Jewish charity ball goes ahead despite threats from Palestine activists

A St Andrews AEPI Jewish fraternity and Jewish Society charity ball was forced to change location after Golf Hotel staff received threats from protesters

April 27, 2013 10:09 pm 90 comments

golf hotel

A charity ball held last night and organised by St Andrews’ AEPI Jewish fraternity and the Jewish Society was forced to change location from the Golf Hotel after staff received threats from protesters linked to the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and several other activist groups.

The activists called for the event organisers and hotel to end their support for two charities, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Friends of Israel Defence Forces (FIDF). Protestors labelled the JNF an “openly racist” organisation, claiming that the JNF takes over Palestinian land and does not lease or sell land to non-Jews. They also described the FIDF as an “occupation force that brutalises, humiliates, kills and maims Palestinians.”

Two days before the event was due to take place, the Golf Hotel cancelled the event over safety concerns. Fears arose that the protest would turn violent when anti-Semitic comments were posted on Facebook. One protester wrote: “Friday we send them into hell.” Another, commenting on the police’s presence at the ball, said: “Mi5 Mossad boot boys don’t stand a chance.”

We Are All Hana Shalabi, Scotland’s Youth and Student Palestine Solidarity Movement and one of the organisations connected with the protest, told The Saint that they had urged the hotel not to host to event but denied that those who threatened staff were linked to the official demonstration.

A spokesperson said: “We are of the understanding that a small minority of the many individuals who lobbied the Hotel and the organisers directly may have expressed themselves in an unacceptable manner, and condemn this as is appropriate.

“While we do not know the full details of any comments made, the Hotel manager accepted the assurances of the SPSC that those who may have engaged in threatening or otherwise unacceptable conduct were unknown to and acted without the support of any of the organising parties.

“We are encouraged that the call for the Golf Hotel to withdraw its support for the event was heeded, it illustrates the increasing anathemitisation of organisations such as FIDF and the JNF, and the scale of opposition to their activities.

“Furthermore, we urge the AEPI and Jewish Society to abstain from any further charitable support of these organisations. The Jewish Society has described itself as friendly, welcoming, and non-political; we call upon its members to hold it to account to ensure it becomes so once more,” he said.

One of the organisers of the ball told The Saint that they tried to relocate to another St Andrews venue but further fears over staff safety halted their efforts. The organisers tried to book Venue 2 in the Union but Freddie Fforde, Students’ Association President, said that given the short time frame it was not feasible to host the ball. He added: “My main concern is the Jewish students who have been threatened. The language used by these groups has eroded any sympathy I have for the protest.”

The Golf Hotel confirmed on Friday afternoon that the event had been cancelled and protesters posted on Facebook that “The JNF and FIDF have been given a strong message that fundraising for war criminals and ethnic cleansing will not be tolerated anywhere in Scotland.”

However, despite the reports, The Saint can reveal that the ball took place at a secret location. Guests were not told the venue but were picked up by taxis from pubs and bars around St Andrews. Six members of security were provided for the event, some of whom, a senior member of the organising committee told The Saint, were plain clothed police officers.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland confirmed that “appropriate measures” were taken in case there were protests but she would not confirm if plain clothed officers were present. Guests were asked at the door not to tweet or post on Facebook details of the venue.

The senior member of the organising committee told The Saint: “The safety and security of our guests was always our first priority and we worked closely with St Andrews police, a private security firm and volunteers to ensure that the event could go ahead as planned.

“At no point was the event cancelled and we are delighted that it was such a success, both in terms of the amounts raised for charity and the enjoyment of all our guests.”

The organisers had initially aimed to raise around £350 from the event. However, the change of venue and donations received from those who sympathised with the threatened students resulted in a final total of around £1,000. One man donated £230 to cover security and taxi costs to and from the venue to ensure the safety of guests.

A senior member of the Jewish society said she felt disgusted that the protesters had turned to threats of violence rather than engage the organisers in an open dialogue. She said: “I am a firm believer in freedom of expression but the problem came with their extremely offensive comments.

“They latched onto a party of 35 friends and decided that it was a massive Jewish conspiracy. I’ve lived in Israel, I’ve worked in Palestinian communities and I’ve never felt more threatened in my life by people who don’t even know who I am,” she said.

She described the Golf Hotel’s decision to cancel the event as “pathetic.” She added: “They [the Golf Hotel] had no right to violate their part of the contract. The Golf Hotel is scared of them. A victory does not come from bullying people into submission, it comes from engaging people and opening their minds.”

After speaking to Niall Thompson, the Golf Hotel’s manager, Paul Morron of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council reportedly said: “I conveyed the extent of the concern of the Jewish community that a hotel of its stature had caved in so easily to intimidation – something that would damage its reputation.”

“I contacted Inspector Meek, of St Andrews Police, and he told me that they had not had any serious concerns about policing the event.

