Attempts at UCL to overturn the IHRA definition of antisemitism

Or, how a report meant to tackle antisemitism becomes an enabler of antisemitism

In November 2019 the management of UCL, one of London’s most prestigious universities, formally adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, a vital tool in tackling the resurgence of antisemitism in our time. Sadly, there is now a dangerous push-back against this move by a group of academics represented on UCL’s Academic Board. They set up a working group (WG) dominated by antizionists which has recommended rescinding this decision.

See here for Harry Goldstein’s article on how the WG report is contaminated by precisely the attitudes that have driven the resurgence of antisemitism in our time, and why antizionism is the new antisemitism.

See here for a piece by UK Lawyers for Israel which also links to Harry’s article.

The myth of Palestinian land loss

One of the standard lies of the Palestinian solidarity movement is a sequence of maps which purports to show the erosion of what was once ‘Palestinian’ control of the land. Needless to say these maps are a lie.

The dishonest Palestinian propaganda maps

This article is from 2015, but always timely. It demonstrates the mendacious nature of the maps used by the Israel-haters.

We stand against the haters at Elbit

Last Saturday 10th October we stood against the Israel-haters outside Elbit, the Israeli defence company, in Kingsway, Central London. Palestine Action, an extreme, violent and secretive offshoot of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, staged a paint attack on the pro-Israel demonstrators. Six of the anti-Israel extremists were arrested, but sadly one policeman was injured and taken to hospital. We wish him well for a speedy recovery and thank the police for their support and professionalism.

Keep well. Keep safe

Like so much else, our normal campaigning is on hold during the Coronavirus crisis.

We are continuing to use our on-line media to combat misinformation about Israel. Please follow us on Facebook, North London Friends of Israel, and Twitter @nlfofisrael

Keep well, keep safe and follow government guidelines.

ZF/CFI Lobby Day

The annual lobby of parliament organised jointly by the Zionist Federation and Christian Friends of Israel took place on 5th March. A number of us used the opportunity to make contact with our local North London MPs.

The picture shows Theresa Villiers MP (Con, Chipping Barnet) with a number of her constituents. The main topic of the day was the racist, hate-filled curriculum used in Palestinian schools. However, the discussion took in a number of topics including settlements, Jews from Arab lands and intimidation of pro-Israel speakers in our universities.

Thanks to Theresa for her time and support, and to her staff for organising the meeting.

More pictures from the Lobby Day

The IHRA definition of antisemitism

Israel-haters demonstrate against the IHRA definition.

Debates about Israel have recently been intimately bound up with debates about antisemitism. The resurgence of antisemitism – particularly, but not exclusively, in the Labour Party – has frightened and angered the Jewish community, and indeed all decent people.

But what is antisemitism? The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is a group of countries, including the UK, that has sought to combat this evil, and has produced a working definition of antisemitism to guide people working in this area. This definition has widespread support within the Jewish community and among pro-Israel activists. It is accepted by the British government and most public authorities in this country.

However, it has come under attack from Israel-haters, precisely because it recognises that many anti-Israel tropes are, or can be, antisemitic.

This article by a philosopher and a lawyer defend the definition. A must-read for anyone in the position of having to promote or defend the definition within their workplace, trade union or other organisation.