An evening to celebrate the life of Yasser Arafat: Dec 7, 2004 (& SOAS)

November 29, 2004


1. "Remembering Arafat: An evening to celebrate the life of Yasser Arafat: Dec. 7 2004."
2. "Resisting Israeli Apartheid: Conference for students and others, Dec. 5, 2004"
3. Another Jew attacks Israel
4. Attacks on Israelis down 70 percent since Arafat's death
5. The BBC on Barghouti


[Note by Tom Gross]

I attach the programs for two events in London this week.

The first (to celebrate the life of Yasser Arafat) is organized by the CABU (the Council for Arab-British Understanding).

Speakers include Lord David Steel. Before he entered the House of Lords, Steel was the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party. This party is increasing its popularity at the present time in the UK.

Former British Ambassadors and Foreign Office Ministers will also participate, as will anti-Israeli Jewish groups, including Just Peace UK and the Jewish Socialist Group.

NOTE 1: For more about Just Peace UK, see the dispatch of December 20, 2003 titled On the twelfth day of Christmas, Arik Sharon sent me....

That dispatch concerned the anti-Israel Christmas carols sung publicly in London last year, some of the words of which many believed to have also been anti-Semitic.

NOTE 2: Another Liberal Democrat, Dr. Jenny Tonge, MP, led a minute's silence for deceased Hamas chief Sheikh Yassin in one of the meeting rooms at the British parliament earlier this year. (See my dispatch of April 19, 2004 titled: Rantissi 2: A minute's silence by British MPs for Sheikh Yassin.)



The second item attached below is the schedule for the conference on Sunday at SOAS, one of the foremost institutes of higher education in London. Leading students from all over the world study there, including many who later assume important positions in government in their home countries.

Topics at the conference include "Settler Colonialism as Genocide" and "Our Duty to Expose Israel, the Extra-Judicial Pariah State."

Tom Paulin, the Oxford University academic and BBC TV arts commentator, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker. For more details on Paulin, see

Seven out of the 16 speakers at the conference are Jews, which I am told is a deliberate choice by the organizers. These include the Jewish professors Steven and Hillary Rose, who are leading campaigners against Israel in academic circles in north America and Europe.

Not mentioned in the program is that organizer Victoria Brittain has worked for many years as a senior editor on the comment pages of The Guardian newspaper.



Stephen Pollard writes:

It would be almost impossible to draw up a list of more biased anti-Israel speakers, many of whom do not even support Israel's right to exist, and at least one of whom – Tom Paulin – has advocated the mass murder of Israeli citizens.

Assuming – it's a big assumption, given the viewpoint and record of some speakers – that they do not call for violence or murder, then they are of course entitled to their view, and to express it. But at SOAS? SOAS is an academic institution which is supposedly dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, not to the advocacy of hate politics.

The authorities at SOAS presumably know what is going on in their premises. The meeting is hardly secret. Are we to assume from this that they are happy to allow advocates of the murder of Israelis to grace their institution?



Tom Gross writes:

Increasingly, media outlets are using Jews to attack Israel. For example, here from MSNBC is quote of the day for November 22, 2004 | 11:23 AM ET

"Quote of the Day:

'It is one of the ironies of history that Jews – whether in the US, Europe, or Israel – who were disproportionately involved in struggles for universal human rights and civil liberties should now be supporting policies of a right-wing Israeli government that is threatening to turn Israel into a racist state. For if Sharon leverages his promised withdrawal from Gaza into an Israeli presence in the West Bank that is impossible to dislodge – a point that some observers insist has already been reached – a racist regime is surely what his policies will produce.' – Henry Siegman, former executive head of the American Jewish Congress and the Synagogue Council of America."



Tom Gross writes:

Since the death of Yasser Arafat, there has been a seventy percent decline in Palestinian attacks on Israeli Jews (IDF quoted in Ma’ariv, 26 November 2004).



Here is the BBC from November 25, 2004 ("PM programme")

"Marwan Barghouti, who was jailed by Israel for leading the Intifada, has announced that he will stand for President of the Palestinian Authority."