“We regard this as a very serious incident, setting a worrying precedent in Scotland. “It’s not up to others to dictate to the Jewish community what charities they should support. That’s just not acceptable.”

Scottish Jewish Chaplaincy chairman Nicola Livingston added: “Students should be allowed to go about their ordinary business without fear of intimidation.

“This was purely a social event. Most of the charities are welfare ones, including Save a Child’s Heart, which saves the lives of children from around the world, including Palestinian children.

“Giving in to bully-boy tactics doesn’t do the reputation of the hotel any good at all.”

The Scottish Jews for a Just Peace expressed their “deep sadness” that the Jewish society chose to support the JNF. A spokesman said: “The JNF takes over Palestinian land – including homes of Palestinian refugees and land in the occupied territories – and will not lease or sell land to non-Jews … St Andrews Jewish Society claims to be friendly, welcoming and non-political. We ask it to live up to that description.”

90 comments

  • NEWSFLASH!! Pro-Palestinian activists are fascist thugs!…who would have guessed?

    • Which of the comments quoted were anti-semitic? And didn’t the activists disavow any comments inciting violence? If they were fascists, why try to distance yourself from violent messages?

      The real thugs were those who (knowingly) tried to fundraise for an army near-universally recognised as habitually engaging in war crimes. I’m assured that many in JSoc were unaware that such abhorrent ‘charities’ were going to be involved in this event, and I’d imagine the hucksters behind including the JNF and FIDF in such a fundraiser will have much more difficulty doing so next time.

      • Go to hell, naziboy. Jewish people, in and out of Israel, have the right to defend themselves from the likes of the terrorist scum that vile, evil people like you support.

      • When I see such comments as yours it is frightening how little knowledge you have of such a complex problem and your one sided rant about a country’s defence force ( ‘being the most moral army in the world’ per Colonel Richard Kemp) protecting its citizens against rocket attacks, each one of which is a war crime.

    • Zionist lexicon
      1. Peaceful demonstrator: fascist thug
      2. White phosphorous: peace offering
      3. Palestinian civilian: terrorist; collateral damage
      4. Black: white
      5. Slavery: freedom

  • It’s sad. I am sure that many/most of the Jewish society’s members are wonderful, reasonable people yet the hideous support for the JNF and FIDF reflects poorly on the entire group. It’s simply not fair to the others in the society that whoever is in charge gets to make such decisions that don’t really reflect the majority’s opinions.

  • I agree with Patrick. By choosing such controversial organisations to fundraise for, the organisers seem to have brought this protest on themselves. A Jewish society, or any religious society, should stay away from this area, and be for those of all political views.

    • I’ll be sure to give twice to these organizations which you falsely vilify. Let the UNHRC which unfairly targets Israel pay attention to the real despots. Oh yeah, why would they? With Syria as one of the members – Syria who has murdered in 18 months 7-8 times the number of Arabs who have died at Israel’s hand (even in defensive wars started by Arabs) in all of Israel’s 65 years, plus the 20 years before Israel was founded. Anti-Zionism is Anti-Seminism pure and simple. And any blurring of that line is BS.

      • ‘Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism pure and simple’. Really, really? You’ll have to tell that to Scottish Jews for a Just Peace, and to 88-year-old Auschwitz survivor Hajo Meyer, both of whom made statements opposing this event..

      • I love it when people try and justify an action by going “but look, they do worse!”. That does not make the body responsible any less immoral. Syria carrying out attrocities does not make the IDF saintly.

        • It is not about “look they do worse.” It is about the obsessive double standard whereby Israel is singled out by critics, but the same critics are silent, or worse supportive, of regimes whose human rights records are indeed far worse than anything Israel has done. All we Israelis ask is to be judged by the same standards as the rest of humanity. To demand more of the Jewish state than any other state is ultimately anti-Semitic.

        • No, but Syria being INSANE helps explain why Israel has to protect itself so aggressively.

          Israel’s neighbors are crazy.

      • Lovemom please watch Defamation – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5jsiLWXGYQ by Yoav Shamir… may provide some clarification

      • The Scottish Government-funded report by Zionist SCoJeC seems to have found an INVERSE relationship in SCotland between anti-semitism and anti-Zionism. They found the former to be miniscule while the latter is rising. Sorry ‘lovemom’ but the evidence is conter to your claims.

    • Please read up on the JNF before joining the debate.

      • OK I’ve read up. Now…
        1. The JNF is openly discriminatory against non-Jewish citizens of Israel, behavour that would cetainly be illegal here, i.e. criminal.
        2. David Cameron has just dumpled the JNF as an Hon Patron and Miliband and Clegg have declined the invite to become Patrons
        3. 68 MPs just signed a call for them to be investigated and stripped of their charitable status.
        4. They are going to lose their UK charitable status and then the racist dam will break.
        5. The JNF supplied death lists to Zionist militias before 1948, lists of those marked for killing during the ethnic cleansing of 1948. evidence on request.

