Espanol / English

Middle East Near You

Pro-Israel ‘mob’ with ties to EDL causes mayhem at Balfour event

Organised by the Centre for Palestine Studies in SOAS, the screening of “From Balfour to Banksy: Visions and Divisions in Palestine” was eagerly awaited by students

The screening of a documentary at a UK university about the legacy of the Balfour Declaration in Palestine was cut short yesterday following coordinated “intimidating practices” by a pro-Israeli group thought to be members of a far right Jewish extremist organisation.

Disruption and “mob behaviour” by individuals later identified as members of the Jewish Defence League (JDL) – an organisation that is known to have close ties with far-right groups in the UK – forced the chair of the viewing to end yesterday’s event early due to fears over student safety.

Organised by the Centre for Palestine Studies in SOAS, the screening of “From Balfour to Banksy: Visions and Divisions in Palestine” was eagerly awaited by students. Chaired by one of SOAS’ own lecturers, Dr Dina Matar, the event quickly sold out. Organisers had hoped to engage the audience in a discussion with the Director, Martin Buckley, and Producer, Miranda Pinch.

The film itself was described by the organisers as being “about the legacy of the Balfour Declaration which look[s] at the present situation in Palestine and Israel as well as the history behind it and the possibilities for the future”.

From Balfour to Banksy: Visions and Divisions in Palestine

From Balfour to Banksy: Visions and Divisions in Palestine

MEMO contacted the chair, the producer and spoke to a number of students about the incident, who all said that the disruption to the event appeared planned and orchestrated in advance. Matar told MEMO that one of the questioners began to shout at the panel and created a “very unpleasant atmosphere”. The lecturer said she was worried that the pro-Israeli activist was “going to become violent”.

Matar said she was surprised by the reaction, which appears to be a response to an observation by one of the persons interviewed in the movie who described Gaza as a “child concentration camp”. She added that the event was meant to encourage debate and discussion within an academic setting. The documentary, according to the lecturer, “aimed to show the situation of Palestinians where they live. It showed the human side and the daily living conditions and the lived reality of the Palestinians.”

In the video footage of the event sent to MEMO, the pro-Israeli activists can be seen screaming and shouting. The activist was later identified by organisers as Shadman Zaman, a medical doctor working in Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Members of the audience, intimidated by the aggressive tone of Zaman and the Israeli flag waving, can be seen leaving the event. One elderly woman appears visibly upset and stunned. A student confirmed to MEMO that a number of people had been brought to tears by the frightening ordeal.

Read: 70 Years of Broken Promises: The Untold Story of the Partition Plan

MEMO was informed by a student who wished not be identified that “some of the attendees are connected to the JDL which is the Jewish division of the EDL [English Defence League] a far right group of thugs.” The student confirmed that they “behaved … [like] … football hooligans”.

The student explained that they were unaware that the JDL and EDL were “enmeshed” until it was pointed out to them by a friend, who recognised the individuals from anti-EDL marches they had taken part in.

Jonathan Hoffman [ jhoffman1/Twitter]

Jonathan Hoffman [ jhoffman1/Twitter]

One of the hecklers, Jonathan Hoffman, is a notorious troublemaker. He was previously thrown out from the Houses of Parliament by the police for disruption and breaching House of Parliament rules.

After the event, Hoffman in a tweet accused the producer of the movie of anti-Semitism and of supressing free speech. In her response to the accusation, Pinch told MEMO: “Yes free speech was definitely suppressed, but not by us. The tactics of those who try to prevent any information about the plight of the Palestinians or any open discussion on the subject is indeed suppression of free speech. We, the producers of the film, were not even allowed to answer questions. We were just shouted at in an abusive manner while they manically waved Israeli flags. The impression given was that they had no valid questions or arguments and just wanted to prevent ours.”

Against the more serious accusation of anti-Semitism, Pinch, who is a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, said: “There is nothing in my background to suggest I am anti-Israel as such. I have, however, been very critical of Israel’s policies towards non-Jews and am very proud to have worked alongside Jewish human rights groups who feel the same.”

