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Pro-Israel activists thrown out of UK Parliament

Image of UK parliament [Storem/Flickr]
Image of UK parliament [Storem/Flickr]

Two pro-Israel activists were removed from the House of Lords during a pro-Palestinian event for breaching Houses of Parliament rules and regulations on Wednesday.

Pro-Israel activist and journalist Jerry Lewis and Jonathan Hoffman were removed by police after refusing repeated requests to switch off their recording device by Lord Warner, who was chairing the event.

Image of the pro-Palestinian event at the House of Lords, London UK on 30 March 2017 [The Palestinian Return Centre]

Image of the pro-Palestinian event at the House of Lords, London UK on 29 March 2017 [The Palestinian Return Centre]

The meeting was organised by the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), a London based Palestinian advocacy group, under the heading: “Balfour Declaration, no marking, no celebration, it is an apology”.

PRC representative, Sameh Habeeb, informed MEMO that the Israeli parliamentary correspondent, Jerry Lewis “broke into the meeting”. Habeeb said that this was an invitation only event and guests were requested to confirm their attendance prior to the meeting.

The organisers say that they had to be extra vigilant following the misrepresentation of their previous meeting in October by members of the pro-Israel lobby who accused the chair, Baroness Jenny Tonge, of anti-Semitism.

A parliamentary inquiry committee at the British House of Commons, however, acquitted Tonge of anti-Semitism.

Habeeb said that Lewis, who has a parliamentary accreditation as a journalist, was not invited to the meeting but he came in middle of the seminar and switched on his recording device, even though it was a violation of the rules of the Parliamentary Estate.

To record, Lewis needed permission from the event chair and the Black Rod office, which he failed to do.

Following his refusal to turn the camera off, police confiscated his Parliament Press pass and led him out of the building.

Hoffman was also requested to leave the meeting for his disruptive and disrespectful conduct towards the chair. He also used abusive language against Lord Warner and event’s audience.

Hoffman has a history of attending pro-Palestinian meetings in order to cause disruption.

In their press release, the PRC commended Lord Warner and asked all participants to respect the rules of the House.

The Centre also believes that pro-Israel activists are attempting to sabotage discussions and freedom of expression in the UK by constant smear campaigns, lies and misinformation.

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