        • You’re trash. In your worthless opinion, a Jewish-majority state even existing is wrong. Of course, Arab-majority states are fine with bigots like you.

        • Alana, reading your posts is a little like reading Illan Pappe books.
          Positive one sided information from the Palestinian perspective, ignoring inconvenient and unpleasant facts and actions commited by them.
          Negative biased reporting on Israel, consistently highlighting certain issues while ignoring anything that gets in the way of your preconceived anti-Israel agenda.

  • Yes even when charities deemed ‘not suitable’ for said society are the centrepiece, I’m glad to see that bullying in a violent manner with threatening language is becoming the gradual norm in British society. Whilst I fully appreciate their right to voice such opinions, it’s sad that we still have such horrible Anti-Semites present in our society; particularly in an area as educated as St Andrews. To clarify: not anti-semitic due to targeting Jsoc in this instance, but rather because they are the sort of people who will find fault in any activities of this society, no matter what angle of charity they looked to support!

    • So those opposing Scottish Jews for a Just Peace and holocaust survivor Hajo Meyer are also anti-semites I assume? Because I assure you, they (the bigots defending FIDF and the JNF), will find fault in any activities of Jews for a Just Peace and heroes like Hajo, they relentlessly target Jewish groups who speak up in defence of Palestinians.

      • Stick up for Palestinians all you want, but if it’s AT THE EXPENSE of the safety of Jewish people, and the safety of Israel’s very existence as the one Jewish state surrounded by dozens of Arab states and dozens of Muslim states, then go screw yourself.

    • No, the protests were not targeting any “angle of charity” the society supports. They focused on two charities with links to the conflict in Israel and Palestine. They raised no objections to the other charities at any point. A few years ago, Jsoc would not touch politics (not that I think that is a great idea, I would prefer people to be more politically involved rather than less) – but as a result, there were no events raising money for groups like those mentioned here, and activists and Jsoc got on pretty well. Suggesting that the protestors are antisemitic because “they are the sort of people who will find fault in any activities of [Jsoc]” is making a false inference which does not stand up to scrutiny. Stop shouting “antisemitism!” to block out valid criticism.

      (To clarify, that does not detract from some of the disgusting comments made by individuals, but to conflate a movement with this shares part of the offensive nature of antisemitism – it assumes that a group of people must share the negative characteristics which might be displayed by an individual (or we are told is displayed by an individual). Certainly anti-semitism is more than that, I don’t wish to over-simplify it, but I think it is important to reflect on the hypocrisy of (rightly) criticising one prejudice and then using another prejudice to make your point.)

  • Having looked the the official website of the Ball and looked through all of the charities that they chose to support, it seems as if the protesters were overlooking the other causes somewhat. A small amount of research has informed me that the other charities they supported were in aid of causes like providing life saving surgery for Israeli AND Palestinian children with serious heart problems, supporting Jewish women with breast cancer and providing assistance for Jewish people with learning difficulties. Yes, these charities are predominantly supporting Jewish individuals, but surely it is up to a person whom they wish to support, and presumably if a pro-Palestinian group were to hold a charity fundraiser, they would mainly be supporting non-Jews.

    Another oversight is that the FIDF is seemingly a non-political organisation that merely offers support to those adversely affected by the army (e.g. injured soldiers, widows, orphans etc.). Given that all Israelis are conscripted into the army (whether they approve of the actions of the IDF or not!), surely they deserve support for being injured in a cause that they don’t even necessarily support themselves?

    I must admit that I do not feel able to comment on the work of the JNF, as it’s critics portray such an alarmingly different picture than it’s own website, and has I have never experienced it’s genuine work myself, I feel I am not informed enough to discuss it.

    However, overall I just think it is said that a group of protesters felt the need to attempt to ruin what was essentially a group of students have fun and getting a bit drunk at an event. I would imagine the vast majority of these students were not necessarily very pro-Israel/anti-Palestine, and I similarly am going to assume that not all the guests were even Jewish!

  • @Anna the protesters support the work of the other charities hence they were not targeted. For evidence of the JNF’s disgusting policies which go beyond racism and apartheid calling for a total ethnic cleansing you merely need to visit Hebron in the West Bank where you will see their tag line “ARABS TO THE GAS CHAMBERS” and “GAS THE ARABS” with the signature JDL on the walls on Palestinian neighborhoods. FBI categorize JNF as a terrorist organisation. (https://bindup.crowdmap.com/reports/view/2249).

    • Wow, are you confused. The JNF and the JDL are two completely separate organizations. The FBI designated JDL as a terrorist organization,a nd I agree with that. JNF? You blame JNF for the racist scrawling of a single grafitti vandal in Hebron?

