Hoffman will occasionally ask a tricky question – but what’s a meeting without a little excitement. He doesn’t behave badly. Millett, I think, is usually quiet.
Now, so it appears, they have been barred from attending a meeting in Parliament. Here is Richard’s account:
While I was queuing I was approached by Tom Eisner, of MEMO and Jews for Justice for Palestinians, who recognised me although we had never met before.
He asked if I was here to disrupt the meeting. I said I wasn’t and I had never done so in the past. He then asked for a guarantee of maybe £200, forfeited if I got ejected for disruption. I think he was joking but he did say I could go in. I asked if he could have a word with the registration-table as I had not received any response to my email.
But by then other fingers were pointing and suddenly three police officers were bearing down on me. One officer grasped my upper arm and forcibly led me away. My details were taken and I was escorted out of Parliament.
In past meetings at Parliament I have reported awful statements made about both Jews and Israelis. In future such statements can go unreported as all anti-Israel Parliamentary meetings will be by guest list only.
I had always thought that meetings in Parliament were open to all, subject only to health and safety considerations. It’s a public building maintained by our taxes. And organisers of meetings pay no rent. Surely it is not unreasonable to expect that anyone can attend these meetings subject only to health and safety considerations.
One man going in told me “you would not allow me (a Muslim) into a Zionist meeting so why should we let you in to a Muslim meeting?” There is so much wrong with this it is hard to know where to start. First – there are plenty of Muslims at ZF meetings including some of the speakers. Second – it was not a ‘Muslim meeting’. It seems that the House of Commons has become part of the Caliphate in the eyes of some.
Both had tried to reserve tickets. Jonathan was told that the event was full up (it wasn’t). Richard simply never received a reply.
There’s more in the JC:
Mr Millett said: “Suddenly three police officers were bearing down on me.
“One grasped my upper arm and forcibly led me away. My details were taken and I was escorted out of Parliament.”
He added: “It wasn’t a case of ‘not on the list you’re not coming in’ but of ‘don’t like your views you’re not coming in’.”
He said a friend who was allowed into the meeting spoke in support of Israel and afterwards was surrounded and intimidated in an incident witnessed and recorded by the police.
Is it possible for those organising a meeting in the House of Commons pre-emptively to bar members of the public from attending?
Could an MP be so barred?
What if an MP attended and insisted on bringing a “prohibited person” into that meeting?
The meeting’s organiser was Middle East Monitor, the pro-Hamas propaganda operation of Daud Abdullah, the former deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, and Ibrahim Hewitt, the chairman of Interpal and champion of Jenny Tonge.
Do have a look at Corbyn in this meeting at Friends House last year. Hezbollah and Hamas, “our friends”, are just working for the good and should hope to be invited for tea with the Queen. And oh, don’t you dare bring up antisemitism, says the man who has hosted Abou Jahjah, one of Europe’s most notorious antisemites who has since been banned from Britain (prompting a boo hoo from Corbyn).
The idea that an organisation that is dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people, and bringing about long term peace and social justice and political justice in the whole region, should be labelled as a terrorist organisation by the British government, is really a big, big historical mistake.
London has traditionally been a centre where many organisations have been able to exist and have their being in order to promote anti-colonial, anti-imperial activities all over the world. The Chinese revolutionaries were in London, the Latin American revolutionaries were in London, every The African revolutionary was in London. They all ended up having tea with the Queen at the end, as Tony Benn always reminds us, so you never know (snickers).
We are opposed to Zionism and what Israel is doing towards the Palestinian people. But we are opposed to them from a point of view of unity. All our marches have involved very substantial Jewish contingents and they always will, because our argument, and I refuse to be dragged into this stuff that somehow or other because we’re pro-Palestinian, we’re antisemitic. It’s a nonsense. What we are in favour of is a Palestine where everybody can live. They can’t live if you’ve got Zionism dominating it all.
Mr Corbyn is a disgrace to the Labour party.