A Stain On LSE

By Jonathan Hoffman
April 27, 2013

Demonisation of Israel and falsification of history ran riot at LSE’s Middle East Centre’s ‘discussion’ (for which, read vilification and slander) last night. “The Commentator” has already posted Richard Millett’s clip of John Snow giving credence to the “Jewish Lobby” trope.


Snow was the ultra-sympathetic ‘chair’ of a panel comprising the spurious historian Ilan Pappe, former Chatham House Research Director Professor Rosemary Hollis, anti-Israel activist Karma Nabulsi and Peter Kosminsky, the director of the fictional TV series masquerading as fact, "The Promise".



Hollis opened by saying that the EU says that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is illegal. Not true of course – a French Court has just ruled otherwise:


Then bizarrely “the US has only recently renewed its commitment to Israel’s security”… nonsense Prof Hollis, the US has always been committed to Israel’s security since the late 1950s.

And later she called Israel’s security operation in Gaza ‘collective punishment’. Yet another so-called ‘academic’ engaged in Middle East Studies who fails to acknowledge (a) Israel’s right to defend itself (b) Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 and (c) the truckloads of supplies that go into Gaza every day to supply essentials (provided they cannot be used by the genocidal terror-supporting Hamas rulers to terrorise the citizens of Southern Israel).

Note that Hollis used to be Research Director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs ('Chatham House') which is institutionally anti-Israel and is a centre for former FCO Arabists:


Then Pappe, the sham historian of whom Benny Morris said:

At best, Ilan Pappe must be one of the world’s sloppiest historians; at worst, one of the most dishonest. In truth, he probably merits a place somewhere between the two.


Pappe twice compared Israelis to Nazis last night. Not explicitly – he said something like “Israelis are obsessed with race and DNA when they look at whether there is a Jewish majority and there has only been one previous regime which showed such obsession” – but everyone knew who he meant ("You begin to look like your own worst enemy"). Comparing Israeli policies to those of the Nazis is antisemitic, see EUMC Definition:


Pappe said he has just returned from Prague - "a post every Israeli diplomat wants because there is no opposition to Israel". After the Holocaust many of those Jews remaining in Czechoslovakia went to live in Israel. Incredibly the vile Pappe harangued his Czech hosts last week about this, asking them why they had not done more to persuade those Jews to stay!

Kosminsky of course lost no time in displaying his anti-Israel 'badge of honour' by proudly telling the audience that after “The Promise” was shown, “nothing prepared me for the level of vitriol that was going to drop on me from the Zionist Lobby”. The Israel Demonisers can't take criticism, can they... He said that when he lived in Israel to make the film ‘it felt like an apartheid state’ (how would an ‘apartheid state’ permit him to hire the actors he wanted and make a TV series vilifying the country which hosted him?). He said he supports a boycott ‘because they really hate the idea’. Hollis also expressed support for a boycott ‘if it came from civil society’.

Snow’s ‘Jewish Lobby’ demarche led to a discussion about the politics surrounding the creation of Israel. Predictably we got the ‘Israel was created because of the post-Holocaust guilt of the Europeans’ falsehood from Pappe, supported by Hollis who ‘agreed 100%’. The truth is that Zionism far predated the Holocaust (the first Zionist Congress was in 1897) and was a response to centuries of antisemitism. Incredibly Hollis said “the Europeans decided that Judaism was above and beyond a religion”. This displays a jaw-dropping ignorance of the history of Zionism quite apart from being an antisemitic statement: “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” is included in the EUMC Definition. Yet another example of the intellectual corruption of ‘Middle East Studies’ which in truth has become ‘anti-Israel Middle East Studies’.

The first round of Q+A was totally Israel-demonising. Because I shouted ‘shame’ at Pappe’s second Israeli/Nazi comparison, Snow called on me in the second round. My question to Kominsky was as follows:

The ‘Zionist Lobby’ was wrong to vilify you for ‘The Promise’. Because they forgot that Channel 4 is the Channel that distorts the reality of the Middle East - this was the Channel that chose Mahmoud Ahmadimejad to give its ‘alternative’ Christmas message in 2008. They assumed that “The Promise” was a work of fact. But it was a work of fiction. Its theme was that the Jews deserved their own State because of the Holocaust but that they then very quickly began to behave like their tormentors. Israeli Jews were depicted either as living in California-style houses with swimming-pools or as heartless soldiers who mistreat Arabs and protect the most extreme settlers. Other demonising falsehoods were: that all Arab refugees fled in 1948 because of fear of Jews (the truth is that the Mayor of Haifa begged them to stay and that many were told to flee by their leaders, in anticipation that the massing Arab armies would annihilate the Jews and that they could then swiftly return); that the IDF uses children as `human shields'; and that Israel was created purely because of Western guilt about the Holocaust. Does the Panel agree that ‘The Promise’ was a work of fiction?

