Hackney Citizen

Hackney Mayor backs Conservative bid to block anti-Veolia deputation

Hackney Labour group splits over decision to prevent local resident from speaking to full council over controversial waste contract

Hackney mayor Jules Pipe

"Hackney Council does not have a foreign policy," says Mayor Jules Pipe. Photograph: Hackney Council

A resident was prevented from speaking at a full meeting of Hackney Council last week by a cross party motion seconded by Mayor Jules Pipe, amid a dispute over plans to award waste contracts to a controversial multinational company.

Caroline Day had hoped to speak to Hackney Council to put the case that the North London Waste Authority should refrain from working with Veolia, a French company which campaigners say is complicit in Israeli violations of international law in the West Bank and Gaza.

The North London Waste Authority handles waste services for Hackney Council and six other London boroughs, and will consider Veolia for a 25-year contract due to start in 2014.

A deputation brought by Labour councillor Ian Rathbone to allow Caroline Day to put her concerns about Veolia at a meeting of full council was approved by the council’s lawyer.

However, a blocking motion was proposed at the full council meeting by a  former Labour councillor who defected to the Conservatives last year.

Conservative councillor Linda Kelly’s motion, which proposed that the deputation should be not be heard, received cross-party support from Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors and was passed with only two (Labour) abstentions.

Mayor Jules Pipe seconded the motion and gave a speech in favour of its adoption. Hackney Labour Group’s Chief Whip, Louisa Thomson, confirmed to the Hackney Citizen that it was a whipped vote.

Commenting on the outcome, Caroline Day, who is also a spokesperson for the No2Veolia campaign, said: “We wanted to bring a deputation to make sure the councillors who were on the North London Waste Authority board were aware of the issues.”

“The Mayor and councillors talked about my speech without having seen it,” she added, which meant the Mayor’s speech was “pure conjecture.”

Ms Day accused the mayor of making a “political decision” and said she was a victim of censorship.

In a statement Hackney Council explained why the deputation was rejected: “Elected members felt that to receive the deputation could give the incorrect appearance that they were open to lobbying on procurement issues and would in turn be prepared to lobby an external organisation about its procurement.

It continued: “Elected members also said that it was inappropriate for Full Council to debate what is intrinsically an international political issue which the local authority is in no position to resolve”, in an echo of Mayor Pipe’s remark in the chamber that “Hackney Council does not have a foreign policy.”

Representatives of Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative groups issued a statement saying: “We are here to represent residents and do not shy away from difficult debates on local issues, about services, and issues that directly affect our borough.

“We believe, however, that although technically acceptable, to have received this deputation would not have observed the spirit of the Council’s constitution and went beyond what was reasonable for Members to consider”.

When quizzed by the Hackney Citizen as to how it knew in advance of the content of Ms Day’s speech, a spokesperson for Hackney Council said the Town Hall had received “a short synopsis of the deputation” from Ms Day “[indicating] it was likely to cover the procurement practices of a third party,” and that members received emails from protestors on the issues it contained.

Had she been allowed to make her speech, Ms Day would have been critical of Veolia for providing transport between Israel and settlements, and of the company’s environmental and health and safety records.

Labour councillor Angus Mulready-Jones, who abstained from voting, said: “I find the prospect of any company that has a history of supporting alleged violations of international law delivering any service in Hackney appalling.”

Ms Day’s speech also would have made mention of a letter sent to Hackney councillors by Professor Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, which states: “I urge you not to select Veolia for public contracts due to its involvement in Israel’s grave violations of international law.”

In a further twist, the motion to block Ms Day’s deputation was drafted with the assistance of an organisation called UK Lawyers for Israel, which Councillor Kelly contacted for assistance. David Lewis, Secretary and Treasurer for UKLI, said: “I helped Linda Kelly in the drafting of the motion.”

“We didn’t want the deputation to be heard by the council if we could find a way of preventing it,” he said. “We are there to defend Israel against demonisation and consider the No2Veolia campaign as part of the demonisation exercise.”

Ms Day accused the council of being “vastly hypocritical” for rejecting the deputation while accepting “secret lobbying” by people who “work for the interests of Israel in the UK.”

She also pointed out Cllr Linda Kelly’s position as vice chair of Haifa Twinning. Hackney is officially twinned with Haifa in Israel.

Linda Kelly

Mayor's backing: Councillor Linda Kelly. Photograph: Marta Wlusek

The Conservative councillor in turn accused No2Veolia campaigners of “making unfounded statements” and “vilifying Israel.” “If you’re going to bring a motion on foreign policy you don’t take it to the council, you take it to your MP, ” Cllr Kelly said. “You don’t bring a deputation founded on lies.”

Cllr Kelly said she was using her ‘democratic right’ to propose a motion under rule 12.8 of the constitution and praised Mayor Pipe’s “commendable speech” against hearing the deputation. She dismissed talk of a ‘secret lobby’ as nonsense, but confirmed that she contacted UK Lawyers for Israel for help with drafting the motion, saying: “They helped me all the way through.”

She said that “boycotts don’t work,” and that campaigners should “put their energy into both sides coming together to build a lasting peace,” instead of creating “mischief” and dividing people.

Councillor Ian Rathbone, who brought the deputation and abstained from the vote, said: “It’s the right of anyone to speak at the council about their problems with the way the council is operating.”

He said Hackney is one of the councils “where constituents can speak to the council directly in that way,” and that “it is the democratic right of every resident to speak at the council.”

Ms Day says she will be lodging a complaint against the council’s actions.

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88 Responses »

  1. “If you’re going to bring a motion on foreign policy you don’t take it to the council, you take it to your MP, ” Cllr Kelly said.
    Surely, if your job is representing local residents then you don’t go to lawyers paid for and serving the interests of a foreign state in order to silence the local residents who you are supposed to be representing?
    Having ethical policies is a legitimate local concern.

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  2. The anti-semitism implicit in Benjamin’s remark about a ‘foreign power’ is a disgrace. I do not hear any objections about the money from Arab countries which is financing anti Jewish debate among British Moslems, and the various Palestine Support groups in this and other countries, or anti Jewish/Christian feeling against Jews and Christians who support Israel, or Irish money that supported and still supports the IRA. The double standards of him and the Caroline Day’s of this world is gobsmacking.

    So everyone can use lawyers to make their case as Day and her PLO supporters did with Hickman and Rose solicitors, but Jewish people supporting Israel cannot go to our lawyers – both Jewish and non-Jewish by the way – to get support for our cause. The trouble with the Israel bashers is they are such Facsists who cannot bear opposition. They can go to law but we cannot. That is what the Nazis began with, so no surprise there then?

    Day lies in her statement as she made known her legal advisors from the very beginning when she illegally lobbied all the Councillors in Hackney by e mail, some 3 or 4 weeks ago, requesting they do not do business with Veolia. Then she gets a surprise when we consulted our lawyers. How childish!

    Cllr Rathbone and Day almost succeeded in putting Hackney Council at great financial risk, as Veolia are aware of their nasty campaign aimed at Israel , and could sue Hackney for millions for opposing a tender on the basis of political issues – which is illegal – rather than just possible economic and technical arguments, which are permitted ie If they were to offer the worst price .This could have meant huge financial loss to the Borough, the consequential cutting of services and unemployment had Veolia gone to law. The Borough solicitors are clearly incompetent in having advised the Council to receive such an illegal delegation, and Jules Pipe and Linda Kelly and UKLFI saved Hackney form possible bankruptcy and a massive legal dispute with a big company.

    Day and her PLO secret lobbyists went silently and deceitfully to lawyers and paid them to represent the interests of another state – a terrorist state – called the Palestine National Authority and their Allies Hamas and Hezbollah – to silence local Jewish and other residents who support Israel. We, however, did not pay a penny to UKLFI as all their work is pro bono and voluntary. If Rathbone and Mulready-Jones are supposed to represent all the residents of Hackney, then let them; but that also means they should keep out of Foreign Policy which does not effect the day to day lives of the Hackney people who vote for them – or resign and fight for the terrorists they appear to want to represent.

    Mulready Jones also lied to the Council by not declaring his interest in the debate as a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). In democratic contrast both Cllr Kelly and Akehurst did declare their support for Israel and Cllr Akehurst left the Chamber. Such are the negative ethics of the supporters of Palestinian terror in our midst.

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  3. Dear Benjamin,

    Just a few short paragraphs, please note after this I will not be giving you and your friends a platform for response, as I will not be responding to any of your fantasies.

    Adam, thank you for a fair and well written article.

    Benjamin, I asked for help from UKLFI, who did not charge me a penny, have you ever heard of the word LIBEL, it refers to false accusations made in print. I repeat, they did not charge me a penny.

    They are solicitors of integrity, who work tirelessly free of charge to tell the truth and always look at both sides of the debate.

    The difference between my actions and Ms. Day and her friends, I used the law and Hackney’s legal constitution, to exercise my Democratic right, and put a stop to illegal lobbying.

    Was Ms. Day not told the two Councillors on NLWA would have to leave the Chamber? So who was she targeting? This asks the question what was the real reason for the Deputation?

    Will not take a genius to work it out.

    If Ms. Day and her friends were competently advised, they would have looked at the constitution before they put forward their Deputation.

    Furthermore, she wonders “how I/we knew what was in the Deputation.

    Is she for real, a short while before, one her colleagues? emails councillors from all parties, about Veolia, the comes the Deputation with a summary of the speech, it does not take a genius to note one and one makes two.

    I commend the Mayor and members of all parties who voted for my motion. With regards to Cllrs Rathbone and Mulready-Jones, I will leave them to their colleagues and their Group whip.

    May be you, Ms Day and all the 15 people outside the Town Hall should consider, using all that energy and for good and working towards bringing the two sides together rather than spreading all fantasies and hate.

    BTW just one point from the Gazette, so you and everyone is given the right information, I advocate for both sides of the argument to be heard. So when groups bring speakers over, on both sides they should give their audience a balanced view, i.e. Palestinians and Israelis are both allowed to put their case.

    So their audience can ask their questions, put their point of views across and make up their own minds.

    This is called free speech, democracy, debate and in line with Article 6 of the HRA 98.