“I have NEVER advocated the destruction/removal of Israel, however terrible its creation was for those who had the misfortune to live on that land and suffered and still suffer the consequences of Israel’s dispossession and violence towards them,” Pinch continued.

“I have ALWAYS made it clear that I stand for equality and human rights for all in that region and that includes Jews, Christians, Muslims and anyone else living there. I am a signatory of Jews for Justice and have many Jewish friends, both practising and non-practising. My view, as most of theirs, is that Israel does not represent the Jewish religion at all. The Old Testament exhorts the Jews again and again to care for the stranger in their midst and to love justice. Israeli policies bring Judaism into disrepute,” said Pinch.

The screening of a documentary at a UK university about the legacy of the Balfour Declaration in Palestine was cut short on 20 November 2017 following coordinated ‘intimidating practices’ by a pro-Israeli group thought to be members of a far right Jewish extremist organisation.

Categories
Europe & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUK
  • Kaminoyona

    Stop pushing the agenda,stop the lies.
    These propaganda films do nothing but promote Jew hate.

    • el_hombre

      Stop pushing the right to hear what is happening in Palestine?That boat sailed a long time ago.

    • Bishadi

      Israel does not represent jews or judiasm, and that should be clear, so that the innocent are not falsely accused.
      Balfour is not what created israel, it was terrorism and the apartheid is just the long term idea of holy land to the morons of zion.

      • Fra

        90% of UK Jews recognise themselves in Israel. The majority of world Jewry recognise Israel as their Jewish state. Israel has been re-born as the only Majority Jewish state in the world and you are claming that Israel does not represent Jews? on the basis of what? You now have to write a convincing explanation to back up your claim. Don’t pull out Jewish cults like Natura Karta who don’t recognise Israel because they don’t even represent Judaism, they are at best the 5% of all the Hortodox movement totalling up to a hundred families in the whole world with a history which doesn’t go further than a hundred years, they’re not even from the middle east as they’re from HUNGARY!!! YET they’re the only Jews that you consider the “real” Jews just because they go to Al Jazeera prime time TV to convince the Muslims that’s OK that “The holocaust was work of God”, isn’t that JEW HATE?

        • Bishadi

          If they are in and of UK, what’s to recognize? Fra, you just lied no jew could lie to others and themselves and still honestly be able to call themselves a jew.

          I don’t have to write even a pork chop to a liar.

          “””Don’t pull out Jewish cults like Natura Karta who don’t recognise Israel because they don’t even represent Judaism””

          Don’t pull the apartheid as the rule of representing Jews or Judaism. I will trust a few that follow the rules over a moron that will lie to defend israel, every day of the week.

          why do you write: “The holocaust was work of God” , isn’t that JEW HATE?
          Holocaust is what the mount is for.

        • Seoigh

          So they should go home instead of pushing their negative agenda on countries world wide and trying to “take down” British members of parliament and influence any criticism of Israel world wide. You don’t get to say who “represents Judaism” and who does…… and you don’t even recognize your own ignorance and bigotry towards your own, I suppose you’ll be telling us their self hating Jews as well…..

        • Ewan

          “90% of UK Jews recognise themselves in Israel. The majority of world Jewry recognise Israel as their Jewish state. Israel has been re-born as the only Majority Jewish state in the world ” – pity “jews” in Israel are generally, well, not Jewish. Gotta hand it to you Trolls, you even outdo the idiot Afrikaners with THEIR ludicrous claim of South Africa being “given” to them by God. You Khazars just invented yourselves as Jews and Semites.Wonderful fraud, but it no longer works. The real and only semites in the Holy land are the Palestinians. So better give back the land and totter off back to the Ghettos, before Nasrallah ships you across the Med

      • Kaminoyona

        You don’t know the definition of the word apartheid do you?

        • Bishadi

          ethnic division by force to oppression. Israelis having been trying to wipe Palestine off the map for over half a century and put the people that are Palestinian into concentration camp gaza.
          bigots do not see israel as an apartheid because they actually believe ‘zion’ is israel, when UN res 181, 242, 476, 476 and 2334 are clear, Jerusalem is NOT israel.