  • Freddie Fforde’s response is just pathetic. “The language used by these groups has eroded any sympathy I have for the protest.” – Every movement in the world, whether it is one you agree or disagree with, has individuals who will do horrific stuff. His inability to see the difference between individuals and the core message is appalling – it’s a cop-out to avoid dealing with the issues. I look forward to following the causes Fforde does support, seeing someone being threatening or offensive etc in attempt at furthering Fforde’s cause, and watching Fforde decide his own message can no longer be supported, until he reaches the point where he can stand for nothing.

    Having said that, I don’t think Fforde is too far from standing for nothing already.

  • Douglas Roberts

    Anti-semites, no matter how they try to cloak their maliciousness, under the banner of “humanitarianism”, are too narrow minded and ingrained with their own bile to understand the truth. They will however in the end.

    • Dear wise one, holder of the one “truth”, please enlighten me – what part of the core message was anti-semitic? By all means condemn those who used threatening or abusive language, but what part of “these charities have links to bodies carrying out acts we’ve been protesting against for years” is anti-semitic? Shouting “antisemitism!!” every time someone raises criticism is a cop-out. Now Holocaust survivor Jews such as Dr Hajo Meyer are being told they share the same horrific prejudice which was responsible for their ordeal when they try and defend human rights – disgusting. Please put more thought into your replies than that.

      • Douglas Roberts

        Your reply is in my statement, simple and effective. Being an ex-antisemite I can see the drivers within these people Just honestly ask yourself, if all these do-gooders meted out the same level of morality to all the world’s REAL bad regimes, they would be incapable of doing anything else other than hiding behind a computer monitor, but instead they are fully functioning people, university students, etc. There is an underlying drive behind that motivation to be moral policemen, can you think of what it might be?

        • Your answer does not stand up to scrutiny. “if all these do-gooders meted out the same level of morality to all the world’s REAL bad regimes, they would be incapable of doing anything else other than hiding behind a computer monitor”. Firstly, you seem to suggest that the state of Israel is not a “REAL” bad regime – a notion many would challenge (and is being challenged elsewhere in this thread, so I shan’t repeat it here). Secondly, on what do you base this notion that a.) we are not equally active on other issues and b.) those who take action on other issues must be unable to do anything other than hide behind a computer monitor? Palestinian solidarity work is actually a minor part of my activism – I focus more on animal rights (which I know Israel is relatively progressive for). I have other friends who focus on Syria, or nuclear weapons at Faslane, etc. We all do what we can with the resources (including group presence) that we can, there’s no motivation of anti-semitism. I actually got involved in learning more about the Israel-Palestine conflict when I saw the atrocities in Gaza in 2008/9. I didn’t leave it at that, I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on the conflict. I’ve been an active campaigner on a range of issues since I was 15/16 ish – Palestine is a pretty new addition to my sphere of concern. The faces you see at Palestinian solidarity protests are often many of the same faces you see at anti-war or anti-capitalist demonstrations. The underlying motivation is concern for others.

          And let’s face it, you didn’t answer my original comment. Is Holocaust survivor and Jew Hajo Meyer an anti-semite for ciriticising Israel?

          • Douglas Roberts

            Wasn’t avoiding your question at all from your original comment, just never heard of this man.
            Boy you do write a good piece, and you would certainly wipe the floor with me in terms of your ability to write a “convincing” argument. But for fear of sounding like a gramophone record, I refer you to my original statement. Looking at the big picture openly, I turned around and can now see the truth about Israel and its neighbours. Tis a shame people like yourself who appear to be rational, (and I’ll take you at your word if you tell me you aren’t an anti-Semite) just can’t see it.
            Doug

  • Hmmm, so to carry out legal fundraising for recognized charities Jewish students are forced to meet in secret with police protection. The anti-Israel groups behind the protest must be proud of themselves.

    • Haha, where do I start? Yes, I think it is right that fundraising for groups with links to human rights violations is something people are made to think will not go unchallenged in a civilised society. I don’t think it’s right that Jewish students wanting to hold a ball should be forced to meet in secret. But I’m not the one who chose to conflate the two. If anyone, Jewish or otherwise, chose to raise money for such groups, I’d hope they’d be told they’re not welcome to do so by most public establishments. (No that does not mean I approve of offensive or threatening comments to achieve this before you start reading into my thoughts something which is not there.)

      The groups are not inherently anti-Israel. But hey, let’s clarify that point – which boundaries are we going with here? Let’s not ignore the fact that Israel is on land which was formerly the British Mandate of Palestine. What I think you’ll find is that there are disparate views on how Israel can relate to Palestine within the activist community, some believing that we need to return to pre-1948 borders, others believing that removal of occupation forces and restrictions from the West Bank (perhaps with passage to Gaza) would be sufficient. As someone who isn’t a massive fan of states of any variation, including here in the UK, I couldn’t give a flying monkey how many states are needed to bring peace to the region – my concern is with the observance of human rights. As such, presenting the protest groups as “anti-Israel” distorts the situation and displays an ignorance as to what the groups are actually calling for. That is why we talk of “Palestinian solidarity” (which includes support for Palestinians in Jordan, Syria, etc) – we’re supporting an oppressed people, and unless a state poses as the antithesis of the thriving of that people, it need not be threatened.