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  4. It is thoroughly depressing the way the council refuses to even hear the objections to awarding Billions of pounds of residents money to a company that is making vast profits supporting the infrastructure of an illegal occupation.
    Multinational corporations can tell democratically elected “representatives” what to do, and those same representatives hide behind “commercial confidentiality” to ensure their electors don’t know which international criminals our money is being given away to.

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  5. Councillor Kelly says the deputation was illegal. If that was so the Councils Monitoring Officer would never have allowed it onto the Agenda.

    Kelly treated the voters of Leabridge ward with contempt by defecting from Labour to the Tories. She should not treat the readers of Hackney Citizen likewise.

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  6. The involvement of UKFLI in this affair was only revealed after Jonathon Hoffman Co-Vice Chair of the Zionist Federation (whom Linda Kelly is a supporter of) carelessly mentioned it in his JC blog – and it was subsequently exposed at the occupy news network. Although Kelly etc are now admitting their involvement with UKFLI, presumably no-one would otherwise have known except for this exposure.

    http://occupynewsnetwork.co.uk/did-the-uk-israel-lobby-torpedo-hackney-residents-veolia-deputation/

    Linda Kelly

    “They are solicitors of integrity, who work tirelessly free of charge to tell the truth and always look at both sides of the debate.”

    UKFLI

    ““We are there to defend Israel against demonisation”

    I’m sure Hackney residents can draw their own conclusions about UKFLI’s reliability as “truth-tellers”.

    Linda Kelly

    “If you’re going to bring a motion on foreign policy you don’t take it to the council, you take it to your MP, ” Cllr Kelly said. “You don’t bring a deputation founded on lies.”

    Hackney residents can read the deputation for them selves here and make their own minds up if it is founded on lies or not (it covers health and safety, financial and environmental concerns about Veolia – as well as their complicity in violations of international law):

    http://occupynewsnetwork.co.uk/hackney-council-censor-resident-from-speaking-against-corporation-complicit-in-war-crimes-in-palestine/

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  7. A new Jewish Chronicle article also confirms the involvement of Luke Akehurst as speculated at the Occupy News Network:

    “We contacted Labour councillor Luke Akehurst, who heads the advocacy organisation, We Believe in Israel. Councillor Akehurst liaised with the ruling Labour group, who decided to support Councillor Kelly’s motion along with the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties on the Council.”

    Kelly:

    “dismissed talk of a ‘secret lobby’ as nonsense, but confirmed that she contacted UK Lawyers for Israel for help with drafting the motion, saying: “they helped me all the way through.”

    Well – not secret any more, anyway…

    It is hard to believe any of this would have been revealed voluntarily. They are desperately scrambling to publicise it now – to avoid the appearance of it all happening “behind closed doors”.

    Which is exactly what happened!

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  8. Sorry.

    Link to JC article here:

    http://www.thejc.com/node/92786

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  9. The involvement of UKFLI in this affair was only revealed after Jonathon Hoffman Co-Vice Chair of the Zionist Federation (whom Linda Kelly is a supporter of) carelessly mentioned it in his JC blog – and it was subsequently exposed at the occupy news network. Although Kelly etc are now admitting their involvement with UKFLI, presumably no-one would otherwise have known except for this exposure.

    Linda Kelly

    “They are solicitors of integrity, who work tirelessly free of charge to tell the truth and always look at both sides of the debate.”

    UKFLI

    ““We are there to defend Israel against demonisation”

    I’m sure Hackney residents can draw their own conclusions about UKFLI’s reliability as “truth-tellers”.

    Linda Kelly

    “If you’re going to bring a motion on foreign policy you don’t take it to the council, you take it to your MP, ” Cllr Kelly said. “You don’t bring a deputation founded on lies.”

    Hackney residents can read the deputation for them selves at the Occupy News Network and make their own minds up if it is founded on lies or not (it covers health and safety, financial and environmental concerns about Veolia – as well as their complicity in violations of international law)

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  10. Also many lawyers (i.e. those not on the payroll of the Israel Lobby) disagree with Martin Sugarman’s take on the legal situation:

    “Cllr Rathbone and Day almost succeeded in putting Hackney Council at great financial risk, as Veolia are aware of their nasty campaign aimed at Israel , and could sue Hackney for millions for opposing a tender on the basis of political issues”

    Richard Falk the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Palestinian territories wrote to the NWLA:

    “It is my view that Veolia’s violations of the UN Global Compact principles and its deep and protracted complicity with grave breaches of international law make it an inappropriate partner for any public institution, especially as a provider of public services.”

    Daniel Machover renowned (Jewish) human rights lawyer has also stated:

    “The legal position is indeed clear, but is completely the opposite of the claim made by NLWA. Under EU competition law and the 2006 Public Contract Regulations, a public body will act unlawfully if it directs itself wrongly on its discretionary power to exclude an economic operator from bidding for a contract where that operator has committed an act of grave misconduct in the course of its business or profession; the NLWA can and should take into account the clear evidence of Veolia’s grave misconduct and make a principled and legal decision on whether a company with that track record should be given NLWA business, particularly in view of the UK’s obligation not to facilitate Israeli violations of international law.”

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  11. I have to answer Buitekant – regarding the Monitoring Officer may be your administration should be asking her that question.

    Read the constitution, Deputation – motion without notice, democracy in action. A good lawyer (like UKLFI) would have given you this advice.

    Just one question, do not need to answer, why were trying to distance yourself from the group outside? You should have clearly stood by your principles and stood with them. If you did then they would have been 16 in number, large contingent.

    Regarding treating my Leabridge constituents or Hackney Citizens with contempt, if I did, I would not have spoken to Adam. I work very hard for them, sure you have heard all that I have been doing, guess this is what is rattling your cage.

    The only people I treat with contempt are people like you and certain members of your group who I believed to be my friends and colleagues, who did not hesitate to stabbed me in the back.

    Please give my regards to Graham.

    Mr. Dobbs? I did not know UKLFI were outlawed in anyway, or a terrorist organisation, or blacklisted

    What are you talking about? Since when are citizens of this country not allowed to take legal advice, or is this reserved for the privileged few.

    The last time I looked I was living in the UK.

    Please spell out what is hurting you so much, is the fact that you could not go back to boycott headquarters and crow about your victory.

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  12. Linda Kelly

    It is not that UKLFI are”

    “I did not know UKLFI were outlawed in anyway, or a terrorist organisation, or blacklisted”

    (couldn’t resist mentioning terrorism could you, is it a form of Tourette’s?)

    It is that you chose not to mention their involvement (or Cllr Akehurst’s until it was exposed by a third party) – giving the understandable impression of secrecy.

    And making this stated reason for refusing the deputation:

    “Elected members felt that to receive the deputation could give the incorrect appearance that they were open to lobbying on procurement issues and would be in turn be prepared to lobby an external organisation about its procurement.”

    seem hypocritical – at best…

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  13. At least Ms Day’s lobbying is done in the light of day, and through official council procedures – and is on behalf of residents of Hackney – the signatures of 10 of whom were needed to put forward the deputation.

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  14. Oops – should read:

    Linda Kelly

    It is not that UKLFI are:

    “outlawed in anyway, or a terrorist organisation, or blacklisted”

    (couldn’t resist mentioning terrorism could you, is it a form of Tourette’s?)

    It is that you chose not to mention their involvement (or Cllr Akehurst’s until it was exposed by a third party) – giving the understandable impression of secrecy.

    And making this stated reason for refusing the deputation:

    “Elected members felt that to receive the deputation could give the incorrect appearance that they were open to lobbying on procurement issues and would be in turn be prepared to lobby an external organisation about its procurement.”

    seem hypocritical – at best…

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  15. Linda Kelly you are not representative of the views of the majority of the UK public on this issue.

    The latest research (2011) by the polling institution ICM Government and Social Research Unit, was carried out in six major European countries: Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. The following are some of the key findings:

    1. A mere 10% of Europeans agree that their countries should support Israel rather than the Palestinians; while almost four folds, 39%, disagree.

    2. A clear majority of Europeans, 58%, oppose changing the law to make it easier for those accused of war crimes to visit Europe, only 10% agree to make such changes. More interestingly, in UK, where this issue is hotly debated, with Conservatives are committed to change the law even though only 7% supporting the change. This was the lowest recorded percentage in Europe. It should be note that 2000 people were polled in the UK with margin error of 2%. Yet the government is determined to press ahead with this unpopular policy.

    3. 34% believe Israel is NOT a democracy, while less than half, 45%, believe it is a democracy. In Italy and Spain: 41% believe Israel is not a democracy.

    4. 65% believe Israel does NOT treat all religious groups the same, only 13% believe it does.

    5. 45% of Europeans believe Hamas should be included in the Peace Process, only 25% believe it should be excluded (in UK 44% want Hamas to be included, while only 19% are against. Interestingly, a recent survey by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research for opinions of British Jews showed that 52% supported negotiating with Hamas for peace.

    6. 50% do not agree that criticising Israel is anti-Semitic, while 12% consider it anti-Semitic.

    You do not have to agree with this but nevertheless, by painting those who disagree with you as unreasonable or extremist, you appear to be swimming against the tide…

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  16. As Chair of UK Lawyers for Israel, I would like to reply briefly to some of these points.
    1. We are a voluntary association and are not paid by the Israeli government or anyone else for this pro bono work.
    2. We did not lobby anyone, we merely provided some assistance to Councillor Kelly and other Councillors to enable them to do what they felt was right.
    3. UKLFI is not secretive, equally we don’t have time and money to do much to publicise our efforts. So thank you for mentioning us.
    4. The anti-Veolia campaign is not averse to receiving assistance from lawyers; why should they object to others receiving some legal assistance?
    5. We consider that it would be unlawful to bar Veolia from this contract on the ground that one of its subsidiaries participated in providing transport and environmental services in Jerusalem and the West Bank. In any case the NLWA must follow the advice of its own lawyers on this point; it should not follow the advice of other lawyers who cannot be sued if they get it wrong.
    6. We also believe that Veolia’s subsidiary’s participation in improving transport in Jerusalem and the West Bank have been lawful and beneficial to Arabs as well as Jews in these areas. Ask the Arabs in East Jerusalem – a majority of them would prefer to remain in Israel than Palestine: http://www.pechterpolls.com/east-jerusalem-palestinians-say-un-move-would-hurt-them-many-prefer-israeli-citizenship/

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  17. Following a number of enquiries from local media outlets, the Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe has released a statement clarifying his position with relation to the No2Veolia deputation at last week’s meeting of the Full Council.

