Yoseph Haddad joins hostage vigil and discussion on misinformation

Journalist John Ware was among figures who addressed alleged bias in the media


Yoseph Haddad addresses the vigil at Borehamwood (Ejacobs)

Arab Israeli Yoseph Haddad joined a vigil in Hertfordshire for the missing hostages and a discussion on misinformation.

The weekly hostage vigil in Borehamwood was followed by a panel discussion titled Unveiling the Truth.

“Anybody who is trying to make this war about Arabs against Jews – it is not [...] Right now, in Gaza you have Christian, Muslim, Druze and Jewish soldiers fighting for our freedom,” said Haddad, who has been speaking at a number of events in the UK. 

During the misinformation discussion after the vigil, BBC Panorama presenter John Ware, said: “The extent to which Middle Eastern politics has entered the UK doesn’t bode well [...] We have yet to see the war’s impact on social cohesion and relationships.”

Ware and Haddad were joined by Henry Jackson Society fellow, Barak Seener, Iranian human rights activists, Nader Falla and Elaheh Jamali, and founder of Christian Action Against Antisemitism, Reverend Hayley Ace, for the discussion, chaired by vigil organiser Nivi Feldman.

Referring to calls for “intifada” at anti-Israel rallies, Haddad said: “The result of an intifada is very simple - more death of Arabs and Jews in Israel and certainly more death of Palestinians” [sic]. Haddad criticized people who “shout ‘Intifada’ and two hours later, they are going to the pub and drinking beer, while the people who actually suffer are the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

The Arab Israeli emphasized the strength of Israeli unity after October 7. “Hamas thought Israeli society was divided; they saw all the protests. What they didn’t consider was that their attack united Israeli society.”

However, he was less complimentary about the Israeli government, saying: “The 120 members of the Knesset - I don’t want to see any of them anymore. All of them should be fired.”

The panelists discussed alleged anti-Israel bias in the media. John Ware defended mainstream news outlets but pinpointed “agenda journalists”, who have tried to discredit the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7. “The footage of people being hunted down at the festival is indisputable; we’ve all seen it. These are not actors, and yet some have said it simply didn’t happen,” said the veteran journalist.

Barak Seener went on to refer to Israel as the “rising tiger” of the Middle East. Seener said: “As Israel becomes stronger, Israel will not have to make the choice between its land and its people. As it gets economically stronger, it will inevitably expand its borders.”

Seener suggested that continued wars in Israel should be expected.“It’s a primal region and you cannot explain it with Western values.”

The threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran was addressed by the Persian speakers. Nader Falla asserted: “The cause of your problems is the Iranian regime.”

Falla said: “When the Iranian regime took over, they indoctrinated children with hardline Shia extremism.” Falla suggested that “a new generation of Iran” had since been born, and teenagers have started to reject extremism.

“If we put extremism underground, it will grow. If we bring it out into the floodlights, if we expose it rather than put it into the darkness, they [sic] will scurry away,” he went on.

Elaheh Jamali (also known as Lily Moo) spoke about the strong bond between Israelis and Persians: “We are one nation in two lands. Persians and Israelis have always been allies.”

Falla agreed. “My Queen was Esther [...] you have a natural ally in the Near East. When we have our next uprising, which is brewing, remember to stand with us.”

Some two hundred people had attended the earlier vigil, which was punctuated by the singing of the British and Israeli national anthems, and was attended by deputy mayor, Cllr Alpha Collins and council leader, Cllr Jeremy Newmark.

Each week, vigil attendees hear stories from October 7. Israeli Einat Halifa described the murder of her niece, Gaya Halifa, 24, at Nova festival. Halifa recalled Gaya’s last words: “She called her father screaming: ‘They’re shooting at us,’ then the screaming stopped, and he heard her two last breaths.”

The crowd also heard the story of Almog Meir Jan, who was taken hostage by terrorists on October 7 at Nova festival.

Haddad said: “Hamas would prefer to put a bullet through each and every Arab supporter of Israel before [they kill] a Jew,” as he reminded the crowd that Hamas murdered Arab Israelis on October 7.

The Arab Christian Israeli influencer met students at Yavneh College before the vigil and on Saturday, he joined his fiancée, Jewish American-Israeli Emily Schrader, to confront a crowd waving Palestinian flags in Camden. Haddad shouted at them: “Terror supporters, each and every one of you!”

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