      • There is a simple litmus test of whether a group is “pro-Palestinian” or “anti-Israel”; how did they behave during the Battle of Gaza in 2007. Hamas an Fatah supporters were killing each other, as well as uninvolved non-combatants. Any group that was genuinely “pro-Palestinian” would have been motivated to protest the tragic loss of life. The groups mentioned in the article (We Are All Hana Shalabi and Scotland’s Youth and Student Palestine Solidarity Movement) couldn’t even manage a Rodney King style, “Why can’t we all just get along”.

        You characterize Israel as “the antithesis of the thriving of [Palestinian Arabs]“. That’s what a country of over six million people from a range of cultural backgrounds, with a strong civic society, free media and the most open political system in the region is reduced to in your eyes? Do you realize how far you have stepped beyond the bounds of reasonable criticism?

        If that kind of one dimensional demonization isn’t “anti-Israel” then what would be?

        • You have the gall to claim a state that reserves the great bulk of its land for “Jewish-only” leasing, residence, benefit is a “democracy”. Apartheid is more apt. If Scotland had rules excluding Jews or brown-skinned people from living in certain areas, we wouldn’t have a democracy but that is Irael today, where the JNF will not even sell a square foot of land to non-Jews, even the Palestinians it was stolen from.
          Thus the piece in Israel Today’s:
          http://www.israeltoday.co.il/default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=10395
          The crime is unsustainable.

          • Nechama bat Efraim

            It’s amazing how many of the countries this poll was taken in are all Anti-Israel from the get go.

          • @Nechama – more than half of the countries in the world support Palestinian statehood. If you’re looking for a survey were just as many countries support Israel as support Palestine (if it really is as simple as one versus the other, which I don’t believe it is), you’re going to struggle. But you’re missing the point – countries being “anti-Israel” (as you put it) have their reasons for that (whether justified reasons or not – too great a digression to start here.) If they ranked Israel poorly, claiming it’s because they’re anti-Israel does not negate anything – they’re “anti-Israel” because of what they associated with Israel. Asking someone what they think of a country, being anti-Israel isn’t something which distorts the results, it is an answer to the question, albeit an answer you are unhappy with.

        • Wow, first re-read my original comment. I did not say Israel was “the antithesis of the thriving of [Palestinian Arabs]“. I said that Israel cannot be threatened by support for the Palestinian people *unless* it made itself the antithesis of their thriving. Which is inherently true – a campaign to support one group of people threatens no-one except those with an interest in the oppression of that group of people. So if Israel has no interest in oppressing the Palestinians it is not threatened by pro-Palestine groups – simple as. I was demonstrating that pro-Palestine and anti-Israel are not synonymous terms.

          I’ll await your apology for accusing me of something untrue :)

          In the meantime (because I’m not holding my breath waiting for said apology), let’s deal with the other rubbish. “We are all Hana Shalabi” was formed in 2012, so the idea that it wasn’t critical of both sides in 2007 is poor – there was no criticism of anyone, Israel, Palestine or the flying spaghetti monster, from the group in 2007 because it did not exist. As to the other groups, I’m struggling to find a current existence for them under those names – perhaps you can enlighten me as to what their response in 2007 was (with links)?

          And let’s not start claiming that variety of cultures, strong civic society, free media, etc (all great stuff!) make a state immune to accusations of war crimes.

          • David Olesker

            Apologies for misreading the conditional clause in your comment. (Re-read the sentence yourself, it’s a complex one and I needed you to point out to me that particular nuance.)

            Likewise, thanks for correcting my error on “We are all Hana Shalabi”. One cannot blame a group for not acting before it came into existence (but see my comment, below).

            More substantially:

            1) I’m an Israeli. I live in Israel. If I walk down the street and ask ten people at random, “Do you have an interest in oppressing the Palestinians?”, how many do you think would say yes? How many Israeli political parties in the latest election included a clause in their platforms stating, “We have an interest in oppressing the Palestinians”? You are suggesting that Israel’s actions imply an interest in oppressing the Palestinians. That’s an interpretation that’s open to debate. But protests of the kind that were planed for St. Andrews take the conclusion of such a debate, make it a given and then impose a penalty on Jewish students on a Scottish campus because they have acted in support of a group that is implicated in an assumption you have made. You have every right to question and protest Israeli actions. I’m not sure where you think you have the right to hound Jewish students out of the public sphere.