Then Richard Millett asked how many Israelis would need to die to impose ‘One State’.

Both Millett's and my questions were met with barracking and catcalls from the many anti-Israel members of the audience. ‘Free speech’ of course is alien to them. And John Snow is not much better. He called our questions ‘rhetorical’ and pointedly did not call on the Panel to respond to them. When Richard Millett approached him at the end to ask him about his 'Jewish Lobby' statement, Snow went for Millett's phone.

A disgraceful meeting and a stain on the reputation of LSE – and I speak as an Alumnus. You’d have thought after the Gaddafi Affair they would be more careful….


Postscript: Richard Millett's account here:




Mon, 04/29/2013 - 09:04

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As an alumnus of Aldwych Poly, why don't you demonstrate your anger by burning your degree outside Wright's Bar or Alpha Books?


Mon, 04/29/2013 - 09:57

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joemillis1959 : … by burning your degree …

jonathan doesn't have a degree from lse, he has a much more respectable degree, from the university of london!

From 1902, following its absorption into the University of London, and up until 2007, all degrees were awarded by the federal university, in common with all other colleges of the university. This system was changed in 2007 …


… so, far from burning it, let him wave his london degree contemptuously in the faces of those giving or receiving the devalued article!


Mon, 04/29/2013 - 11:48

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And for those moaning about Oxfam Grantee, Miftah, here's this

The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, MIFTAH would like to apologize for the recent and brief publication on our website of an article penned by Nawaf Al Zaru that discusses Jewish blood libel during Passover.

It has become clear to us after investigating this incident that the article was accidentally and incorrectly published by a junior staff member. The said staffer has been reprimanded and all our staff has been informed as to the disgusting and repulsive phenomena of blood libel or accusation, including its use against Jews. Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, as founder, has nothing to do with the day to day management at MIFTAH and was no way involved in this incident.

We express our sincerest regret for offense caused by the oversight that resulted in said publication. We are whole-heartedly committed to fighting racism, hatemongering, discrimination and persecution of any kind wherever it should exist, and especially in our own society.


Mon, 04/29/2013 - 12:30

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joemillis1959: … MIFTAH would like to apologize for the recent and brief publication on our website of an article … that discusses Jewish blood libel during Passover.

this certainly seems a genuine apology (let's hope the "date posted" of 1st april is an unfortunate coincidence)

perhaps miftah would also consider apologising for the completely opposite, defensive and confrontational, tone of its initial response (2 days earlier) …

MIFTAH strongly denounces the smear campaign being carried out against it and, by association, its founder Dr. Hanan Ashrawi …
MIFTAH is deeply disturbed by this recent slander campaign against it …

was that also "accidentally and incorrectly published by a junior staff member"?

miftah was at fault here, through its junior staff member

miftah has belatedly corrected that fault

miftah should now take down its original response, apologise, and consider reprimanding the staff member responsible


Mon, 04/29/2013 - 18:39

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joemillis1959 : I too will continue to ignore him.

joe, do you actually read what you write?

ooh, wait … you're ignoring me some more!

joemillis1959 : …may I remind one and all to ignore his stuff.

it's a good job you're here to help them!

joemillis1959 : Another good tell that this Goldfish is none other the previously barred aforementioned is the fact that he will call everyone that disagrees with him a racist.

that's another lie (and a very obvious one)

joe millis, please stop ignoring my reply to your lie about me, and deleting it and reposting it later as if it was new
here's my reply again

joemillis1959 : The JC used to have a policy of banning Anthony Posner and his various aliases: Blacklisted Dictator/Jose/Mitnachel et al. Let's reinstate that policy for his current alias, Happy Goldfish.

joemillis1959: (Mon, 15:29) aka Anthony Posner/Jose/Blacklisted Dicktator/etc … Then he's like the Goldfish. And even less talented.

joemillis1959: (Thu, 16:52) Jose/Anthony Posner/Blacklisted Dicktator/etc is the Goldfish …

joemillis1959 (Fri, 17:39; Fri, 18:28): Jose/Anthony Posner/Blacklisted Dicktator/etc - aka the Happy Goldfish …

joemillis1959 (Mon, 18:06; Mon, 18:34): Why can't the JC deal with "Happy Goldfish" who also goes by the names off Lbnaz/Jose/blacklisted d/Anthony p/ etc? They were banned, why not he?

i have no connection with those, or with any other present or former bloggers on this site

joemillis1959: He may claim he's not, but his modus operandi is far too similar for it to be a coincidence.


did any of the others know how to produce background colours, or red or blue type?

