Andrew Gilligan in the Sunday Telegraph (the new look Telegraph - no comments and so far (in my opinion) rather boring and a shadow of its former self)
The government has ceased funding a British charity which sponsored events accused of promoting hatred and violence against Jews. The Department for International Development (Dfid) said that it no longer supported War on Want, which helped pay for “Israeli Apartheid Week” in February this year.
The statement comes as the Telegraph obtained undercover recordings of events where anti-Semitism, demands for the destruction of Israel or naked support for terror were expressed by academics and others at meetings in some of Britain’s most prestigious universities.
One speaker, Max Blumenthal, the son of a close adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton, praised a massacre by Hamas as sending an “incredible message” and said that taking up arms should be “normal” for Palestinians. He compared Israel to the terrorist group Isil, describing it as “the Jewish State of Israel and the Levant, Jsil”.
Describing the Palestinian enclave of Gaza as a penitentiary, Mr Blumenthal said: “There’s often prison revolts which take place everywhere, because people are normal. People are normal in the Gaza Strip, and so they take up arms.”
He praised a 2014 massacre carried out by “commandos” of Hamas’s armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, against Nahal Oz, a kibbutz and army base near the Gaza border, saying it was a way for Palestinians to “recover their dignity” and “pop Israel’s security bubble”.
“With GoPro cameras attached to their helmets, [they] burst into the Israeli base and kill every soldier they encounter in hand-to-hand combat,” said Mr Blumenthal. “The message it sent to young Palestinians in the West Bank, in Jerusalem and abroad, was incredible?… You see your people in commando uniforms, bursting into a military base and showing up the occupier.”
(Another event) at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), was the London launch of Israeli Apartheid Week, held across UK university campuses to “raise awareness about Israel’s ongoing settler-colonial project” and demand boycotts of Israel. They were secretly recorded and passed to the Telegraph.
War on Want spent more than £1,000 to bring Sahar Francis, a Palestinian lawyer, to the UK for the London event. Ms Francis, the head of the Addameer prisoners’ rights group, spoke of a “rumour” that Israelis were stealing organs from Palestinian victims of the violence.
“The eyes were looking in a very strange way and this is why the families suspected [Israel] are stealing their [organs],” she said. “But we cannot confirm, because [in] most cases it was not ending up with [an] autopsy.”
It was a decision by Oxford University Labour Club to endorse Israeli Apartheid Week which triggered the row about anti-Semitism within Labour.
The club’s co-chairman, Alex Chalmers, resigned, saying that a “large proportion of Oxford University Labour Club and the student Left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews.” He condemned Israeli Apartheid Week as “a movement with a history of targeting and harassing Jewish students and inviting anti-Semitic speakers to campuses”.
However, it can be revealed that a previous Israeli Apartheid Week event, in Leicester last year, was attended by Mohammed Dawood, a serving Labour councillor in the east Midlands city. Cllr Dawood, a former assistant mayor of Leicester with responsibility for housing and social care, recently tweeted a film showing the burning of the “Zionist entity flag”, the Israeli flag.