            2) I accept your point that being “pro-Palestinian” need not equate with being “anti-Israel”. I offered a litmus test for distinguishing between the two. The specific test might be anachronistic for a specific organization, but the principle is still of general application. Look over the website of “We Are All Hana Shalabi” (the text of the original article made me think that there was a second organization called “Scotland’s Youth and Student Palestine Solidarity Movement” which I confused with another group), Is there a single item protesting the plight of Palestinian Arabs suffering at the hands of either the Hamas regime or the Fatah regime? I’m not questioning their right to be critical of Israel, I’m questioning how they can call themselves “pro-Palestinian” when they are indifferent to the plight of any Palestinian that they can’t (somehow) blame on Israel.

            3) No state is immune from accusations of war crimes. I live in a region where every state (except Israel) has open contempt for the rights of its own citizens as well as those of other states. Accusations are not proof,however. That brings me back to point number one and the hounding of Jewish students out of campus life because they act in a way a certain group disapproves of.

            I’m sorry this is such a long response, but you raised substantial issues and I dealt with them as concisely as I could.

  • Jimmy Russell

    Ah, yes, the familiar “opposing anything jewish is anti-semitism” line. It’s so so tired and old. Come on guys I expect something slightly less intellectually dishonest from you lot. Oh wait, any conversation involving Israel+Palestine devolves into a clusterf**k of label-slinging and moral high-ground-ism. Look, there’s no two ways about it. AEPI shouldn’t have elected obviously controversial charities to receive their funds, and clearly the palestinian advocacy networks were over the top in their threats. It’s almost like AEPI *wanted* to curry controversy. They have a history too–remember that time they forced the Uni to expel some chap who ‘dishonoured’ the Israeli flag? It wasn’t a big deal/no one cared until they got involved.

    • Well Jimmy, I guess I couldn’t have put it better myself; AEPi and the JSoc deserved to be hounded out of the public sphere because they chose to do something that you and the groups you seem to support deem controversial. Did I get your position right?

      I think the vast bulk of the students in St. Andrews would feel that it’s ridiculous that 27 years after the Beastie Boys released the record, students in Scotland still have to “Fight for Your Right to Party”.

      • I think the average student might also enjoy the irony of the net result of the protest being an additional £650 being raised for all the charities in question, including the ones the protesters detested.

        • £1,000 is utterly trivial given the $3bn a year the biggest mercenary army in the world, the “IDF”, gets from Uncle Sam. Wouldn’t you agree?

          • David Olesker

            Hmmm… are they mercenaries in the pay of the US or is the US a puppet in the hands of the Jewish lobby? I suppose that one conspiracy theory is as good as another.

  • Just to clarify: The money raised for the JNF is being used solely to build and maintain a bomb-proof building in Sderot to house a children’s play area, whilst the funds raised for FIDF are being used to support university scholarships to those who have completed their military service and also to support widows and orphans. The event was a huge success and the only significant effect that these protesters had was to strengthen the support for these great causes.

  • Oh that’s right, I forgot that inciting violence was alright, as long as it’s a just cause. In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter whether or not these two charities are not very admirable. It seems hypocritical that one would make violent threats when their alleged goal is to end violence.

  • There is obviously no shortage of “useful idiots” and clueless antisemitic imbeciles who have been brainwashed by the Muslim propaganda…
    The self righteous hypocrites really think they can give lessons to the Israelis ?

    It’s OK for the French to intervene in Mali, thousands of miles away, it’s OK for the Americans and the British to intervene in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Serbia in order to fight Muslim terrorists….but it’s “not OK” for Israel to fight Muslim terrorists who have launched thousands of rocket attacks on Israel ???

    Typical double standards…killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan is fine…they call it “collateral damages”…
    But when innocents are hit during Israeli strikes it is labeled “war crimes”…

    Like it or not, but the Jewish people is now defending itself after enduring massacres, pogroms, discrimination and extermination attempts for thousands of years… you’d better get used to it !

    • David Olesker

      Just for the record, I had the pleasure of speaking for the St. Andrews Jewish student Society last week. The two Muslim students who were present were respectful and thoughtful throughout and I had a very interesting chat with one of them after the event.

      I would be very surprised if they supported these attempts at intimidation.

    • Pathetic, Smolarski. Everybody who supports Palestinian freedom from ethnic cleasning (‘Judaisation’) opposes home grown militarism as well. We are consistent; you are the hypocrite.

  • Just remember – the whole world is waking up. See Israel as consistently rock bottom in world popular opinion: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6421597.stm
    And don’t suggest ‘anti-semitism’ as the reason; it’s Israel crimes. Settler colonialism is a tainted idea these days.

    • You know you are talking about the only democracy on the Middle East, right. And please stop using your computer because the chances are it runs from an Intel chip, and Intel has offices in Israel, of all places! Not the mention all the other incredible inventions coming out of Israel these days. It ain’t a perfect country but the Arabs have yet to put one together than even comes close.