    • Fred Mace

      Good, its working then

  • Harvela

    Excellent. Bds fascists have been disrupting israeli events for years . Also vandalising israeli products in supermarkets. This is a small taste of your own medicine. I’m sure not the last.

    • Fra

      Yes it’s a taste of their medicine even though look at the video, they have voice their genuine concerns in a civilised way, I don’t see violence or aggressive behaviours, defenders of Israel will never ever get to the low level of BDS supporters like vandalisation.

      • Fred Mace

        You have been a n a l y penetrated one too many times and its having that effect on you. Back to medication you nothing head.

    • Bishadi

      Israeli apartheid defenders, especially in writing should be treated like ww2 prison camp soldiers.

      • Fra

        Stop with the lies, there is no apartheid in Israel: you find arabs in the supreme court of justice (the arab who sent , the second official language of Israel is Arab, Netanyahu is pushing to improve the study of Arab at high school, arabs study alongside with Jews, you find arabs at universities, the Hebrew university doesn’t even play the national hymn because of that, MISS ISRAEL WAS BLACK, even non israeli arabs citizens like the arabs from Gaza are treated in Israeli hospitals, there are arabs professors at universities, arabs in top position in the government, there are arabs in the KNESSET the Israeli parliament, if MEMO didn’t censor my messages I would you provide you with plenty of interview of Isareli arabs who confirms there is no apartheid in Israel and they’re better off than any arab in the whole middle east for civil rights, freedom of speech and opportunities. Arabs can vote at the elections as anyone else and at the last elections (because ISRAEL IS A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY) even THE BEDUINS OF THE DESERT voted for Netanyahu and again I can’t provide you with link because MEMO wouldn’t approve my message. So is this what you call apartheid? SERIOUSLY?

        • Bishadi

          Will liars like you on the frant line there is NO wonder why Israelis live in fear.

    • Devilworshipper

      Well i know nothing about that. If BDS ‘supporters’ have behaved as you say, they would be unacceptable to the movement. I don’t suppose you have a link or can recommend a newspaper article which confirms this claim, have you? And even if it were true,the appalling behaviour on this video is not justified by it, and this shows your childish attitude.

      • Fra

        I already tried to post some links, MEMO (which is NOT free press) is censoring my messages because allowing ANYONE to understand why BDS is a hate group and how they behaved at UCL for instance (and in many other events…) is clearly against their pro-BDS agenda. Hiding the truth.

      • Harvela

        There are countless links. Do your own research. I’m not your gopher.

  • Fra

    Everyone who doesn’t buy the JEW HATING one sided arab narrative full of LIES and OMISSIS’ is a mob? You clearly are an islamist organisation with a toxic agenda poisonous our western democratic societies where first of all there is FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Your news is FAKE NEWS and Kol Hakavod well done to the guys!

    • Chris Rogers

      Tell us why Jonathan Hoffman is associating with known neo-Nazis’s please, we have a right to know & ask if you too consort with members of the EDL or British First?

  • Chris Rogers

    Nice to see the Hasbara bullies out in force as usual, their language ‘dripping in hate’ to utilise the linguistics they themselves abuse on a hourly basis. No doubt all the attendees were ‘anti-semites’ calling for the destruction of Israel, despite this being an ‘open’ democratic dialogue. There again, our Israeli apologists don’t believe in democracy and freedom of speech, the only freedom they understand being from the barrel of a rifle. Well done Hasbara folk, brought shame once more upon yourselves & Israel – surprised Collier was not in attendance though!

    • Harvela

      Hardly Chris. This mild response follows years of disgusting attacks on Israeli performing artists , academics,speakers,shops and supermarket products. For too long pro Israel activists have shown reluctance to stoop to your low while waiting for the law to step in and stop your foul behaviour. We have merely taken the lead from your hate filled far left islamofascist alliance. The real shame is why it took so long to happen

    • Fra

      Where is the hate? I can’t hear anything hateful. I heard lots of questions, lots of valid points, is it hateful to ask question of.. what was hateful? If you want to be considered credible you really have to provide a convincing answer.

