By Jonathan Hoffman
October 18, 2011
Last night (17 October) Amnesty International in London had a meeting: “Demolitions & Discrimination against Palestinian Citizens of Israel: The case of Al-Araqib”
The title of the meeting tells you that Israel was vilified. If you still have doubts, look at the speaker lineup: Dr. Awad Abu Freih - Al ‘Araqib Popular Committee & Negev Co- existence Forum; Dr Mansour Nsasra - Politics Department, Exeter University;
Miri Weingarten - EU Advocacy Coordinator for Israel/OPT - Israeli Human Rights Consortium.
Exeter University is a centre for vilification of Israel. Ilan Pappé is there. Weingarten is a member of Physicians for Human Rights.
Amnesty has a long history of holding Israel-hate meetings. If you look on my blog and Richard Millett’s blog you will find these meetings documented:
Scandalously Amnesty never called for Gilad Shalit – whose release we celebrate today – to be freed:
I pre-registered for last night’s meeting in order to make the following points in the Q+A:
- The Beduin inhabitants of Al-Araqib are squatters – much like some of the gypsies at Dale Farm in the UK. The village is on land that has been government–owned since Ottoman times. This status was adopted under the British Mandate and has been taken into Israeli law.
- The demolitions of houses were according to the law. The buildings were erected only recently by the Abu Madyam and Abu Jaber families. The Beduin have been unable to substantiate their claim of land ownership with any documentation. The Supreme Court ruled that the inhabitants acted in bad faith, unable to provide evidence for their ownership claims.
- On occasion Beduin have tried to expel other Beduin
- The families who claim Al-Araqib also own villas and plots in Rahab. Abdullah Abu Madyam is a merchant who is said to be using the illegal structures to store his merchandise. There are photos of him arriving in a luxury car. The Al-Uqbi family – said to be one of the dispossessed families – has been given free land by the government in Hura.
- The Goldberg Report has made comprehensive recommendations for the betterment of the lives of the 191,000
Beduins in the Negev:
I wanted to make these points in the Q+A
But I could not
Because I was refused entry to the meeting. Yet again Amnesty has proved that “Human Rights” do not extend to the right of Free Speech to defend Israel at its hate sessions …..
This travelling circus demonising Israel is touring the UK under the PSC's auspices. So far it has been to Oxford, St Albans, Bedford, Luton, Leamington, Gloucester. Tonight it's in Canterbury and tomorrow Bristol. Go and put the points I wanted to put - let's hope you're not banned.