      • “Stop hurting others!”
        “You can’t tell me to stop, you’re using a computer I helped to make!”

        Any chance you’re missing the point a tad?

    • Alana, you’re really cracking me up with your naiveté…

      Your “ethnic cleansing” theories are total BS… Arabs are fleeing their own countries en masse…many millions resettled in Europe, America, Canada…
      The only Middle East country with ZERO Arab emigration is – you guessed it – Israel ( and it’s not because they can’t leave if they want to…)

      Israel is NOT occupying “Palestine” ( the name given to the kingdom of Israel by the Roman conquerors ) because there NEVER was an independent country or kingdom named “Palestine”. NEVER !!!
      The area of Judea and Samaria ( a.k.a the West Bank ) was conquered from the Jordanians in the 1967 war ( they have renounced any sovereignty claims on that land since then ).

      For your information, the former Ottoman empire territory of Palestine was already partitioned in 1922 by the British ( who by doing so betrayed their mandate ) – two thirds of it were given to the Arabs who decided to call it “Jordan”…so as you understand, they got the “lion share” and already have a country of their own…

      By the way, I find it amusing that British hypocrites are trying to give us lessons…with your long history of massive colonialism and human rights abuse, you should have the decency to shut up.

      You are buying the false Muslim narrative and refuse to educate yourself and learn the FACTS !
      Read a few history books before spreading your anti-Jewish venom on the internet…

  • Sorry, Israel in general are a far more compassionate country than any that surround them, the kind of people who would swap over 1000 terrorists for the sake of 1 captured soldier. Tell me any other army in the world that would do that. Or the equal rights to palestinians it offers. It is far more understanding and inspiring than any of you closed minded pigs realise. I have had far too many debates about this so I know it’s impossible to change your minds as you wont listen to reason or facts.

    • Does “equal rights” to Palestinians include the right to return to land they were personally driven out of while the fur-hatted descendents of Khazar steppe nomads assert a bizarre right of “return” to a place they have never been?

  • Zionist Federation supporter

    Delighted the event went ahead – well done to all involved for not giving in to israel-demonising thugs

    • Peaceful protestors against Friends of an army that uses live ammunition against unarmed protestors in Palestine, as I have seen with my own eyes. The thugs are the settlers and the army that has illegally occupied Palestine for many decades.

  • So much ignorance written here about who are the Palestinians. Do you know that the largest mosque in Gaza was a synagogue less than a hundred years ago? Did you know that a hundred and fifty years ago, most of Gaza’s population were Jews and Christians? The Jewish population in Gaza ended with the disorders of 1928. The last Christian murdered three years ago after Hamas came to power.
    This information is for people who think and are not afraid to ask hard questions.
    To understand the present we need to learn about the past.
    I made a short presentation on two UN organizations dealing with refugees. UNHCR organization caring for refugees from around the world.
    And UNRWA organization who is caring for Arab refugees who fought against the Jewish state – Israel.
    http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/15773199

    Here is also a page of the changes made to UNRWA’s refugee definition in recent years
    http://www.art-gallery-yona.com/Refugees-Definition.html

    Please read this short article and visit all the links to get more information..

    http://www.art-gallery-yona.com/demogra-eng.html

    And this article.
    https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AWXYV56qlacKZGdwYzRoYzlfMTg1aG1ndmtzZnc&hl=en

    And also the Interior Minister of Hamas indicates that the historical facts which I present are true.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbuM91PeSOs

    If so, what are the real causes of the Arab war against Israel?
    Here’s a real explanation from the mouths of imams in mosques.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIiGwGG6x_A&feature=youtu.be

    It is very important to know that Branding the Jews and their state Israel as “occupiers”, gives Arab the legitimacy to remove the occupier in any way they choose, including terrorism against civilians. Therefore they insist to preserve and to leverage this branding. But anyone who is interested reaching a peace must be recruited for switching it off.
    And here you have a person who explains it the best way.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nEzvhvOcWEs#!
    and also Sheikh Palazzi

  • The problem is with non-modernized Muslims that are trying to live in the 8th century. They behave a lot like the war-mongering, pedophilic ‘prophet’ that founded their religion. It is time to grow up like the rest of the civilized world . . .

    • Wow, Islamophobic much? I really don’t think you’re one to talk about the “civilized world” after that hateful bile.

    • WHAT A VILE AND DEFAMATORY COMMENT! HOWEVER YOU DO NOT SEE ME LABELLING ALL ZIONISTS AS ISLAMAPHOBES BECAUSE THATS SIMPLY NOT TRUE. ITS A REAL SHAME THIS BASIC LOGIC ISNT RECIPROCATED!