      • Chris Rogers

        One enjoys turning the books on you & utilising the very language you, that is the Israeli apologists (Hasbara) utilse to close down any, and all questioning of the behaviour of Israel – as you hyperventilate lets close with three words: Operation Protective Edge.

      • Seoigh

        No answer is good enough when they didn’t seem to go there to LISTEN to anyone.

      • Chris Rogers

        I believe you are being economical with the truth, or to put it more correctly, you are an outright liar. First and foremost, Jonathan Hoffman is a known rabble rouser and disrupter of any ‘open dialogue’ critical of Israel, or that expresses solidarity with Palestine & the crimes committed against the Palestinians – of course, crimes have been committed against Jews & Israelis, one never denies such crimes given crimes are crimes by who ever commit them. Now, please, please can you explain why your Leader, that is Hoffman, openly consorts with members & former members of Britain First, whom, let me remind you, those associated with are banned from serving in the Metropolitan Police Force, given they are neo-Nazis’s. Still, we are aware of the games and lies the Hasbara peddle, but, even for Israeli apologists, its a low courting the extreme racist Right in Europe.

    • Fra

      I didn’t see an open democratic dialogue, democracy is not good only when things goes your way, did you notice the speaker skipping all the questions she didn’t like? you didn’t notice it? SERIOUSLY?

    • Fra

      “Israeli apologists” is hate “linguistics” per se: you assume Israel has got something to be ashamed of, without proving it and without accepting a balanced discussion, then you move on assuming that anyone questioning you is an apologist. Who do you think you are?

      • Seoigh

        It is you making the assumptions here….

    • Fra

      The last elections in Israel took place on the 17th March of 2015 and they take place once every for year (not like in Gaza, they only had them once in 2005 or so and them Hamas blocked them). The arabs ran in the so called Join List with Ayman Odeh as a leader and they got 8.81% of the votes. So why do you think that anyone who support the Israrel’s right to exist and to defend itself and not to be demonised with fake news and slader, does not support democracy? Please provide a CONVINCING answer.

      • Chris Rogers

        Will you please explain to readers the relationship between Jonathan Hoffman – leader of rabble – and Paul Besser of Britain First, which is a neo-Nazis hybrid of the EDL & BNP – having clashed with the National Front in the 80s I’m somewhat alarmed that your leaders are associating with known racists & bigots. The rest of your Hasbara crap is just that, crap I’m afraid.

  • ray rayz

    All these fake Ashkenazi jews know is violence.. All these jews should go home to Hungry and Poland. Their actions are that of 650 years of inbreeding and their insane notion of being the chosen ones…

    • Bishadi

      zionism is about the same as ww2 germany; blatant bigotry.

      • ray rayz

        I recommend a documentary for you to see on-line.. The Greatest Story Never Told..

        • Bishadi

          the hobbit? Already read it and saw the movie.
          israel does not represent the bible, moses or any god(s)

    • Harvela

      Always good to see the pro Palestinian side aided and abetted by full on antisemites. Nothing to separate them

      • Fra

        It’s not antisemitism: it’s JEW HATE.

        • Ewan

          Khazar Hate

      • Ewan

        another troll repeating the same tired lie. Puleeeez man, Israeli “jews” are not Semites. or better still, Israeli Jew = Khazar. You’ve fooled Lord Balfour but you can’t fool us.

        • Harvela

          Britain First ?
          #knucklescraper

      • ray rayz

        Good to see that you Ashkenazi fake Judaics continue to think you are actually Semitic.. LOL LOL LOL
        You are all fake as you have absolutely no connection to the Semitic tribes of the region.. You see I believe science and not Zionist bullsh^t… It’s all in you DNA or should I say it isn’t in your DNA…

        • Bishadi

          semitic is language group, not a people.

    • Thor Halland

      OMG that is seriously racist.