    The statement reads as follows:

    “I was in discussion with the Council’s Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer about the appropriateness of hearing this deputation and the use of the Council’s procedural rules before I was made aware of Cllr Kelly’s own intention to propose a motion under 12.8 of those same rules. It is absolutely untrue that the motion I seconded was drafted by UK Lawyers for Israel with whom I have had no contact and to my knowledge never encountered. Cllr Kelly may have received advice from UK Lawyers for Israel as to the potential use of rule 12.8, and even potential wording, which is a matter for her alone. The final wording of the motion read by Cllr Kelly was in fact written by me, as the Labour group’s support for the motion was absolutely conditional on the fact that it should be purely procedural and make no value judgements about the issues under discussion. My statement seconding the motion – the text of which can be supplied – was crystal clear in stating that it could not be taken as support for any side on the wider issue.

    “There is a wide range of views within Labour Group about the Middle East. Although Cllr Akehurst’s views on Israel are a matter of public record, he declared an interest and absented himself from the Labour Group meeting whilst the Group discussed whether a motion under rule 12.8 should be supported.

    “Lastly, and whilst I appreciate that there are very strong views on all sides about issues relating to the Middle East, I stand by my assertion that Hackney’s Council Chamber is no place for such discussions as it is an issue over which Hackney Council has no influence. It is also at best pointless and at worst legally inappropriate for the Council to be lobbied over a procurement decision to be taken by another body. Since the Council meeting, the willingness of both sides, and of certain media outlets, to distort facts, make claim and counter-claim, and create an entirely disproportionate hysteria around whether the Council should have taken this debate into the Council chamber, convinces me that the decision of the majority of elected Council members was the correct one.”

    The Mayor also drew attention to a statement he made in the Council Chamber:

    “Let me be clear, I would be saying the same whatever side the deputation was taking on this matter.

    “There are members in this chamber who are against the views held by this campaign and there are people here who are equally sympathetic towards it.

    “Despite those personal opinions, anyone attempting to portray this decision to not hear the deputation as the Council, or all of its councillors, agreeing with one side or the other of an international political debate will be both untrue and mischievous.

    “It is simply saying that on behalf of all the diverse communities of Hackney, that we will not be diverted from the task of making this borough a better place to live, and that goes for the debates in this chamber.”

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  18. First of all in reply to the mayor’s statement:
    “It is also at best pointless and at worst legally inappropriate for the Council to be lobbied over a procurement decision to be taken by another body”

    This is confirmed in today’s Jewish Chronicle, which also reveals the role of Luke Akehurst, Martin Sugarman together with Linda Kelly.

    Secondly, Martin Sugarman sees fit to smear Hackney resident Caroline Day with the accusation that she and others wishes to “silence local Jewish and other residents who support Israel”. Is this the same Martin Sugarman who was one of the ‘Zionist thugs’ who made the Nazi salute and shouted “Sieg Heil!” at 85 year-old Holocaust survivor Dr Hajo Meyer in Parliament in January 2010 because he dare criticise racism of the Israeli state policy?
    http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/02/445742.html

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  19. for all readers who believe the information given by Mr. Dodds. Please note the poll was carried out for Al Jazeera you can read the findings here:http://www.icmresearch.com/pdfs/2011_march_memo_israelpalestine_poll.pdf

    Please consider his point 3 – 34% did not believe Israel was a democracy, but he did not mention that in Italy and Spain 42 and 45 percent respectively did, believe Israel was a democracy.

    Please look at table 8 Question 4a “What in your view are the biggest obstacles to peace in the Middle East” – Palestine Terrorist Attacks on Israel?

    Total response 39% Fr 38% Germany 39% Italy 44% Spain 42% Netherlands 40% Eng 33%

    Again, we can all be selective – anyone who wishes to understand both sides of the story read the link look at table 17 and table 19.

    Picking sections which suit the cause is not only one sided. Just remember only the innocent on both sides who suffer

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  20. In reply to Linda Kelly myself and other Labour councillors were friends with you. But your decision to defect to a party whose councillors you were in open contempt of just days before says it all.

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  21. First of all due to the nature of the company that is going for the contract Councillors do indeed need to consider their practice elsewhere and their record. If you are not subject to all the facts and information then how can we trust your decision?

    It is also the job of a Councillor to ensure that all parties respect the laws of the land and beyond. Surely that is a precondition of a contract.

    You are in a decision making position financed by the people of the country. There as actors on their behalf.

    The British government itself has expressed its disapproval at the continued shrinking of the Palestinian territory. In William Hagues keynote speech on Thursday he acknowledged the settlements as being against international law.

    The idea that by silencing information you are somehow keeping objectivity is absurd. It shows you clearly don’t trust people in your own council to govern. By stopping the information being relayed the information or the right of reply was never heard.

    If on the points of fact that raised in the speech are in accurate tell us how they are and what is source of that information. That’s the point of meetings surely. To deliberate and discuss. To find the best way.

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  22. Surely the Lawyers should be supporters of Law not of any country. Just a thought.

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  23. In reply to Counsellor Linda Kelly’s comment: “Just remember only the innocent on both sides who suffer”

    Really? Kelly didn’t remember this herself when she sought to get Dalston’s library to tighten its rules to prevent a group of young Palestinian girls from sharing their life experiences with local people last year. But even trying to silence Palestinian children isn’t beyond the pale for some.

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  24. Hackney Council recently launched an analysis of what it can do to get local residents more involved in council meetings. Can’t they see the damage their refusal to listen to this deputation does to their democratic legitimacy? No wonder people are reluctant to take part!

    And is not the council’s Fairtrade policy not a sort of ‘foreign policy’ motivated by concerns about human rights in other countries?

    Shame on you, Jules!

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  25. Miranda – answer to your question

    Really? Kelly didn’t remember this herself when she sought to get Dalston’s library to tighten its rules to prevent a group of young Palestinian girls from sharing their life experiences with local people last year.
    But even trying to silence Palestinian children isn’t beyond the pale for some.

    You can twist anything to suit your views and convince people of your argument, because you believe you are right and fighting for a worthy cause .
    Good for you, however, please do not distort the truth, when stating something state the facts, I advocated for both sides of the story to be heard, there Palestinian children and Israeli children affected in this area, one sided views, speaks volumes.

    Please remember we live in a democracy, people have a right to hear two sides of a story, so they can make up their own minds, not one imposed on them.

    Have you ever considered bringing a group of Israeli children, or don’t they matter?

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  26. Jules Pipe:

    “Lastly, and whilst I appreciate that there are very strong views on all sides about issues relating to the Middle East, I stand by my assertion that Hackney’s Council Chamber is no place for such discussions as it is an issue over which Hackney Council has no influence. It is also at best pointless and at worst legally inappropriate for the Council to be lobbied over a procurement decision to be taken by another body. Since the Council meeting, the willingness of both sides, and of certain media outlets, to distort facts, make claim and counter-claim, and create an entirely disproportionate hysteria around whether the Council should have taken this debate into the Council chamber, convinces me that the decision of the majority of elected Council members was the correct one.”

    Jules Pipe may believe that Hackney Council chamber is not place to discuss the Middle East. That is his opinion and he is entitled to it.

    However why was discussion of these issues, which were covered in Ms Day’s deputation, are in no way related to the Middle East and are of great concern to many local residents prevented?

    ———————————————————–
    Environmental

    Veolia’s proposal is limited to incineration, competing bids offer the more
    environmentally friendly Combined Heat and Power solution which emits
    less Co2 into the atmosphere.
    Despite claiming to be ‘CHP ready’, Veolia have made no provision for a CHP solution and no obvious potential for this exists in the site they have
    selected.

    Most Councils, including Hackney, wish to increase the amount of waste they recycle. For this reason it would be perverse to select Veolia to handle waste management since its strength and technical capabilities are in incineration. At present the UK capacity of Veolia’s co-mingled recycling plants is less than 20% of that required for north London.
    Competing companies in the bidding process are operating recycling facilities that can process around 250,000 tonnes a year, close to the
    amount required for north London and around 5 times larger than any plant operated at present by Veolia in the UK. The incinerator proposed by Veolia has an electrical output of 50 MW, over 25% higher than that of rival bidder E.On, and an indication of
    Veolia’s prioritisation of incineration over recycling.

    Health and Safety

    Veolia have an appalling health and safety record.

    In 2005 they pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6 and 9 of the Dangerous and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations Act 2002,
    after a huge chemical explosion at a Veolia facility resulted in the closure of the M6 and M5 motorways.

    In May 2009 an explosion at waste recycling plant in Ohio injured two workers and damaged adjacent buildings.

    In April 2011 the collapse of a sewage holding wall at a Veolia plant in Tennesse, spilled 1.5 million gallons of polluted water into a river and
    killed two workers.

    In November 2011, a Veolia plant discharged raw and toxic digester gas into the atmosphere in Point Richmond California.

    Financial concerns

    The NLWA currently operates the EcoPark at Edmonton, recycling some waste, with the rest either incinerated to generate electricity or sent to
    landfill. Current costs for disposal and treatment are around £75 a tonne. Veolia will almost triple this, charging close to £200 per tonne. Harrow Council actually make a profit by operating their waste and
    recycling services in-house, conversely Brent is prevented from doing the same by being locked into a contract with Veolia.

    Veolia faces serious financial problems. Its share price has dropped below 8 Euros — compared with above 60 Euros five years ago — while debt has risen to above 15 billion Euros. Veolia is facing a major lawsuit from competitor EDF over the ownership of Dalkia. Veolia has pledged to sell
    billions of euros of assets and pull out of dozens of countries in a bid to lower debt and reverse losses.

    The risk posed by outsourcing contractors going into administration is amply demonstrated by the case of Barnet Homes, where taxpayers subsequently picked up the bill. This is even more pertinent in the case of the north London waste contract as the duration and financial value of the
    contract are so considerable.

    At a time of unprecedented cuts to Council budgets, selecting Veolia is not a gamble any Council can afford to make with taxpayers money.