      • Well you see Ben, calling someone an Islamophobe is an appropriate response to an Islamophobic comment, in much the same way that calling someone an antisemite would be an appropriate response to an antisemitic comment. You should take note that Gil’s post was deemed Islamophobic by virtue of its Islamophobia. Not its Zionism.

  • Delighted this event happened despite the thugs

  • This is unacceptable. Jewish people, Israelis, etc. should not have to hold events in “secret locations” and have to hide from the vile, repulsive, evil scumbags in the anti-Israel hatemonger community.

  • For those that haven’t figured it yet, the vast majority of these “pro-Palestinian activists” don’t really care about actually helping Palestinians, they don’t fight against Palestinian terrorist groups, they don’t fight against “injustices,” they fight against Jews and against the VERY EXISTENCE of the world’s only Jewish state.

    Because the majority of “pro-Palestinian activists” are pro-terrorist, hypocritical, bigoted scumbags, and their misguided buddies.

  • Palestine isn’t and never was a country.

    Palestinian ‘refugees’ are the only group of displaced people that the UN has a specific group for. Israeli’s have given up more and more land in the hopes for peace, and on a regular basis get shelled by bombs and missiles from the Gaza Strip. As far as obtaining the land goes, Israel had bought up all of the land Pre-1948, and went through years of turning the land from a swampy/desert into a fertile land. Of all countries in 2012, Israel was second in tree growth, meaning they planted more trees than they cut down, and this can be largely attributed to the JNF. Of course once the land became more fertile the Arabs wanted it back, and with the partition plan that was originally accepted by the Jewish people, plenty of land was made available to Arab settlers who again, turned it down. After claiming independence in 1948, the Jewish people were outnumbered 10:1, yet still fought and won their independence. The news loves to make it seem like Israel is at fault because the majority of most countries in Europe are actually Arabic now. I can’t think of one time in the history of Israel where an Israeli committed a suicide bombing or used women and children as shields against the Arab people.

  • Your first comment was somewhat reasonable. Jewish students and the guests of the fraternity do have a right to attend a party without the threat of violence. The threats were deplorable. But so is your commentary on these Palestinian activists. You sound just as xenophobic as you are making them out to be. Shame on you.

  • Yona and friends are demented racists. How ugly! Check for example yona’s claim that the last Palestinian Chritian in Gaza was murdered by Hamas. Utterly brazen Goebbels-type lie, or someone with serious perception disorder. The Catholic parish in Gaza still has hundreds of parishioners in excellent relations with their Muslim neighbours, both groups being subject to mass killings by Israeli Army, ‘IDF’. See, e.g. http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/only-catholic-priest-leaves-gaza.html

  • And, descending further into the Zionist mental universe…
    The Muslim divine presented by Yona to support exclusivity Jewish claims to Palestine over the natives and residents, one Sheikh Palazzi, now continues his spiritual journey by becoming a Hindu divine. Good luck to Baba Palazzi etc. Kooks attract kooks, but who claims one as an authority?
    https://www.facebook.com/shankar.satyaprakashnath.baba

  • Threadneedles QC

    Sadly this isn’t the first time that events on the Israel-Palestinian question have been adversely affected by the banality of violence. St Andrews has, in the past few years, experienced an appalling level of such activity. If in an academic setting we cannot have intelligent debate and discussion without resorting to the absurd threat of violence, there is very little hope for an enlightened tomorrow.

    If the organisers of the protest were genuinely interested in the plight of the Palestinian people, they would have simply organised a counter-fundraiser on the same date. Better yet, a joint event that actually donated to causes that the parties felt should be supported would be a step in the direction that is very much needed in that part of the world.

    Opponents on all sides of the issue can quite easily demonise without taking part in something that might be actually constructive.

  • You want to read about how great a realtionship the Christians in Gaza have with their Hamas rulers (see below). And before you say this is a propograted lie by a Zionsit newspaper, this is the same paper whom one of it’s editors said it a birthright and oblication that Palestinian children throw rocks at Jewish Cars.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/gaza-christians-protest-forcible-conversions-1.451544

    Here’s one from a favorite media outlet of yours I’m sure
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/23/gaza-christians-hamas-cancelled-christmas

  • Example of why the Jewish people will overcome fascist like the Nazis, pro-Palestinians/Anti-Semitic groups that wish nothing but our destruction.

    “The organisers had initially aimed to raise around £350 from the event. However, the change of venue and donations received from those who sympathised with the threatened students resulted in a final total of around £1,000. One man donated £230 to cover security and taxi costs to and from the venue to ensure the safety of guests.”

    Keep it up haters. The Jewish people thrive under pressure and vileness

  • Are you aware of how many trees the JNF has planted in Israel in the last 65 years???

    • The more relevant question is perhaps ‘whose land were they planted on?’. Its ‘British Park’, for example, was planted on top of the ethnically-cleansed villages of Ajjur and Zakariyya.

What do you think?

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