      • ray rayz

        You show total ignorance on this subject.
        Being an Ashkenazi is not a race as any race can call them self what ever they like and in this case it is the fake Judaic people that called themselves “Jews” 650 years ago.
        These “fakes” have absolutely no connection to the Semitic tribes and nor do these fakes practice Judaism. They are from a group of Polish/Hungarian financiers that want to rule the world and they are becoming successful due to peoples ignorance to the truth.. They have tried everything to legitimise themselves by writing themselves into history but the majority of non brainwashed have woken up.
        The Holohoax was a good try but the facts disprove that it actually happened.. 6,000,000?????? Why was there no Jewish population decrease during and specially after the war? Why is it that this 6,000,000 is quoted many many time BEFORE WW2? Why is it that No traces of Cyanide were found in the Auschwitz work camps? “If you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth”…

  • John Spannyard Indaworks

    Absolutely disgraceful! Yes (Kaminoyona/Harvela/Fra (whoever you are) we see the oafish bullying tactics which replicate the kind of behaviour seem in the IDF in the West Bank. It does nothing to advance any sympathy one might have with Israel, and merely confirms how morally bankrupt your arguments are – is flag waving and disruption really all you have?? Incidentally MEM, I do hope someone is going to report Shadman Zaman to the General Medical Council for bringing the profession in to disrepute.

    • Harvela

      Good. Expect more of the same.Your rank hypocrisy disgusts me.How much are you paid?

      • Ewan

        How much are YOU paid as a Hasbara Troll?

    • Fra

      A bully is “a person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker” accordingly to the Oxford Dictionary, how is this going to apply to a bunch of zionists coming to the screening of a movie and ask why it was full of lies and half truths? Which strength did they used besides of their voice in order to ask those questions? Which influence did they achieve since they weren’t even invited to the screening as it was a one sided JEW HATING ISRAEL BASHING HATE PARTY? Who was harmed? Who did they try to intimidate? Clearly from an academic point of view the answers are all negative: they didn’t use any strength or influence and they didn’t harm or intimidate anyone. The problem remains because the only purpose of this event was the INDOCTRINATION of the young students at the university, why such an unbalanced movie of which GOEBBELS WOULD BE PROUD, has been approved for screening in an academic environment without a balanced debate?

    • Fra

      The IDF in the West Bank are not using any bullying tactic against anyone. The bully in the West Bank are the palestinian terrorists who think that’s OK to pull out a knife or a car and make a carnage because their leaders incite them to violence. The IDF in the West Bank is involved instead in building relationships with the local communities, taking care of their health through COGAT and other organisation of course MEMO is censoring my messages so they don’t allow me to provide any material to study this topic. This goes against their agenda.

      • Seoigh

        Building relationships ???? Is that what you call the theft of land, destruction of precious olive trees owned and farmed by Palestinian owners for centuries??? The delusion is strong with you indeed as is the persecution complex, I’d get that seen to pronto….

    • Kaminoyona

      Glad that my posts upset you however what are you talking about?
      What “bullying”?

      I suggest you seek professional help for your delusions.

    • Ewan

      “the oafish bullying tactics which replicate the kind of behaviour seem in the IDF in the West Bank” – not only the IDF, primarily the Settlers with the protection of the IDF. Thugs , pure ghetto trash

  • Fasdunkle

    Copying the tactics of the BDS mob (with their links to far right groups such as the muslim brotherhood etc) is counter productive.

    • Bishadi

      Boycott, Divest and sanction on israel, is a non violent tactic, but if fighting fire with fire is how you monsters expect to work thru the divide, no wonder the tanakh prophecies represent israel ends up completely destroyed.

      • Fra

        Why vandalising Israel products in supermarket it’s not something that you would consider a violent tactic?

        • Bishadi

          I have never seen or herd of anyone ever do that sort of crap, but the phosphorus munitions on the civilians of gaza, are recorded and grounds to send the knessett to the ICC.
          In my view anyone dumb enough to defend the apartheid should be ridiculed in public

  • el_hombre

    If you know you are losing the argument, destroy the debate. These zionazis know they have lost the argument.

    • Fra

      How can the zionists lose the argument if NO QUESTION WAS ANSWERED? Who totally lost the argument was exactly the director and the speaker who was skipping extremely fast the questions they didn’t like obviously because you CAN’T answer them otherwise you would have to admit it was all a farce. Fortunately for you MEMO does not allow debates to happen on here by censoring my messages so it’s a bit difficult for me to document the FACTS I’m talking about. I can’t believe that in 2017 adults don’t realise that saying that Gaza is a concentration camp is pure propaganda and factually completely inaccurate, the life in Gaza (besides the islamist occupation of Hamas) is not much different from the life in other cities in the area, they have food, iPads, computers, internet, smart phones, posh cars, RESORTS, RESTAURANTS.. what else? and their population massively increased 7 times since the ’50s, is that what you call a genocide?