    ———————————————————–

    Also, the fact that NLWA has now released a statement extending the procurement process (which was supposed to be decided in December)

    “The procurement process timetable for our waste services and fuel use contracts procurement project was considered at a meeting of the North London Waste Authority on Friday 23 November. The Authority has chosen to extend the timetable for selecting bidders on both procurements. We expect to receive final tenders from bidders on both procurements in March 2013.”

    Is surely evidence that something is awry in this procurement process…

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  27. Pipe says that “Hackney Council does not have a foreign policy”, but the real question is do local residents have a right to expect the council to have an ethical policy? Pipe, Kelly et al obviously think not and are even prepared to silence the people they are elected to represent in order to prevent it.

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  28. Jonathon Turner:

    “As Chair of UK Lawyers for Israel, I would like to reply briefly to some of these points.
    1. We are a voluntary association and are not paid by the Israeli government or anyone else for this pro bono work.
    2. We did not lobby anyone, we merely provided some assistance to Councillor Kelly and other Councillors to enable them to do what they felt was right.
    3. UKLFI is not secretive, equally we don’t have time and money to do much to publicise our efforts. So thank you for mentioning us.”

    Thank you, yours is a measured and reasonable response. I believe that you are not paid for your work, like many activists I’m sure you believe in what you are doing.

    I accept UKFLI is not a secretive organistaion as such – however your involvement in preventing this deputation was not known to the public until inadvertently revealed by Jonathon Hoffman…

    I’m sure you’d like a lot more publicity fot your organisation so we can all be glad this has all come to light.

    However David Lewis’ (also of UKFLI) comments at the Hackney Gazette article covering this story take a quite different tone to yours and I must say, I appreciate his tone and sentiments rather less…

    “I’m an officer of UK Lawyers for Israel, and there was no secret lobbying; but I do understand why some of you had to invent an excuse for losing this opportunity to demonise the Jewish state in Hackney’s council chamber. Incidentally, UKLFI has every right to lobby councillors, “secretly” or otherwise, should we choose to do so in future, so get over it.”

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  29. Are Hackney’s international twinning links not indicative of a ‘foreign policy’? I understand that Hackney is officially twinned with Haifa, in Israel, but not with any Palestinian town or city.

    How does this sit with Linda Kelly’s bizarre notion of balance, as indicated in her response to Miranda’s comment?

    Children all over the world ‘matter’, but why should someone arranging a visit by Palestinian children also arrange a visit by Israeli children?

    If Hackney is twinned with Haifa, I imagine that some sort of exchange visits take place. Do an equal number of Palestinians always accompany the Israelis on these visits?!

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  30. Linda Kelly:

    “The difference between my actions and Ms. Day and her friends, I used the law and Hackney’s legal constitution, to exercise my Democratic right, and put a stop to illegal lobbying.”

    Ms Day, as a Hackney resident brought her deputation through the correct council procedures and it was accepted as meeting the councils requirements.

    “We believe, however, that although technically acceptable, to have received this deputation would not have observed the spirit of the Council’s constitution and went beyond what was reasonable for Members to consider”.

    What exactly is the spirit of the Coucil’s constitution I wonder? This sounds rather ill-defined…

    Linda Kelly on the other hand recruited the help of UKFLI (only revealing this when it was exposed in the press) and used her position as a councillor to table a procedural motion to block the deputation written by UKFLI.

    As detailed in the Jewish Chronicle UKFLI subsequently contacted Labour councillor Luke Akehurst, who heads the advocacy organisation, We Believe in Israel. Councillor Akehurst liaised with the ruling Labour group, who decided to support Councillor Kelly’s motion along with the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties on the Council.

    “Mayor Jules Pipe seconded the motion and gave a speech in favour of its adoption. Hackney Labour Group’s Chief Whip, Louisa Thomson, confirmed to the Hackney Citizen that it was a whipped vote.”

    This hardly sounds like a vibrant local democracy in action. It seems like heavy handed suppression of Labour councillors ability to vote with their conscience.

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  31. Martin Sugarman:

    “Day and her PLO secret lobbyists went silently and deceitfully to lawyers and paid them to represent the interests of another state – a terrorist state – called the Palestine National Authority and their Allies Hamas and Hezbollah – to silence local Jewish and other residents who support Israel.”

    Mr Sugarman, I fear you may be displaying a textbook case of this:

    ————————————————————–

    Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings.

    Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted unconscious impulses or desires without letting the conscious mind recognize them.
    An example of this behavior might be blaming another for self failure.

    The mind may avoid the discomfort of consciously admitting personal faults by keeping those feelings unconscious, and by redirecting libidinal satisfaction by attaching, or “projecting,” those same faults onto another person or object.

    The theory was developed by Sigmund Freud—in his letters to Wilhelm Fliess, ‘”Draft H” deals with projection as a mechanism of defence — and further refined by his daughter Anna Freud, why it is sometimes referred to as Freudian projection.

    ——————————————————–

    I believe treatment is available…

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  32. Mr Sugarman has made a number of offensive and unsubstantiated claims which personally I feel make no useful contribution to this debate. I suggest he should shut up. Bjarni.

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  33. lets not forget.

    1331 Palestinian children compared to 129 Israeli children under the age of 18 have been killed since 2000 (figures from B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group)

    A powerful nuclear state with a military backed by the worlds most powerful nation vs a refugee camp

    The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed more resolutions condemning Israeli activity towards Palestinian refugees than against all other countries combined

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  34. I did my degree in Computer Science and Mathematics at Haifa University, but I doubt I have much in common with the vice-chair of the Haifa Twinning organisation. While Cllr Linda Kelly was hastily silencing Caroline Day from speaking against a company complicit with ongoing Israeli violations of international law, I stood outside the Town Hall protesting against Veolia.
    The man she so admires and considers “Jonathan Hoffman is one of Anglo Jewry’s greatest and most valuable activists and campaigners” [see the letter she signed at: http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/zf-co-vice-chair-blasts-boards-macavity-jc-muckraker-0 ]
    was spouting his hatred and singling out the 2 Jewish Rabbis who were protesting with us against Veolia and its complicity.
    With Hoffman was only one more person, Mr Martin Sugarman. They together exhibited their hatred to the protesting Rabbis shouting at them they weren’t real Jews.
    This isn’t the first time I have witnessed Mr Sugarman’s Jew hating. On Holocaust Day he persistently shouted abuse at Auschwitz survivor 85 year-old Dr Hajo Meyer in January 2010. When the police escorted Sugerman out of the Parliament meeting he made the Nazi salute and shouted “Sieg Heil!”
    While Kelly doesn’t seem to be appalled by such associates, I wonder whether Mayor Jules Pipe now realises the extent of his poor judgement:
    Mayor Pipe choose to act at the behest of apologists for the Israeli violations of international law and against his own resident, who tried to inform councillors of the many problems surrounding the massive waste contracts costing Hackney more than £600 million.
    It is hard to ignore that Mayor Pipe acted at the behest of UK Lawyers for Israel, advocates for a foreign country, as they stated: “Hackney activist Martin Sugarman and Conservative councillor Linda Kelly sought the help of UK Lawyers for Israel, and we prepared a motion “that the deputation be not received”.” See their report at: http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/analysis/92786/how-we-helped-justice-prevail-hackney
    Their statement contradicts Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe’s “statement clarifying his position with relation to the No2Veolia deputation at last week’s meeting of the Full Council” in which he stated: “It is absolutely untrue that the motion I seconded was drafted by UK Lawyers for Israel”.
    I’m glad to read Mayor Pipe is now trying to distance himself from UKLFI, but I’m afraid the only convincing action he could take now is by inviting Caroline Day to deliver her 5min deputation to Hackney Councillors.

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  35. The 1947 UN Partition Plan designated Haifa as part of the proposed Jewish state. On 30 December 1947, members of the Irgun, a Jewish underground militia, threw bombs into a crowd of Arabs outside the gates of the Consolidated Refineries in Haifa, killing six and injuring 42. In response Arab employees of the company killed 39 Jewish employees in what became known as the Haifa Oil Refinery massacre. The Jewish Haganah militia retaliated with a raid on the Arab village of Balad al-Shaykh, where many of the Arab refinery workers lived, in what became known as the Balad al-Shaykh massacre. Control of Haifa was critical in the ensuing Arab-Israeli war, since it was the major industrial and oil refinery port in British Palestine.[

    British forces in Haifa redeployed on 21 April 1948, withdrawing from most of the city while still maintaining control over the port facilities. Two days later the downtown, controlled by a combination of local and foreign (ALA) Arab irregulars was assaulted by Jewish forces in Operation Bi’ur Hametz, by the Carmeli Brigade of the Haganah, commanded by Moshe Carmel. The operation led to a massive displacement of Haifa’s Arab population. Ilan Pappé writes that the shelling culminated in an attack on a Palestinian crowd in the old marketplace using three-inch (76 mm) mortars on 22 April 1948. According to the Economist at the time, only 5,000-6,000 of the city’s 62,000 Arabs remained there by 2 October 1948

    Nice choice of twin town – really nice

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  36. Sugarman uses offensive and inciting language, and personal insults (eg Facsists (sic)) and distinct untruths,exaggerations,distortions and accusations. He accuses Ms Day of bringing in ‘foreign policy’ when what Linda Kelly has done is using a group that is blatantly pursuing Israeli interests and stamping out free speech for Hackney residents, when the whole issue of Veolia is that it is breaking international law by operating in the illegally occupied Palestinian territory, which is actually against UK Company Law and EU directives.

    In fact the Veolia campaigners are trying to prevent Hackney from being liable of collusion with the grave misconduct of a tendering company in the awarding of a Council contract worth billions.Due to pressure from an Israel lobby, the local residents of Hackney are being denied their democratic say in the use of local taxpayers money.