Actually Barghouti was not jailed "for leading the intifada". He was jailed for the murder of five civilians, for involvement in four terror attacks, given 20 years for attempted murder and another 20 for membership of a terrorist organization. Barghouti was found guilty for his role in three attacks that killed a Greek Orthodox monk near Ma'aleh Adumim in 2001; an Israeli near Givat Ze'ev in 2002; and three people at a Tel Aviv restaurant in 2002.

But the BBC aren't likely to want to tell their audience that.



[It is not the policy of this email list to ever give out email addresses, phone or fax details. Therefore I have removed these from the email below -- TG]

Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2004 18:20:10 +0000
From: "Chris Doyle (CAABU)"
Subject: Remembering Arafat: An evening to celebrate the life of Yasser Arafat: 7 December 2004
To: "Chris Doyle (CAABU)"

Remembering Arafat: An evening to celebrate the life of Yasser Arafat

Held in the presence of H.E Afif Safieh-Palestinian general delegate to the UK

Speakers Include:

Rajab Chamlakh
Head of The Association of Palestinian Community in the UK

Robin Kealy CMG
Former British Ambassador in Tunisia and former Consulate General in East Jerusalem

Rt Hon Sir Jeremy Hanley KCMG
Former Foreign Office Minister responsible for the Middle East and former Chair of Conservative Party

Rt Hon Lord David Steel KBE DL
Former leader of the Liberal Democrats & former President of Medical Aid for


Asad Abdul Rahman
Independent PLO-EC member formerly in charge of Refugees Affairs Department

H.E Afif Safieh
Palestinian Delegate to the UK and the Holy See

Hosted by the Joint Committee for Palestine
Tuesday 7th December, 7pm
Friends House, 173 - 177 Euston Road, London NW1
Nearest tube: Euston
For further details please contact CAABU at [Phone number]

The Joint Committee for Palestine is a loose coalition of British organizations (including Council for Arab-British Understanding, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Association of the Palestinian Community, AMOS Trust, Deir Yassin Remembered, Just Peace UK, Palestine Return Centre, LMEC and Jewish Socialist Group), concerned with achieving justice for the Palestinians.

Chris Doyle
CAABU (Council for Arab-British Understanding)
1 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE
[Phone, fax, email details removed]



Resisting Israeli Apartheid conference
School of Oriental and African Studies, London
Sunday 5th December, 2004


10.00-10.15 Welcoming Remarks Victoria Brittain, UK

10.15-10.45 Keynote address
Tom Paulin, Oxford University, UK
Partition and Literature: Reflections
Palestine/Israel and Northern Ireland
Chair: Steven Rose, Open University, UK

10.45-11.00 Coffee Break

11.00-13.00 Isolating Apartheid: Divestment, Sanctions, Boycott
Chair: Victoria Brittain, UK

11.00-11.15 Lisa Taraki, Palestine
The Cultural & Academic Boycott of Israel

11.15-11.30 Lawrence Davidson, USA
Divestment: Isolating Apartheid Financially

11.30-11.45 Betty Hunter, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, UK
The Boycott Israeli Goods (BIG) Campaign

11.45-12.00 Omar Barghouti, Palestine
Boycott as Resistance: The Moral Dimension

12.00-13.00 Discussion

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-16.00 Isolating Apartheid: Scope & Principles
Chair: Nur Masalha, UK

14.00-14.15 Ilan Pappe, Israel
The Meaning & Objectives of Boycott

14.15-14.30 Ur Shlonsky, Israel and Switzerland
Resisting Apartheid and the Charge of Antisemitism

14.30-14.45 Mona Baker, UK
On the Distinction between Institutions & Individuals

14.45-15.00 John Docker, Australia
Settler Colonialism as Genocide. Implications for a Strategy of Solidarity with the Palestinians

15.00-16.00 Discussion

16.00-16.30 TEA BREAK

16.30-18.00 Isolating Apartheid: Strategies and Actions
Chair: Karma Nabulsi, UK

16.30-16.45 Hilary Rose, BRICUP, UK
Building the Academic Boycott in Britain

16.45-17.00 Haim Bresheeth, UK
Organising the Academics: Our Duty to Expose Israel, the Extra-Judicial Pariah State

17.00-17.15 Ben Young, Jewish Students for Justice for Palestinians, UK
The Role of Students: Lessons from South Africa

17.15-18.00 Discussion

18.00-18.15 Summary & Close
Jeremy Corbyn MP

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.