    • Fred Mace

      Spot on

  • DEADP00L

    Might as well embrace Lehava since they are more inclined at being absolute monsters than ever being human beings.

    LMFAO! Even the people around them look horrified and moving towards the Palestinian bunch! These fanatics are rightfully isolating themselves even from within apparently. The only thing Zionism knows how to do is spread darkness.

    • Fra

      Who is moving towards who?! I see just people leaving since the speaker refused to collect questions she didn’t like.

    • Fra

      Zionism like Judaism celebrates LIFE, SURVIVAL of a majority Jewish state in an ocean of islamist countries and entities (look at Assad’s Syria… look at Gaza…). The forces of darkness you’re talking about it’s probably palestinism which celebrates DEATH and MARTYRDOM (see palestinian children sent to Israel to explode themselves amongst the Jews, before Israel could build the protective barrier). Israel smuggled thousands of BLACK ETHIOPIAN JEWS into Israel from the dictactorship where they were living in APARTHEID. That’s the purpose of having a Jewish majority state. THIS IS ZIONISM!!

      • DEADP00L

        Thanks for the laughs.

  • John Spannyard Indaworks

    It really matters not a hot what you rabid Zionists say on here – it is empty inconsequential rhetoric for the most part. The fact of the matter is that the Israeli State is an apartheid separatist one which has persecuted the Palestinians for 70 years and was founded on the basis on genocide of the Jewish community by the Nazis, and then for reasons that nobody can really explain in 1948 undertook it’s own genocide against the Palestinians – talk about Stockholm Syndrome!! In that context interestingly one of the z level joke Zionist commentators on her prays in aid Goebells, who would have been proud of the plethora of Israeli Lobby disinformation agencies such as BICOM, JLM FOI etc. You need no further illustration of what kind of State adolescent thugs like you owe allegiance to when you consider that Netanyahu considers Victor Orban a close ally and the Israeli State is admired by white supremacists. So to all you Zionist commentators on here, I say you are self hating Jews, failed Jews, racist Jews and your ramblings aren’t worth listening to – all you want to do is shut down discourse like the Israeli State. Don’t bother replying, I won’t be looking. Bye.

  • Thor Halland

    Who is a member of the JDL? I just googled JDL and they appear to be a US based group started by Meir Kahane (according to wikipedia) I googled JDL UK and found a defunct website. Can someone please identify who is an EDL member?

    • Harvela

      Q. How do you know if bds is lying?
      A . The lips are moving

    • Chris Rogers

      Thor, Jonathan Hoffman consorts with known racists and former members of Britain First, which was an offshoot of the EDL & BNP, we have photographic evidence of him and Paul Besser openly engaging each other at Pro-Palestinian gatherings – these people are not fighting racism & anti-semitism, they are openly associating with white supremacists, not only here in the UK, but in the USA and Europe – we have their number.

  • Shawn Barron

    This is the same thing BDS or other Palestinian groups do when Jews try to speak at universities, seems like just typical hypocrisy from activists on both sides. Ether you agree that people have a right to speak or they don’t. It will be fun in a week when MEMO praises the exact same tactics when it’s the Palestinians committing the interruptions.

  • Ld_Elon_Postman_RoyalMale

    English is a people of many forms and faiths, and multiculturalism is evolution of that form.
    *Your moderation is corrupted*.

  • Free speech must always be upheld, by both Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians alike.

  • Fred Mace

    Scums

  • fandango

    It’s always thrilling to see palestinazis getting some – pity it’s only some -taste of their own medicine….

  • Alabama Mothman

    If they were muslims illegally crossing into the country, they wouldn’t care.

  • Ram2017

    A terrorist doctor ?

  • evsw

    Dirty savages!!

    BDS