did any of the others preface every quote with a clickable link so that it could be checked?

did any of the others repeatedly link to their own outside blog about oranges ducks and arch-rabbis?

were any of the others goldfish? (you haven't even got the right species! )

oh … and did any of the others use smilies?

joe miliis, please stop harrassing me, and propagating the lie that my behaviour has previously caused me to be banned

there are racists on this website who think there is nothing wrong with lying, so long as they are criticising israel, or criticising people who defend israel

they decide what they want to be true, and then say it anyway, in the absence of any evidence other than their own prejudice, and often contrary to the actual evidence

one reason why so few people defend israel on thejc.com … compared with other sites such as the guardian's "comment is free" … is the unchecked lying or bullying that they'll sooner or later be subjected to

joemillis1959: (Mon, 10:53) He may claim he's not, he may introduce all sorts of snazzy colourful backgrounds and daft graphics - any one with a modicum of HTML coding knowledge can do that (and Jose claimed to be a computer whizz kid) - but his modus operandi is far too similar for it to be a coincidence. Just ignore him.

some historians are motivated by a desire to present events in a manner consistent with their own beliefs even if that involves distortion and manipulation of evidence

joe millis is the author of an illustrated history of jerusalem

if his approach to evidence as a historian is as reliable as in his accusation against me, then his book may be an excellent buy as a work of fiction, or as a children's picture book, but cannot seriously be considered as a reliable research resource


Tue, 04/30/2013 - 09:28

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EUMC Definition

is just a working definition. It was agreed by low-ranking bureaucrats. It was never ratified, not by the EUMC, its successor organisation or any government. At best, it's a guideline, at worst it's a mess. And in its lengthy additional, conditional "coulds", it's self-contradictory, especially where is says that that

"Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel"

could be antisemitic.

As Israel defines itself as the nation state of the Jewish people, then Israel itself could be accused of being antisemitic since it is making Jews collectively responsible for its actions.

Comparing Israeli policies to those of the Nazis is antisemitic,

Actually, no, even according to the much-discredited "working" definition. If you compare Israel to the Nazis, then you are, according to the "working" definition, being antisemitic. If, however, you describe Israeli government policies in stupidly crass terms - as the aforementioned - you're being a wanker, but not antisemitic.

The problem with the EUMC "working definition" is that it is a camel - a horse designed by committee. If they left it at the first par (that is, without the obfuscating "coulds")

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”


The additions just muddy the waters and create the mess that led to Ronnie Fraser's epic folly in the Employment Tribunal.


Tue, 05/21/2013 - 17:59

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jonathan, why do you persist in calling it the "eumc" definition (which, as joe points out, was a self-declared "working" definition anyway)?

its proper name is the ottawa protocol definition (of the interparliamentary coalition against antisemitism, see http://www.antisem.org/archive/ottawa-protocol-on-combating-antisemitism...

joemillis1959: … the Ottawa protocol, another worthy statement not endorsed or adopted by any legislature …
… a document not accepted into law by anyone.

joemillis1959: It was never ratified, not by the EUMC, its successor organisation or any government.

joe, why do you disparage it as not being approved by a legislature?

will you only recognise antisemitism as approved by the general assembly of the united nations, which until recently resolved that "zionism is racism"?

or by its creature, the durban conferences (the "world conferences against racism", see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Conference_against_Racism )

yes, joe, the ottawa protocol is not approved by either of those racist bodies

but it is approved by an international anti-racist body, the interparliamentary coalition against antisemitism

    "We, Representatives of our respective Parliaments from across the world, convening in Ottawa for the second Conference and Summit of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism, note and reaffirm the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism as a template document for the fight against antisemitism …"

joe, why are you so concerned to reject an internationally accepted statement on antisemitism, and so eager to accept only what you know perfectly well would be a travesty of anti-racism?"

joemillis1959: … it has those pesky qualifying "could includes" with the added bonus of "taking into account the overall context". In other words, another watering down …

joemillis1959: And in its lengthy additional, conditional "coulds", it's self-contradictory …

nobody's suggesting it's a law

the ottawa protocol lists categories of antisemitism … things that are antisemitic unless the context shows otherwise

"Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination" is one such category

obviously, every such denial must be considered individually, within its own context

neither jonathan nor i see anything remotely exonerating in the context of what rosemary hollis said

Hollis also claimed that it wasn’t the Jews that invented Jewish nationalism but “the Europeans”. She said “it was the Europeans who decided somehow that Judaism was something above and beyond a religion”.

(from http://richardmillett.wordpress.com)

she is saying that jews aren't a nation or a race at all, and therefore never had or could have a right of self-determination

joe, are you saying that the context of rosemary hollis's words somehow takes it out of this category of antisemitism?


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