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Deconstructing From Balfour to Banksy: “From Balfour to Bigots”

A reader post

On Monday night I was at SOAS University London again, this time for a film, ‘From Balfour to Banksy: Visions and Divisions in Palestine’. Given the dramatis personae it was clear what to expect – namely, a crude attack on Israel laced with antisemitism and full of offensive Holocaust references.  And that was what we got. The producer (Miranda Pinch) is so ashamed of her Jewish birth that she has become a Christian.  Her animus against Israel is such that she thinks nothing of sharing posts from Nazi sites, for example this:

Like A State of Terror, the makers of this film will want to make it an icon of ‘human rights’, to be shown to young people at institutes of learning worldwide.  So it’s important to deconstruct it in detail. The footage is accompanied by interviews conducted by Martin Buckley who is ex-BBC.  See his Facebook page for a clue as to where he stands on Israel:

(The film also includes an irrelevant dig at Brexit supporters by Buckley…). I didn’t manage to write down the names of all the interviewees but they included: Sut Jhally, Lucas al-Zouaghi (not sure this is spelt correctly, I couldn’t find his name using Google), Robert Cohen, Edra Gluckman (Women In Black) , Raed Sadeh, Terry Boullata, Mahmoud Muna, Ofra Yeshua-Lyth, Fida Jiryis and Sir Vincent Fean.  Plus a young Palestinian called Georgina (not a common Arab name) who clearly attends a good school in East Jerusalem and was clearly coached.

    1. Israel has committed genocide and theft’ – Jhall
    2. Child concentration camp’ (referring to Gaza) – al-Zouaghi
    3.  ‘Illegal settlements; Jewish only highways’ – Buckley
      (No Court has ever ruled them illegal. The ICJ did but it’s not a proper Court. Those roads can be used by any citizen of Israel regardless of religion – the rule is for security).
    4.  ‘The settlements are illegal according to the Geneva Convention’ – Cohen.
      (Wrong. The Convention refers to forced transfer. No Jew in Judea/Samaria was ‘forced ‘ to move there).
    5.  ‘Israel’s policies are relentlessly anti-Palestinian’ – Buckley
      (Nonsense. The Palestinian leadership consistently refuses peace offers)
    6. The Wall is ineffective – kids jump over it’ – Sadeh
      (Obvious nonsense)
    7.  ‘Jews are forcing their way back into the City [Hebron] because they feel they have a historic right to do so’ – Ofra Yeshua-Lyth
      (Hebron has a long and rich Jewish history and is the site of the oldest Jewish community in the world).
    8. It’s surely amazing that Israel, built by the survivors of Hitler’s Holocaust, could be accused of the notorious human rights violations that scarred South Africa’ – Buckley
      (Holocaust Inversion of the kind for which David Ward was sacked as a LibDem candidate. Falsely accuses Israel of ‘apartheid’).
    9. The film includes an extract from the BBC HardTalk programme with Rima Halaf (ex-UN) without informing the audience that she was forced to resign after signing off a paper
      (written by Richard Falk, accusing Israel of ‘apartheid’) which was pulped on the order of UN Secretary-General Guterres.
    10.  ‘Religions coexisted in Jerusalem in the Ottoman Empire’ – Buckley
      (Jews were persecuted and had to pay a special tax)
    11. Towards the end of the film there is a shot of the beach in Tel Aviv which studiously avoids showing any visible Muslims
    12.  ‘Israelis have a European blood and soil understanding’ – Cohen
      (Antisemitic Nazi reference)
    13. Balfour didn’t want Jews coming into Britain because he wanted Britain for the British therefore he also supported a Jewish national home and wanted Jews to have their own state in the land of Israel. There is no contradiction there. It worked for Balfour to come up with a way to helps Jews leave Britain to leave and return to their nation’ – Cohen
      (Falsification of history. There were a number of factors leading to the Declaration. The notion that Balfour wanted all the Jews in the UK to move to Palestine is risible.)
    14. (On immigration after WW2) ’The Jews who now went to Palestine were said to be returning home to a place they believed G-d had promised them. As for the people who had been inhabiting Palestine, well they were a serious inconvenience’ – Buckley (The 1948 Big Lie. See Efraim Karsh. Most Arabs who fled were told to do so by their leaders. The Mayor of Haifa for example begged Arabs to stay).
    15. ‘Israeli children are taught to be superior at school’ – Lucas al-Zouaghi
      (A lie)
    16. They want this land completely 100% for Israel. They think it’s a gift from G-d as a promised land’ – Lucas al-Zouaghi
    17. The Livingstone Formulation – I counted at least five examples
      (this is the charge that Jews cynically use false charges of antisemitism to silence debate about Israel)
    18. ‘Today the land Balfour helped to create continues to insist that it faces an existential threat. In fact it’s at peace with all its neighbours …. Consumer gloss prevails in Israel, alongside orthodox religion and militarism’.
      (Another obvious lie. The rulers of Iran have repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel off the map. To portray Israel as a consumer-obsessed, religion-obsessed militaristic society is demonizing and ludicrous).

As for SOAS, again it has disgraced itself. It is off the list for the vast majority of Jewish students planning to go to University. Baroness Amos seems not to care.

The Q+A after the film was chaired by Dina Matar a senior lecturer at SOAS. It descended into chaos when Israel activists protested that she would not allow one of them to complete his intervention – the second time within a week that Israel-traducing meetings at SOAS have broken up in chaos.

SOAS is riddled with institutional antisemitism and is becoming Jew-free……….Just what does it take to achieve change, Baroness Amos?

Jonathan Hoffman is a blogger who has written for United With Israel, CiFWatch (now UK Media Watch), Harrys Place and Z-Word.

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