Writes Jonathan Hoffman:
Last night (17 October) Amnesty International in London had a meeting: "Demolitions & Discrimination against Palestinian Citizens of Israel: The case of Al-Araqib"
The title of the meeting tells you that Israel was vilified. If you still have doubts, look at the speaker lineup:
Dr. Awad Abu Freih - Al ‘Araqib Popular Committee & Negev Co- existence Forum;
Dr Mansour Nsasra - Politics Department, Exeter University;
Miri Weingarten - EU Advocacy Coordinator for Israel/OPT - Israeli Human Rights Consortium.
Exeter University is a centre for vilification of Israel. Ilan Pappé is there. Weingarten is a member of Physicians for Human Rights.
Amnesty has a long history of holding Israel-hate meetings. If you look on my blog and Richard Millett’s blog you will find these meetings documented:
I pre-registered for last night’s meeting in order to make the following points in the Q+A:
- The Bedouin inhabitants of Al-Araqib are squatters – much like some of the gypsies at Dale Farm in the UK. The village is on land that has been government-owned since Ottoman times. This status was adopted under the British Mandate and has been taken into Israeli law.
- The demolitions of houses were according to the law. The buildings were erected only recently by the Abu Madyam and Abu Jaber families. The Bedouin have been unable to substantiate their claim of land ownership with any documentation. The Supreme Court ruled that the inhabitants acted in bad faith, unable to provide evidence for their ownership claims.
- On occasion Bedouin have tried to expel other Bedouin
- The families who claim Al-Araqib also own villas and plots in Rahab. Abdullah Abu Madyam is a merchant who is said to be using the illegal structures to store his merchandise. There are photos of him arriving in a luxury car. The Al-Uqbi family – said to be one of the dispossessed families – has been given free land by the government in Hura.
- The Goldberg Report has made comprehensive recommendations for the betterment of the lives of the 191,000Bedouins in the Negev:
But I could not.
Because I was refused entry to the meeting. Yet again Amnesty has proved that "Human Rights" do not extend to the right of Free Speech to defend Israel at its hate sessions...