British gov’t’s failed effort to deport Palestinian sheikh ends with focus on ‘barrage of racist policies’ in only ME democracy

on 21 Comments

Raed Salah writes at the Guardian about his long battle to resist deportation proceedings, initiated last June. His piece is powerful and moving– excerpt below. And look how many comments it has already attracted: 361. The first states the case appropriately:

How ironic, and fitting, that after his shameful arrest, imprisonment and restriction at the hands of a government we never elected, Sheikh Salah will now have a far larger audience than would have heard him had he been allowed to complete his scheduled UK speaking tour which his wrongful detention interrupted.
Journalist David Hearst (Guardian online, 9 April) argued that ‘the heart of the matter’ in the Home Secretary’s illegitimate attempt to exclude Sheikh Salah from the UK was her exclusive reliance on untrustworthy advice from the Community Security Trust. That advice, in the view of two expert witnesses, ‘failed to distinguish between anti-Semitism and criticism of the acts of the Israeli state and therefore gave an unbalanced perspective.’ This is indeed a crucial point. Their arguments are now so threadbare that apologists for Israeli apartheid, without a shred of credible evidence, routinely accuse its critics of anti-Semitism.

For background, here is Michael Weiss, one of the instigators of the smear campaign against Salah that resulted in the deportation case.

Now here is Salah:

After a 10-month legal battle, I have now been cleared on “all grounds” by a senior immigration tribunal judge, who ruled that May’s decision to deport me was “entirely unnecessary” and that she had been “misled”. The evidence she relied on (which included a poem of mine which had been doctored to make it appear anti-Jewish) was not, he concluded, a fair portrayal of my views. In reality, I reject any and every form of racism, including antisemitism.

I have no doubt that, despite this, Israel’s cheerleaders in Britain will continue to smear my character. This is the price every Palestinian leader and campaigner is forced to pay.

My people – the Palestinians – are the longstanding victims of Israeli racism. Victims of racism, anywhere, should never condone or support the maltreatment of another people, as Israel does.

The suffering of the Palestinian citizens of Israel has been ignored for decades. But there is today a growing awareness of it, which partially explains this smear campaign against me. In December 2011, EU ambassadors in Israel raised serious concerns about Israeli discrimination, noting that “not only has the situation of the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel not improved, but it has further deteriorated”.

There are around 1.5 million Arabs in Israel. We make up 17% of the population, but we face a barrage of racist policies and discriminatory laws. We receive less than 5% of funds allocated by the government for development. Public spending on children in Arab municipalities is one-third lower than that of children in Jewish municipalities. The average hourly wage of Arab workers is about 70% of that of Jewish workers. Any Jew, from any country, is allowed under Israel’s law of return to migrate to Israel; Palestinian refugees are not allowed to exercise their right of return. While a Jew can live anywhere in Israel, a Palestinian citizen cannot. Jews can marry whoever they wish and live with them in Israel, Palestinian citizens cannot.

…Nowhere is the injustice more striking than in the Negev. Living in poverty in “unrecognised” villages, the Arab Bedouin are ineligible for basic services such as water, electricity, and healthcare. The Negev village of al-Araqib has been demolished 35 times by the Israeli government; on every occasion it was rebuilt by its inhabitants.

Despite the Israeli policy of “transfer” – another term for ethnic cleansing – the Palestinians will not go away. The Israeli state can occupy our lands, demolish our homes, drill tunnels under the old city of Jerusalem – but we will not disappear. Instead, we now aspire to a directly elected leadership for Palestinians in Israel; one that would truly represent our interests. We seek only the legal rights guaranteed to us by international conventions and laws.

Thanks to Elly Kilroy.

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21 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    April 19, 2012, 12:00 pm

    at the base of the guardian link is a small paragraph with three links to specific comments that provide context including segments of the judgement. they are worth reading.

    • Fredblogs
      April 19, 2012, 9:27 pm

      OK, blood libel statement, check. He admits he did it and lies about it being about “religious violence”. As though “in Europe” and “their [children’s] blood used to be mixed in the dough of the holy bread” could possibly mean anything else. The judge didn’t buy it and neither do I. Honestly, anyone here really believe that is anything but the blood libel?

  2. Pixel
    April 19, 2012, 2:04 pm

    Thanks, Elly.

    533 comments, now.

