Liberal Judaism.
Mitzvot and terrorists
The event itself began badly and got worse (Jonathan Hoffman’s analysis was published here). There was talk of how Israel ‘murders’ Palestinians. Mention of how protesting Palestinians are just performing a ‘Mitzvah’. Then the names were read out. All of them. Those that brought explosives to the fence, those that died in a firefight with Israeli soldiers. All the names. Including approximately 53 terrorists. Kaddish was said for them all.
The truly sickening thought is this. Imagine the eight terrorists had not been killed by Israeli soldiers at the fence. What if they had killed the soldiers, broken through, reached a neighbouring town and massacred Jewish residents. What then? Then there would have been none of these Jews in Parliament Square. As the Jewish bodies had been buried, these Jews would not have publicly come to mourn and say Kaddish. Think about how twisted that is.
There is little difference between anti-Israel activists holding a vigil for terrorists at SOAS, and the people who said Kaddish at Parliament Square. The actions of those who were responsible for not raising a voice against, or cancelling this event are disgraceful. Some of these people are involved in summer camps that work with children. I wouldn’t want my children near anyone who is connected with this, nor the organisations that allow them to act as ‘influencers’. They wanted to make the community angry. I think it is safe to say they succeeded.
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