    Cllr Kelly says that she listens to both side’s views- yet she deliberately prevented one side from presenting not simply views, but comprehensive and legal facts about the necessity for Hackney to be very wary of appointing Veolia for any further contracts due to its involvement in the OPTs, against international law, and consolidating Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank

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  37. Another element that I find so troubling in this issue is that so many of the councillors didn’t challenge the whipped vote order. Cllr Rathbone had the integrity to at least abstain, as did one other. I’ll be writing to my [non]“representatives” (Cllrs Michael Desmond, Rick Muir and Alex Russell) asking why they felt the need to support a blocking motion to silence a local resident which was drafted by lawyers representing a foreign state. I would encourage others to do the same.
    http://www.hackney.gov.uk/findmycouncillor.htm

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  38. Benjamin you and your friends are really wasting your time, it was not drafted by lawyers representing a foreign state, there you go again with Libel, remember they are solicitors and very successful ones at that.

    Read the statement put out by the Mayor, just remember you and your friends have to prove your accusations. Leave the fairy tales to the Brothers Grimm.

    By the way, I was not going to respond any more, as readers of the Hackney Citizen will by now see how desparate you and your friends are. Also realised every time I response, it spurs you on, giving you a platform, but sometimes you cannot help yourself, you know what I mean Benjamin?

    Although I have realise you were all fighting for a cause? Nice to know in your eyes Cllr Rathbone is a man of integrity.

    However, for readers of Hackney Citizen, may be for you as well Benjamin.

    Please see this site which I found, whilst googling Yael Kahn, the Israeli with a cause, she made such an impression on me with her contribution to this debate.

    The comments at the start of all of this was free speech? Please judge for yourselves:
    https://richardmillett.wordpress.com/tag/yael-kahn/

    Yes it is from Richard Millett’s blog, please meet a man of real integrity, he makes it his business of reporting the truth.

    So before Benjamin, you and friends start calling him “a Zionist”, and if none of what he reported was true, please remember there a libel laws here, quiet good ones, so Yael you should have used them?

    Have a good weekend Benjamin keep on writing, sure you will have company.

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  39. Yawn, yawn – sour grapes! Let me make my final contribution to the banal ignoramuses who populate the Israel bashing community

    1. I made my Nazi salute to Corbyn and the audience, not the speaker, for the Nazis they were; you desecrated Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) by billing the meeting as a remembrance of the Holocaust and then brought along a Jewish stooge to bash Israel from the first second the meeting opened. Typical Nazi thuggery. My Dutch Jewish relatives were murdered at Sobibor and Auschwitz and you mocked their memory

    2.To Ashman – if it is so well known that the alleged illegal Jewish towns and villages in the 20% of the West Bank still run jointly by the Pals and Israel – pending a peace treaty – are there, why do we need to be constantly reminded of it by loony Jews haters of the PSC??

    3. To Shennan – there are always Arab Israelis in our HAIFA Exchange groups and always Moslems and Christians in the Homerton exchange groups; how many Jews live in the PNA and could come to vistis form a PNA twinning? None – because as Abbas has said many times, not one Jew can live in Palestine – even though one sixth of Israel’S population are Arabs living in a free country ;one is a Supreme Court Judge and recently sent the former Israeli President to prison for sexual harrasment. Are there any Jews in the PLO, PNA, Hamas? You are so ignorant it is quite unbelievable that you believe your own propaganda – JUST like the Nazis.

    4. Bjarmi tells me to shut up – sad person – does not like to hear the truth

    5. Sad Skeptic bemoans the fact fewer Israelis are killed these days; maybe that is because the IDF do not hide their soldiers behind prams and schools and hospitals like the Pals do, and build shelters for their civilians – whilst the Pals use their money to buy suicide bomb belts, build rocket bunkers and Iranian missiles.

    He tells us his selective history of what happened in Haifa in 1948 but as usual leaves out the bits he does not want us to know – such as the daily murder of Jews in Haifa by Arabs over a period of 20 years BEFORE 1947; or the refusal of the Arabs to accept the fair partition to begin with and murderous attacks on British and Jews alike for two decades after the Peel Commission proposals of 1936; or the fact that the Pals sided with the Nazis in WW2 and their leader Haj Amin El Husseini was in Berlin with Hitler planning to build gas chambers in Nablus to kill all the Jews of the Middle East (google and see). Question – was all this after the Arabs stole Haifa and Israel from the Jews anyway in the 8th century and colonised and imperialised the Jews in their own country??? And after the Jews were ethnically cleansed by the Pals from Hebron after 4,500 years , in the notorious 1936 massacres and from the Jewish City of Jerusalem in the Independence War?? I think Jerusalem was Jewish for 1500 years before the Arabs stole it. When you give London to the French in the name of William the Conqueror of Normandy, I might ask the Israelis to give Jerusalem to the Pals. Tut tut, missed those bits didn’t you!Whoops! Don’t mention too much history; the poor PSC cannot take it all in

    6. UN Resolutions against Israel are inevitable because the Arab and Moslem nations and the stooge nations they buy off form an automatic voting block against the Jewish State – simple really – that is why all the western world ignores UN Resolutions against ANY nation generally speaking – loaded vote

    7. Sad Yael- does not like being Jewish; totally confuses her facts – too bizarre to even unravel her illiterate rant. Seems to want to picat every word and vowel – fact is you lost the vote for all the reasons given. Go back to school and relearn your history

    8. Finally the sad and deluded Abe Hayeem – who simply cannot get his facts correct. In a defensive war (1967) International Law allows the taking of land from the attempted invader (Germany in 1945 by Britain; West bank in 1967 by Israel) and occupy until a peace treaty is signed. What is it you do not understand about ‘peace treaty’??

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  40. Mr Sugarman, you will probably be surprised to discover that many people are not motivated by ethnic nationalism, especially in a mixed borough such as Hackney. Most people prefer not to engage with the world through a prism of “blud und boden”.

    Your comments here and your admission that you made a Nazi salute at parliament on holocaust memorial day have only increased my serious concerns for your mental health.

    I really would advise you to at least see a councillor and talk through your feelings on these issues. I genuinely feel it would help…

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  41. Poor old Bob Dodds – cannot deal with the truth except by personal insults; sums up your Jew hating psyche really. Goodbye and do not bother to engage me again in any debate as you are both blind and deaf not to mention full of hate

    Shalom for all in he Middle East, but especially the beacon of hope, Israel.

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  42. Jonathan Turner of UK Lawyers for Israel also happens to be head of the Zionist Federation of Great Britian and Irelan’s legal group. Are they funding your UKLFI work , Mr Turner? Is that how you manage to offer your services pro bono?

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  43. Mr Sugarman, I’m sorry you feel insulted but I really am worried about you…

    Your comments seem very angry and I think you should talk to somebody about it.

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  44. Bob, I agree with you but I think you mean Martin Sugarman badly needs to see a ‘counsellor’ (he’s already seen a councillor or two by the sounds of it)

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  45. Rachel you are absolutely right. Apologies for my poor spelling. I thought something looked wrong with it…

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  46. Jules Pipe in his speech on the night of the deputation claimed “Hackney Council does not have a foreign policy”.

    This might make a good soundbite, but it ignores the fact that Hackney council does have a procurement policy requiring it to:

    “assess all procurement proposals against a criteria that includes effectiveness, efficiency, best value…”, (ii) “have regard to all aspects of sustainability” and (iii) “comply with any legislation, corporate policies or other requirements relevant to our activities, ensuring that all officers responsible for procurement and contract management are aware of and adhere to the requirements of European and UK law, the Council’s Standing Orders, required standards and best practice”.

    Jules Pipe also appears to be trying to negate the controversy created by press exposure of the involvement of UK Lawyers for Israel in the statement recently released by Hackney Council.

    Jules Pipe asserts that “It is absolutely untrue that the motion I seconded was drafted by UK Lawyers for Israel with whom I have had no contact and to my knowledge never encountered.”

    David Lewis, secretary of UKFLI who wrote a November 29 article for The Jewish Chronicle entitled “How we helped justice to prevail in Hackney” states:

    “Hackney activist Martin Sugarman and Conservative councillor Linda Kelly sought the help of UK Lawyers for Israel, and we prepared a motion “that the deputation be not received”.

    Jules Pipe goes on to claim “Cllr Kelly may have received advice from UK Lawyers for Israel as to the potential use of rule 12.8, and even potential wording, which is a matter for her alone. The final wording of the motion read by Cllr Kelly was in fact written by me, as the Labour group’s support for the motion was absolutely conditional on the fact that it should be purely procedural and make no value judgements about the issues under discussion.”

    I find it hard to believe that after UKFLI prepared a motion for Linda Kelly, which they freely admit, that the motion proposed by Linda Kelly and seconded by Jules Pipe was in fact written from scratch by Mr Pipe with no knowledge at all of UKFLI’s original motion. Even if Pipe had no contact and to his knowledge never encountered UKFLI he certainly must have had contact with Linda Kelly in preparing the motion that she proposed.

    The question should also be asked – if Linda Kelly needed legal advice why did she not use the Council’s own lawyers? Why did she approach an organization which is clearly partisan and set up specifically to advocate for Israeli interests in the UK?

    Pipes’ recent statement also appears to be attempting to absolve Luke Akehurst of any involvement in the blocking of the deputation.

    “There is a wide range of views within Labour Group about the Middle East. Although Cllr Akehurst’s views on Israel are a matter of public record, he declared an interest and absented himself from the Labour Group meeting whilst the Group discussed whether a motion under rule 12.8 should be supported.”

    But this is directly contradicted by the Jewish Chronicle article written by David Lewis where Cllr Akehurst appears to have been instrumental in the process.

    “We contacted Labour councillor Luke Akehurst, who heads the advocacy organisation, We Believe in Israel. Councillor Akehurst liaised with the ruling Labour group, who decided to support Councillor Kelly’s motion along with the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties on the Council.”

    Pipes’ claim that “whilst I appreciate that there are very strong views on all sides about issues relating to the Middle East, I stand by my assertion that Hackney’s Council Chamber is no place for such discussions as it is an issue over which Hackney Council has no influence” is disingenuous. This is not about the Middle East it is about Hackney’s procurement policies. Adherence to International Law is not Foreign Policy, nor is it taking sides in a dispute. The position of the UK government on settlements is quite clear, in November 2012 Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt affirmed that: “The UK has been consistently clear that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law”.

