During a short speech at the annual Al Quds Day demonstration in London in solidarity with the Palestinian people, I observed that the Israeli Embassy arranges workshops around the UK to organise the fightback against the BDS campaign, against supporters of Palestine solidarity in general. The observation is unremarkable, backed up by a mass of evidence but the Jewish News of the same day (June 2nd) ran a story under the headline Al Quds Day speaker claims Israeli embassy runs antisemitism smear workshops suggesting it was only a claim, and probably motivated by malice or worse.
In fact the role of the Israeli Embassy is undeniable. One example, unlikely to be unique, was the workshop held in an undisclosed venue in the Glasgow area in August 2015. The "political training day" was organised by the Centre for Scotland-Israel Relations, the "Embassy of Israel’s Scottish office", which is headed by Christian fundamentalist Ruth Kennedy. Eitan Na'eh from the Israeli Embassy was there with an Israeli Government Minister.
There was political guidance from Stand With Us UK, whose director doubtless explained its role "to counter the vicious anti-Israel, anti-Semitic propaganda campaign that was unleashed along with the intifada in September 2000".
We Believe in Israel also provided UK Director Luke Akehurst as a speaker. An ex-arms salesman who campaigned in support of the Israeli snipers mowing down Palestinian demonstrators on the Gaza periphery, Akehurst wants the British public to see that the "tone and tactics of people who dislike Israel [have] become increasingly unpleasant and bullying".
The "political training" from the Israeli Diplomat, Government Minister, Akehurst and the others was for the benefit of individuals from Friends of Israel groups in Scotland. The Glasgow group in particular has a record of associating with extreme right activists, and all the Scottish Friends of Israel groups were founded by a Christian fundamentalist lay preacher, Nigel Goodrich, who was recently revealed to be a member of a secret Facebook group with numerous violent and openly fascist members.
Doubtless instructed by the Israeli Embassy, the hapless leaders of Glasgow Friends of Israel quickly "distanced itself from former convener over racist Facebook page". Fear not my dear fascists, Goodrich has not really been shunned; he has been quietly moved to Brussels to continue his work for the Israeli State with a remit to organise on an EU stage as he did in Scotland.
To get a sense of the nature of Glasgow Friends of Israel, they have openly discussed on their website the "euthanising" of Palestinians, and members discussed approvingly the massacre of Muslims in the Christchurch mosque until SPSC publicised the discussion. The members were told to stop such discussions, in public at least.
A speaker from SCoJeC, the self-styled Scottish Council of Jewish Communities also addressed the Israeli Embassy "political training day", despite SCoJeC's previously threadbare claims to take no position on Israeli political matters, such as massacres, house demolitions, separate legal codes for Israeli Jews and Palestinians and more. In fact SCoJeC have given up their previous claims and now work openly as a pro-Israel operation. For example, SCoJec is affiliated to the Board of Deputies of British Jews who openly report joint activities by "the Board and other pro-Israel organisations".
SCoJeC leaders are dishonest, reckless cheats and liars who have an extensive record of trying to smear Palestine solidarity activists as "antisemitic" that is sometimes sinister and often ridiculous, but always indifferent to the truth.
The trail of the baseless antisemitism smears leads back from those in Glasgow who welcomed the Christchurch mosque massacre to Israeli Embassy operatives answerable to Israeli Government Ministers.
On May 17, Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, who is also the public security minister, announced another anti-BDS initiative that would see the government funding pro-Israel events overseas to help support activists battling the boycott movement against Israel. Erdan said his new programme will “encourage grassroots events and online initiatives against the BDS movement and in support of Israel. I’m certain that this program will give a significant boost to all our supporters around the world who are battling this anti-Semitism and the boycott activists.
The Jewish News suggested that the incontrovertible fact of the Israeli Embassy organising workshops around Britain to organise the campaign to smear supporters of Palestine was merely a claim. This is dishonest but a sign of the desperation of our opponents.
15 June 2019
See also, Norman Finkelstein: "Zero evidence for the "new antisemitism"