Monthly Archives: April 2017

A tribute to Willem Meijs

 

 

Willem Meijs appears here with J-BIG co-founder Deborah Fink, putting his fine singing voice at the service of the Palestinian cause.

A Tribute from Naomi

It was with huge regret that I was unable to join Willem’s other loving family and friends to say farewell to the most genial and supportive of comrades at his funeral in the Netherlands on Monday March 27.

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Legal opinion blasts holes in pro-Israel definition of antisemitism

This report by Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi first appeared on freespeechonisrael.org.uk – a major source of material of interest to followers of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods. 

The launch on Monday of Hugh Tomlinson QC’s devastating legal opinion on the so-called IHRA definition of antisemitism marks a watershed moment in resisting Israeli-backed attempts to gag pro-Palestinian advocacy.

The definition, deliberately equating criticism of Israel with hatred of Jews, was adopted in December 2016 by the UK government and has since been vigorously promoted by pro-Israel lobbyists to local authorities, universities, Labour movement organisations and other public bodies. Its rollout has coincided with an increase in bannings and restrictions imposed on pro-Palestinian activities, especially on campus.

As explained by eminent legal figures speaking at the launch, the Opinion drives a coach and horses through the definition, exposing it as:

  • badly drafted, confusing and not legally binding, i.e. public bodies are under no legal obligation to adopt or apply it
  • putting public bodies that use it at risk of “unlawfully restricting legitimate expressions of political opinion”
  • making public bodies liable to being sued if they curtail criticism of Israel that does not express hatred towards Jews.

Therefore pro-Palestinian campaigners who, for example, describe Israel as a settler-colonialist state enacting a policy of apartheid, or call for policies of boycott, divestment or sanctions against Israel, cannot properly be characterised as antisemitic.

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