    Jules Pipe seems to have accepted at face value Linda Kelly’s claims that “It is my understanding councillors of all parties do not believe it is appropriate to receive this deputation on the grounds of procurement and international relations over which this council has no control or influence”

    But if this were actually the case why did Jules Pipe feel the need to have the vote whipped, as confirmed by Hackney Labour Group’s Chief Whip, Louisa Thomson.

    Jules Pipe appears to feel that no scrutiny should be placed on these events

    “Since the Council meeting, the willingness of both sides, and of certain media outlets, to distort facts, make claim and counter-claim, and create an entirely disproportionate hysteria around whether the Council should have taken this debate into the Council chamber, convinces me that the decision of the majority of elected Council members was the correct one.”

    The fact that all the local newspapers have covered this story and Mayor Pipe has felt the need to offer these rather weak clarifying statements demonstrates that the media coverage is entirely proportionate and undoubtedly will only grow as more details of the case emerge. The burning question is: why is Jules Pipe so opposed to concerned citizens demanding that Hackney Council abide by its own procurement policies?

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  47. UK Lawyers for Israel defends the Jewish state against the demonisation which is the main strategy of the BDS movement. Indirectly we are also defending British Jews, since the demonisation campaign tends to increase antisemitism (especially during Israel’s self-defence operations); and if the BDS movement succeeds in its true aim, which is the destruction of the Jewish state, then Jews will lose their main refuge from antisemitism.

    I find interesting the hostility and conspiracy theories now surfacing about UKLFI. A staple of this is the insistence that Jonathan Hoffman inadvertently spilled the beans about UKLFI. It wasn’t inadvertent; he knew what we were planning, and he was perfectly at liberty to blog about it after the event. Publicity is useful to us, as it sometimes attracts sympathetic lawyers who want to join us in the fight against demonisation of the Jewish state.

    What you are now seeing is pro-Israel Jews, and non-Jews, organising and collaborating in defence of Israel and the Jewish people, and against the demonisation and vilification which have infected public discourse about Israel.

    I do understand that some people are outraged by the fact that Jews are defending themselves. In fact a key motif of antisemitism is the belief that Jews are wrong to defend themselves. That is part of the reason why the anti-Zionists vilified Israel for Operation Pillar of Defence, while either ignoring or justifying the thousands of rockets launched by Hamas against Israeli civilians.

    Although Bob Dodds doesn’t appreciate the tone and sentiments of my comment on the Hackney Gazette website – truly sorry about that, Bob – he and others will have to get used to the fact that the BDS movement aren’t always going to have a clear run, despite their vastly superior numbers and financial resources.

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  48. How interesting that the only people who find a reason introduce a discussion about ‘Jews’ in this comments thread, are those accusing others (some of whom in this thread have Jewish sounding names) of being ‘Nazis’ (Sugarman) and anti-semites (Lewis).

    The thread actually concerns the stifling of local democracy. Is there a connection between smearing political adversaries and stifling debate ? Are you trying to close down this debate too ?

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  49. I think that the comments section of a newspaper is a good place to have this debate, but it is an abuse of local democracy to use the Council Chamber for purposes unconnected with the Council’s functions or the business on the agenda.

    Moreover, the deputation’s motive was not to benefit the residents of Hackney but was simply to demonise the Jewish state under the spurious cover of public interest.

    The leaflet distributed by No2Veolia outside the Town Hall contains classic demonisation themes: “Israel commits heinous crimes”, “Israeli war crimes”, “Israeli violation of international law”, “illegal Israeli settlements”, “grave misconduct”, all expressed as if they were undisputed facts.

    The true purpose of this demonisation campaign is not to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians, or to end the Israeli occupation: both of which could be achieved in a few weeks if the will existed on the Palestinian side.

    No, it’s true purpose and intended ultimate effect is to bring about Israel’s destruction as the state of the Jewish people. Whether you call this antisemitism or something else, it is a direct threat to the security of the Jewish people throughout the world. We are well aware of this, as are our many non-Jewish friends and supporters. That is the issue: not “local democracy”.

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  50. William Hague 30 November 2012:

    `’Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and undermine trust between the parties. If implemented, these plans would alter the situation on the ground on a scale that makes the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as a shared capital, increasingly difficult to achieve.”

    “They would undermine Israel’s international reputation and create doubts about its stated commitment to achieving peace with the Palestinians.”

    “The window for a two-state solution is closing, and we need urgent efforts by the parties and by the international community to achieve a return to negotiations, not actions which will make that harder.”

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  51. To the usual demonisers of Israel, read David Lewis and learn – he says it EXACTLY as it is.

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  52. David Lewis”

    You say:

    I find interesting the hostility and conspiracy theories now surfacing about UKLFI. A staple of this is the insistence that Jonathan Hoffman inadvertently spilled the beans about UKLFI. It wasn’t inadvertent; he knew what we were planning, and he was perfectly at liberty to blog about it after the event. Publicity is useful to us, as it sometimes attracts sympathetic lawyers who want to join us in the fight against demonisation of the Jewish state.

    Other commenters may be interested to know that in 2010 Jonathon Hoffman was photographed at a demonstration with Roberta Moore, leader of the “Jewish Division” of the English Defence League (EDL). After initially claiming that the photograph was doctored in his JC blog, he eventually made this grovelling apology under the threat of legal action:

    “I accept that the photo was absolutely genuine and had not been tampered with in any way. The photographer, David Hoffman, is a well known and respected photojournalist and I apologise to him unreservedly for my hasty and unfounded comments and for the distress and embarrassment caused.”

    The EDL Jewish Division was so extreme that even the EDL felt the need to issue this statement disassociating themselves from it:

    “If they [the Jewish EDL] continue with their plans to forge links with the terrorist JTF (Jewish Task Force) , the EDL will have no option but to sever its links with the Jewish division as we cannot support terrorist sympathisers.”

    A 2009 JC article described how the “Jewish Board of Deputies vice-president Jerry Lewis launched a stinging attack on fellow Board member Jonathan Hoffman over his tactics when defending Israel in public”. Lewis was quoted as saying, “Given his position, Mr Hoffman should be far more cognisant of the necessity to act with common sense and not to act unilaterally in a way which damages both Israel’s case and beyond.”

    In response to this criticism Cllr Linda Kelly and Jonathon Turner (founder of UKLFI) both signed a letter to the Jewish Chronicle describing Jonathon Hoffman as “one of Anglo Jewry’s greatest and most valuable activists and campaigners” and asserted that “Jerry Lewis should be ashamed of attacking him”. The letter concluded, ”Perhaps Jerry Lewis should side with our friends like Jonathan, and not with War on Want and Amnesty who are openly hostile to Israel and consequently British Jews.”

    Martin Sugarman who you also appear to be on friendly terms with has admitted in this comment thread to having made Nazi salutes at parliament on holocaust memorial day.

    For someone purporting to be concerned about racism (anti-semitism) you appear to have chosen rather strange bed-fellows…

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  53. David, Martin, Jonathan,

    Please refrain from putting any more responses on this site. You are only giving Dobbs, Miranda Molly, Benjamin and the rest a platform.

    Please any intelligent reader of this page will realise what is going on. They will always have to have the last word, so feel free to follow on after I post this.

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  54. I have no connection whatever with the EDL and never have had. And I will not hesitate to take appropriate action against anyone who suggests otherwise.

    The EDL smear simply shows Dodds’ desperation. It was comprehensively debunked here:

    http://hurryupharry.org/2011/11/04/jonathan-hoffman-ujs-tony-greenstein-and-the-edl/

    I rejoice that unlike Gaza, N Korea or Iran we live in a country where people are free to demonstrate on the streets even if we do not agree with their views. If Dodds wants to control who demonstrates on the streets I suggest he goes and lives in Gaza, N Korea or Iran.

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  55. This comment has been removed by a moderator following a complaint.

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  56. Whata clever boy. He can’t win the argument in the Chamber so he resorts to posting libellous links. Shame on him. These bottom-fishing tactics were endorsed by the Moscow School circa 1959.

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  57. Readers may google Hoffman chronicled and decide for themselves….

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  58. Readers might also note that many of the people that Mr Hoffman has had embarrassing public spats with are in fact respected members of the Jewish establishment:

    Mick Davis – Chairman, United Jewish Israel Appeal & Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council’s Board of Trustees

    Jerry Lewis – Vice President, Jewish Board of Deputies

    Dan Sheldon – Campaigns Director, Union of Jewish Students

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  59. Stalinist antisemites in the 21st century attempt to attack Israel – the Jewish State – see above.

    If this is unsuccessful (as in Hackney Council last month) they libel individual Jews – see above also.

    I regard it as a badge of honour.

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  60. Mr Hoffman, do you also wear the fact that other members of the organised Jewish community (such as Mick Davis, Jerry Lewis and Dan Sheldon) find your behaviour thoroughly embarrasing as a “Badge of Honour” ?

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  61. Poor old Dobbsy – he is just like the Gestapo, and goes out of his way to read the Jewish Chronicle to spy on Jewish activists who dare oppose his Nazi views! Poor chap. Clearly needs to get a life.

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  62. “Poor old Dobbsy – he is just like the Gestapo”

    I think that’s a little strong Mr Sugarman…

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  63. Actually it’s not strong enough

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  64. Mr Hoffman, I don’t think you should encourage Mr Sugarmans fixation with the Third Reich, it’s not healthy.

    I’m beginning to see you both as the naughty schoolboys of the Pro-Israel movement. Although I’m sure you would try and sit together in class – if the teacher were sensible she would split you up and give you both lines to do in detention: “I must not mention the Nazi’s when conversing with others, it is most impolite”

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  65. In todays Hackney Gazette Mr Sugarman says that the recent theft of the Holocaust memorial plaque in the Towh Hall Square was “probably triggered by recent events at the last council meeting” ie the Deputation which wanted to express concerns about the NWLA contract. Mr Sugarman should either provide evidence to back up his claim or withdraw his accusation.

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  66. Well, well Mr Buitekant; threatened by an elected Councillor; a first for me – what an honour; I tremble in fear! I do not expect your fellow Cllrs will be terribly impressed by your childish rant. Most unprofessional. Maybe a matter for the Standards Committee I feel, together with fellow traveller Mulready-Jones – who incidentally sent his kids to a Zionist school to benefit from the excellent education they got there; rather bizarre, no?