  3. Fredblogs
    April 19, 2012, 4:51 pm

    BTW, the judge at his trial found him to be an anti-Semite, he just didn’t think that warranted being barred from England

    From the judge’s decision:
    “In our judgment this is all wholly unpersuasive. The appellant is clearly aware of the
    blood libel against Jews. If his intention had been to draw an analogy between events
    of the Spanish Inquisition and actions of the Israeli state he could have said so in
    clearer terms that did not require over ten paragraphs of explanation for his true
    meaning to be made clear. If he had meant to refer to Christians using the blood of
    others to make bread, which he seems to consider less offensive than referring to
    Jews doing so, then he could have inserted the word “Christian” into the text of his
    the sermon as he does in paragraph 175 of his explanation. Allusion to historical
    examples of children being killed in religious conflict does not require reference to
    their blood being used to make “holy bread”. The truth of the matter is that the
    conjunction of the concepts of ‘children’s blood’ and ‘holy bread’ is bound to be seen
    as a reference to the blood libel unless it is immediately and comprehensively
    explained to be something else altogether.”

    • Bumblebye
      April 19, 2012, 7:10 pm

      Don’t you find it at least a teensy bit troubling that in order to falsify a case against a man even they hadn’t imprisoned, Israeli translators deliberately MIStranslated even a bloomin’ poem?? Doesn’t it trouble you that this often happens to those Israel designates as an ‘enemy’? Surely there would be a lot more against many of these people than Israeli smear tactics and libels? Or is that the authentic Israeli way of ‘proving’ anti-semitism? What citizens of the UK could hold their heads high if Saleh had been ‘banned’ from this country for such utter trivia?

      • Fredblogs
        April 19, 2012, 9:21 pm

        I don’t know that they did mistranslate the poem. The blood libel statement and the 9/11 comment prove he is an anti-Semite with or without the poem. His answers at the trial prove that he doesn’t even have the courage to own up to his epithets.

        Meanwhile, where is the original and what you call a “correct” translation of the poem. The translation I’ve seen includes the line “Robbers and germs in all times” doesn’t sound like it could be talking about Israelis, since there weren’t any Israelis until about 70 years ago. “The Creator sentenced you to be loser monkeys”, well, “descendants of monkeys and pigs” is a common epithet hurled at Jews by racists among the Muslim community.

      • Fredblogs
        April 19, 2012, 9:42 pm

        OK, found and read what the judge says is a translation of the poem. Still has “germs of all times” and the “monkeys” comment. And a line about “fill the world with corruption”. Typical sentiments of an anti-Semite toward the Jews.

      • Miss Costello
        April 20, 2012, 7:50 am

        The only thing that troubles FredBlogs is the truth. His version of it.

  4. marc b.
    April 19, 2012, 5:35 pm

    no, breadflogs, nowhere does the judge say salah is an anti-semite. the judge found that the admittedly objectionable material you cited was not indicative of salah’s broader views, and was not ‘the tip of the iceberg’, meaning that there were not more problematic texts to be revealed to prove a history of anti-semitic preaching as was erroneously alleged. in any event this is all beside the point. salah was arrested and imprisoned on account of false evidence cooked up by the loathesome CST. geddit? i’ll say it again more slowly: he … was … arrested … and … went … to … jail … on … the … basis … of … falsified … evidence. that’s the point, that the legal process was exploited and perverted by those lying sacks of sh*t.


    was breadflogs’ comment disappeared? or has he been shipped off to the permafrost?

    • marc b.
      April 19, 2012, 6:02 pm

      was breadflogs’ comment disappeared? or has he been shipped off to the permafrost?

      oops. he was gone and now he’s back.

      no, annie (below). he doesn’t/can’t read what doesn’t support his argument. that’s the mentality you’re dealing with. it’s just fine by him that someone he personally finds objectionable should be arrested and jailed, evidence be damned. that’s how it’s done, isnt it? after all the legal system is built for freddie’s psychological comfort and convenience.

  5. Annie Robbins
    April 19, 2012, 5:49 pm

    fred, did you try reading the links i provided from the guardian’s Comment editor Becky Gardiner in the comments at the first link? because if you had you would have found this:

    The judge did not accept Salah’s explanation, saying he found it “wholly unpersuasive”. He said the speech “would offend and distress” Jews. However, he also noted that the sermon as a whole “was against the actions of the state of Israel” rather than Jews as such.

    response to Sprindew continued …

    To conclude, the judge said that:

    “…there is no reliable evidence of [Salah] using words carrying a reference to the blood libel save in the single passage in a sermon delivered five years ago. … The absence of other evidence is striking … [Salah] is a prominent public figure and a prolific speaker. … his speeches are of interest to the authorties in Israel. … We think it can be fairly said that the evidence before us is not a sample, or ‘the tip of the iceberg’: it is simply all the evidence there is.”