    Yes indeed my letter in the HG saying that there may indeed be a link between the Israel-bashing attempt to demonise Israel via Veolia at the Council meeting, and the rather swift stealing of the Holocaust plaque hours later it seems! I cannot prove it – nobody can as nobody saw the culprit – but then nor can you disprove it. Do not lecture me on anti-Semitism; we recognise it when we see it, hear it and read it.

    The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is so populated with anti-Semites who find such a comfortable home among you , that even some of the more moderate members had a purge of Jew haters some months back.

    I hope you read the HG letter from David Lewis, of UK Lawyers for Israel. His powerful words really nail you lot down. Right on.

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  67. ” … the naughty schoolboys of the Pro-Israel movement”

    Another badge of honour from the Stalinist stooge … My cup runneth over …

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  68. Mr Sugarman – sober up please. I don’t know the school that you are referring to but I doubt its Board would thank you for publicly labeling it as a politically active school. But since you regard it as such, do you think it should be closed?

    “I cannot prove it – nobody can as nobody saw the culprit – but then nor can you disprove it.”
    i.e, you have no evidence for what you claim.

    “…moderate members had a purge of Jew haters some months back.”
    i.e, PSC do not tolerate anti-semitism.

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  69. Benjamin – if that is your real name Cllr – I think it was the Nazis who last closed Jewish schools. Nicely said – now we see your true colours, bearing out what all we Zionists/Jews really knew about the PSC. Very apt as we approach Holocaust Memorial Day.

    But you are welcome to use our great schools, so well known in all ofsteds as excellent ; we are after all here and in all nations where we live and ESPECIALLY in Israel, ‘The people of the Book'; so use our scientists and doctors; statesmen and scholars; teachers and philosophers; warriors and artists; writers and poets – so much have we contributed. BUT never try again to drive us away – ever – and especially from our Heartland of Israel.

    You so profoundly misunderstand us; 99.9% of Jews are Zionists and if you do not know why, well go and read your history

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  70. Martin Sugarman you say:

    “I think it was the Nazis who last closed Jewish schools. Nicely said – now we see your true colours, bearing out what all we Zionists/Jews really knew about the PSC. Very apt as we approach Holocaust Memorial Day.”

    You also say:

    “I made my Nazi salute to Corbyn and the audience, not the speaker, for the Nazis they were; you desecrated Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) by billing the meeting as a remembrance of the Holocaust and then brought along a Jewish stooge (Hajo Meyer) to bash Israel from the first second the meeting opened. Typical Nazi thuggery. My Dutch Jewish relatives were murdered at Sobibor and Auschwitz and you mocked their memory.”

    The (HMD) meeting you so dismissively label a desecration was attended by Louise Ellman MP (Vice Chair of Labour Friends of Israel) and Jerry Lewis (Vice President, Jewish Board of Deputies).

    Mr Meyers Wikipedia entry:

    “Born in Bielefeld, in 1938 Meyer fled from Nazi Germany to the Netherlands alone, without his parents. He went into hiding in 1943, but was arrested after a year and spent ten months in Auschwitz. His parents, who were deported from Germany, did not survive.

    After the war, Meyer returned to the Netherlands, and studied theoretical physics. He started working for Philips and eventually became director of the Philips Physics Laboratory (NatLab). After his retirement he took courses in England and worked as a builder of new violins and violas.

    In recent years Meyer has been politically active, including as director of A Different Jewish Voice. He also wrote the book Het einde van het Jodendom (The End of Judaism) in 2003, which accuses Israel of abusing the Holocaust to justify crimes against the Palestinians.

    He is a member of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. He participated in the 2011 “Never Again – For Anyone” tour. Meyer also claimed that Zionism predates fascism, that Zionists and fascists had a history of cooperation, and that Israel wants to create anti-Semitism in the world to encourage more Jews to migrate to Israel. He has spoken in favor of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.”

    I fully understand that you hold differing political views to Dr Meyer, but he is a distinguished and respected individual and survived the Holocaust, he is entitled to his views. I (and many others) greatly admire his universalist and humanistic wisdom: ‘My great lesson from Auschwitz is: whoever wants to dehumanise any other, must first be dehumanised himself. The oppressors are no longer really human whatever uniform they wear.’

    Your whole approach to this subject appears to be filtered through the most narrow, politically blinkered and intolerant of lenses. Yours is an ethnic-nationalist approach that does no justice to the great tragedy that the Holocaust represents for all humankind.

    Why are you so keen to disparage and disrespect Dr Meyer?

    Why can’t you respect his point of view?

    In all honesty Mr Sugarman I think your strange behaviour says more about your own psychopathologies than it does about Dr Meyer…

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  71. http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=189594

    The government branded the Meyer event “offensive”

    Only Stalinist antisemites would not agree.

    http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/locked-out-israel-hate-meeting-hajo-dancing-bear-rutgers-university

    Meyer is a convenient ‘Dancing Bear’ for antisemites. The despicable old man rants with zero coherence but the Stalinists adore him because they think that his history gives his antisemitic comparisons of Israel with the Nazis credibility.

    Just shows how low the antisemites are prepared to sink.

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  72. Martin Sugarman – your errors and idiocy are too many to tackle. But I’d like to point out that the most anti-semitic comments I’ve seen here are “..all we Zionists/Jews..” and “99.9% of Jews are Zionists”. If you essentialise Jews in this way you are a very dangerous man.

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  73. Mr Hoffman, I hardly think citing your own blog at the JC counts as convincing evidence to any independent observer…

    While you and Mr Sugarman are happy to hurl insults and epithets around with abandon, if you paused for a moments reflection you might realise that while you accuse others of extremism it is in fact you and Mr Sugarman who appear extreme in your views.

    Maybe you should follow Cllr Kelly’s advice (which she made earlier in this comment thread) and both stop commenting before you do any more damage.

    After all, I’m sure many readers seeing your comments here are already calling Cllr Kelly’s judgement with regard to her associates into question, given that it was Mr Sugarman that she initially approached UKFLI with…

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  74. Dear Mr. Dobbs,

    I will give you A for effort, trying to draw me into the conversation, you are an excellent graduate of the BDS Boycott school, must have been an A student of the last conference.

    I am engaging again because of your comments regarding Martin, Jonathan and UKLFI.

    You have to have the last word don’t you, cannot bear to have someone explain the real facts, not the PSC or BDS way.

    You have a cause, which has to be brought to the attention of the world. Haven’t you noticed none of usual readers of this paper have bothered to join in, have you pondered for one second, reason why this is?

    Just you and Benjamin, who has suddenly come to life again, once Martin mentioned a certain Councillor and a certain school.

    I have no questions with regards to my connections with Jonathan Hoffman, Martin Sugarman or UKLFI. Mr Dobbs are you fishing again, “that it was Mr. Sugarman that she initially approached UKLFI with…” Or are you trying to imply you have friends in high places giving you information? do you know I could not care less.

    UKLFI has really rattled your cage, BDS central must have a problem with them, they are very good aren’t they? Guess what an added bonus, they work for free.

    I will repeat again my request to Jonathan and Martin, to leave you and your friends to email each other and spread your gospel. Should take the Mayor’s advice in his speech – hire a hall and see how many come.

    Quite frankly you are not worth it and, by responding to you, we give you value and a platform.

    Finally When you read the JC today to follow what the Jewish community is doing, read the article by Kelvin MacKenzie “anti-Israel coverage is “a form of proxy for anti-semitism ”

    Any intelligent, fair minded, tolerant human being will also agree with this sentence. Too many laws in this country to come out with anti-semitisim, where being anti-Zionist or anti-Israel is a free for all.

    I know the person that you are, you will not resist replying, I fully appreciate your need to have the last word, which in my personal opinion speaks volumes of your character. Feel free because I will not respond, quite frankly I feel sorry for you, your hate must be eating you up.

    This is answered in my personal capacity and as a Jew.

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  75. Linda Kelly you say:

    “are you trying to imply you have friends in high places giving you information?”

    Cllr Kelly I didn’t have to look any further than David Lewis’ November 29 article for The Jewish Chronicle entitled “How we helped justice to prevail in Hackney”:

    “Hackney activist Martin Sugarman and Conservative councillor Linda Kelly sought the help of UK Lawyers for Israel, and we prepared a motion “that the deputation be not received”

    This information is in the public domain and quite easy for anybody with access to Google to find…

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  76. Linda Kelly you also say:

    “When you read the JC today to follow what the Jewish community is doing, read the article by Kelvin MacKenzie “anti-Israel coverage is “a form of proxy for anti-semitism ”

    Any intelligent, fair minded, tolerant human being will also agree with this sentence. Too many laws in this country to come out with anti-semitisim, where being anti-Zionist or anti-Israel is a free for all.”

    In May of this year the Jerusalem Post published an article containing these words:

    “Israel retained its position as one of the world’s most negatively-viewed countries, according to BBC’s annual poll published Wednesday night.

    With 50 percent of respondents ranking Israel negatively, Israel keeps company with North Korea, and places ahead of only Iran (55% negative) and Pakistan (51% negative).

    The 2012 Country Ratings Poll was conducted among 24,090 people worldwide, and asked respondents to rate whether the influence of 22 countries was “mostly positive” or “mostly negative.”

    Evaluations of the Jewish state, already largely unfavorable in 2011, have worsened in 2012. Out of the 22 countries polled, the majority in 17 of them view Israel negatively, while only three (the US, Nigeria and Kenya) view Israel positively. In Kenya, negative ratings of Israel fell by 10 points to 31%, while the country experienced an even larger increase in positive ratings of Israel, rising 16 points to 45%.

    Negative perceptions of Israel in EU countries have continue to rise, reaching 74% in Spain (up 8%), 65% in France (up 9%), while in Germany and Britain the negative views remain high but stable (69% and 68% respectively). In other Anglo countries, perceptions of Israel are worsening, including in Australia (65%), and Canada (59%).

    People viewing Israel negatively around the world cite the Jewish state’s foreign policy as the main factor influencing their perception, while those who view Israel positively cite culture and Jewish traditions.”

    Maybe some self-reflection on why people around the world view Israeli foreign policy, not Jewish culture and traditions negatively would help you to see things more clearly…

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  77. There are no words to describe the revulsion of false accusations of “anti Semitism” by the man admitting to make the Nazi salute [and he also shouted “Sieg Heil!”] on Holocaust Day, when police ejected him from the Parliament meeting because he had persistently shouted abuse at Auschwitz survivor 85 year-old Dr Hajo Meyer. At that meeting he and his co-culprits were targeting Jews in the audience and Sugerman did his Nazi salute next to a group of us, while the police escorted him out of room.
    Not surprisingly it was Sugarman and his accomplice Hoffman that targeted the Jewish Rabbis protesting outside Hackney Town Hall against Veolia and the illegal settlements.
    The worst anti-Semitic behaviour I’ve ever experienced were always from fanatical supporters of the Israeli crimes.
    My father, who lived in the Haifa region [in Kiryat Bialik] was totally devastated when he was attacked and told “shame the Nazis didn’t finish you off”. The attackers were Israelis. It was when he joined a small protest in Tel Aviv against the Israeli brutality in the occupied territories.
    The attackers were Kach and they targeted my father because he was a refugee from Nazi Germany.
    Kach has since been declared a terrorist organisation in a few countries, including the USA – see http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/45313.pdf
    Kach member, Baruch Goldstein, committed the massacre of dozens of Palestinians in Hebron and he is worshipped by Israeli illegal settlers in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank.
    The Kach supporters are also to be found in the EDL (English Defence League), especially those who falsely and maliciously accuse others of anti Semitism.
    I will never forget Jonathan Hoffman’s picture together with the then head of the EDL’s Jewish Division, Roberta Moore. Roberta Moore is now the head of the UK branch of the JDL (Jewish Defence League). The JDL was founded by the same virulent racist Meir Kahane, who also founded Kach. The similarities don’t end there.
    So when the defamatory accusations of anti Semitism are made against honourable people who stand up for justice and show courage in refusing to accept the trampling over of local democracy it should be remembered that the attackers are not at all against racism, while we are.
    When will the larger community cease to condone the disgrace to the memory of my family and millions of others perished in the Holocaust by the false claim that in their name Israel’s war crimes can be justified?

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  78. Linda Kelly I also find it telling that you resort to citing Kelvin McKenzie. A disgusting man whose opinion that surely no one would trust after the recent Hillsborough revelations. He is a craven liar, and a shameless opportunist without a shred of integrity.

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  79. Mr Sugarman says in post 66 that I threatened him. In what way did I threaten you? If I did threaten you I will expect you to make a formal complaint to Hackney Councils Standards Committee.

    Of course Mr Sugarman cant prove that the stealing of the Holocaust Plaque was in anyway connected with the deputation to Hackney Council. This link only exists in his mind.

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  80. Mr Buitekant I think it’s best we avoid exploring what goes on in Mr Sugarmans mind. It’s obviously a very dark and confused place…

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  81. Just one of the many lies in Kahn’s bigoted comment – those men who were dressed up in long black coats with beards outside Hackney Town Hall defaming Israel are definitely not “Rabbis”….

    As for ‘false accusations of antisemitism’, the BDS movement is riddled with antisemitism. Here is the BDS tweet of a virulently antisemitic press TV article screensaved by Avi Mayer:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/avimayer/status/277725652852035585

    But of course you would not recognise antisemitism if it stood up and smacked you in the head….

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  82. Andrew Levy the fact that you find this statement:

    “It’s time to impose sanctions on #Apartheid #Israel”

    “virulently antisemitic” shows that it is in fact you that “would not recognise antisemitism if it stood up and smacked you in the head….”

    You simply cheapen the use of the term.

    You may disagree that applying sanctions on Israel is warranted or useful – but it is well within the bounds of legitimate public discussion on political policy.

    In fact only this week several articles in UK newspapers discussed the possible use of sanctions by the UK, French and German governments – and why they would not be utilised at the current stage. It has also been widely discussed in Israeli newspapers.

    The Jerusalem Post (EU mulls how to dissuade settlement construction 10/12/2012)

    “The European Union will look at ways on Monday to press Israel to ditch a plan to build settlements in a highly sensitive area of the West Bank, but hold off on tough action soon despite international outrage over the decision.

    Some officials say that options for robust steps against Israel are limited due to a lack of unanimity in the 27-member EU and diplomatic protection of the Jewish state by its cast-iron superpower ally the United States.

    The prospect of punitive EU measures would rise if Israel continues to flout world opinion, but noises from Britain, France and Germany do not point to strong action for now.

    Still, several options are open to the EU – one of Israel’s biggest trading partners – to pressure the Jewish state into ditching the settlement plan that Palestinians protest would rob them of territory crucial to their bid for a viable state and further dim chances of reviving frozen peace negotiations.

    European foreign ministers, at a meeting in Brussels, were to discuss how to respond to the latest settlement plan.

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague last week distanced the prospect of sanctions, and instead spoke of negotiations and formulating “incentives and disincentives” for peace talks.

    France too discounted sanctions and has lowered expectations of tough measures, saying the onus must be on “persuasion” and reminding Israel of “principles and condemnations.”

    “There are ideas on the table, but let’s see whether the Israelis actually go ahead with construction and what happens in the elections,” said a French diplomatic source.”

    Discussion of possible sanctions on Israel in actually commonplace.

    Comparing Israeli policies to apartheid is also commonplace. Even Ehud Barak, the recently departed Israeli Defence Minister has made the comparison.

    Jimmy Carter:

    “When Israel does occupy this territory deep within the West Bank, and connects the 200-or-so settlements with each other, with a road, and then prohibits the Palestinians from using that road, or in many cases even crossing the road, this perpetrates even worse instances of apartness, or apartheid, than we witnessed even in South Africa.”

    Desmond Tutu:

    “I have reached this conclusion slowly and painfully. I am aware that many of our Jewish brothers and sisters who were so instrumental in the fight against South African apartheid are not yet ready to reckon with the apartheid nature of Israel and its current government. And I am enormously concerned that raising this issue will cause heartache to some in the Jewish community with whom I have worked closely and successfully for decades. But I cannot ignore the Palestinian suffering I have witnessed, nor the voices of those courageous Jews troubled by Israel’s discriminatory course.”

    Ehud Barak:

    “As long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic… If this bloc of millions of ­Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”
    UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

    UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD):

    “The Committee is extremely concerned at the consequences of policies and practices which amount to de facto segregation, such as the implementation by the State party in the Occupied Palestinian Territory of two entirely separate legal systems and sets of institutions for Jewish communities grouped in illegal settlements on the one hand and Palestinian populations living in Palestinian towns and villages on the other hand. The Committee is particularly appalled at the hermetic character of the separation of two groups, who live on the same territory but do not enjoy either equal use of roads and infrastructure or equal access to basic services and water resources. Such separation is concretized by the implementation of a complex combination of movement restrictions consisting of the Wall, roadblocs, the obligation to use separate roads and a permit regime that only impacts the Palestinian population (Article 3 of the Convention).

    The Committee draws the State party’s attention to its General Recommendation 19 (1995)concerning the prevention, prohibition and eradication of all policies and practices of racial segregation and apartheid, and urges the State party to take immediate measures to prohibit and eradicate any such policies or practices which severely and disproportionately affect the Palestinian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and which violate the provisions of article 3 of the Convention.”

    If this is the most heinous example of “anti-semitism” that you can find I would suggest you are being over-sensitive…

    It is just an example of a political opinion which differs from yours I’m afraid…

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  83. When the only anti-Semitic description of Jewish Rabbis is by those falsely accusing others of the same, and he who did a Nazi Salute is accusing others of the same we know their concern is not to fight against racism, but to spread it.

    It might surprise those who are fighting racism that anti-Semites are admired in Israel.
    For example, this rather arch-anti-Semite:
    “McCain Backer Hagee Said Hitler Was Fulfilling God’s Will”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/21/mccain-backer-hagee-said_n_102892.html
    But earlier this year Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lavished praise in Jerusalem on the Evangelical Pastor John Hagee and his followers: “Thank you for standing up for Israel,” Netanyahu said to rapturous applause. “ We are witnessing a dramatic transformation in the relationship between Christians and Jews, who are focusing now on the common values and the common future we both share.”
    http://www.zimbio.com/Israel+World+News/articles/tBL-KNypj69/Netanyahu+lauds+John+Hagee+group+their+support

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  84. They are not “Rabbis”!

    But how would you know – you have not been near a synagogue in decades – you only self-identify as a Jew because you think it gives you more credibility in vilifying Israel.

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  85. Out of interest Mr Levy, are you Israeli or are you a UK citizen?

    Do you spend much time in Israel?

    I understand that Yael Kahn is an Israeli and therefore her criticisms, while obviously dissenting, come from first-hand experience.

    I myself have never visited and know only what I have read…

    But I find this statement of yours objectionable:

    “But how would you know – you have not been near a synagogue in decades”

    I always thought that this was one of the interesting, contradictory and wonderful things about Jewish identity. That is is both a religious and cultural identity. One can “convert” to Judaism. One can be a founding father of Zionism but be a “secular” Jew (Theodor Herzl).

    The thing I do not believe is that being Jewish is a racial identity. If this were the case how can one explain Jews of Middle Eastern descent, of Eastern European descent, of Ethiopian descent – why there are even some Chinese Jews from the days of the Silk Road!

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  86. Mr Levy seems to not only accuse anyone critisising Israel’s racist policies as being ‘antisemitic’ and anti-Jewish, but now wishes to dictate which Jews in the thread are the authentic ones.

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  87. This comment has been deleted by a moderator following a complaint.

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  88. Greenstein (a Soviet-style Communist) is lying. No wonder from a man who sees nothing wrong in rigging polls:
    http://hurryupharry.org/2010/10/15/tony-greenstein-wants-rabbis-to-support-the-edl/

    I am Co-Chair Advocacy of the Zionist Federation. Greenstein is lying when he says I was removed.

    The slander that I have any connection with the EDL was disproved here:

    http://hurryupharry.org/2011/11/04/jonathan-hoffman-ujs-tony-greenstein-and-the-edl/

    “Harry’s Place” – unlike Greenstein’s cesspit of a website – is a well-maintained authoritative site. To say it’s “anti-Islamic and pro-war” is libellous.

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