    And later:

    “the matters raised by the Secretary of State are not a fair portrayal of [Salah’s] views or words as a whole; they are in essence confined to words on one day, that are not shown to have caused any difficulty at the time or since. There is no evidence that the danger percieved by [Theresa May] is perceived by any of the other countries where [Salah] has been, nor, save for the very tardy indictment, is there any evidence that even Israel sees the danger [she] sees.”

    • Fredblogs
      April 19, 2012, 9:32 pm

      Didn’t see them when I first read the article. I read them now. Apologetics for an anti-Semite. Apparently he is usually diplomatic, but on that day his true colors showed through (along with the day of his 9/11 “Jews stayed home” libel). What shocks me is that the judge outright called the guy out for lying to the court, but then did nothing about it.

    • Fredblogs
      April 19, 2012, 9:49 pm

      BTW, great editing job. You left out this though:

      “That is not sufficient to negate his comment and the hatred that might be fostered by it and lead to intercommunity violence in the UK. We conclude, therefore, that it was a comment that the respondent was entitled to take into account and take seriously when considering whether the appellant should be deported.”

      • marc b.
        April 20, 2012, 9:50 am

        You left out this though

        that’s a snide little comment coming from someone who has yet to address the conspiracy to fabricate evidence used to arrest and imprison someone.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 20, 2012, 9:57 am

        plus, note how there’s no link. that text doesn’t appear in the two links i referenced so we have no idea what i allegedly left it out of. it’s just not worth it sometimes trying to keep up with all their contortions. and just like the earlier comment he completely mischaracterizes the judges rulings. so i am not motivated to go chasing around to figure out where it is he’s quoting from. waste of time.

      • Fredblogs
        April 20, 2012, 2:12 pm

        I’m not sure what the exact chain of links was that lead to the judge’s actual ruling, but it started with links from this page. Here’s a link to the ruling (found this on google):

        And the snide comment? If you meant the quote, it’s from the ruling, paragraph (59).

        So taking it as true that you didn’t start with the actual ruling, I’m going to have to say “great editing” to whoever you got your quotes from, not you.

      • Fredblogs
        April 20, 2012, 2:17 pm

        I don’t see a conspiracy. I see a loose translation of a poem with the nouns filled in in place of the pronouns. “Jews” instead of “them” in a poem that clearly is meant to refer to Jews, not just Israelis.

      • marc b.
        April 21, 2012, 10:36 am

        really, fred, willful ignorance suits you well. no matter how intent you are to reduce this matter to the distasteful comments of salah, or the ‘loose translation’ of his words, this case is a legal case in which your personal distaste of salah’s comments is irrelevant, and the ‘loose translation’, as you put it, was part of a coordinated campaign to have salah deported. there is no question now that salah should not have been arrested or imprisoned, nor is there any question that the CST, JPost et al were part of a conspiracy in which ‘facts’ were cooked up to fit their desired result. to suggest otherwise is idiotic.

  6. marc b.
    April 19, 2012, 9:19 pm

    electronic intifada has a great series on the pond scum over at the CST who were working so hard to croak salah.

    they seem to work the same role that the ADL was (is?) working with the government, collecting intelligence on undesireables and so on. CST is also the group that ‘documents’ incidents of anti-semitism (on the rise naturally) in the UK. it’s helpful of course to have adopted the ‘new anti-semitism’ as the standard, which incorporates criticism of israel as potentially anti-semitic. how is one to trust their statistics given their proclivity for bullshit as shown in this case?

    • tear-stained uzi
      April 20, 2012, 8:00 pm

      … the ‘new anti-semitism’ …

      which now includes ‘Biking While Blond’ and ‘Flying While Goy,’ don’t forget!

  7. Blake
    April 20, 2012, 10:53 am

    Comments on the Guardian website are down so could not leave a comment there. I noticed that Hasbara propagandists are alive and well there recommending the most disturbed insane comments while the rational ones , weo of the very first comment, had hardly any recommendations.

    Just for the record, I did reply to fredblogs but it appears that was not allowed on here whereas his irrational rhetoric is all over this page.

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