Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Unlocking Hatred: Huge Anti-Israel Propaganda Fest in "The City of Dreaming Spires"

Well, Oxford University is termed "the home of lost causes," but it's courtesy of both "town and gown" that the pro-Israel cause is set to take a bashing.

What an odious, divisive lot of mischief is planned for 4-21 June, with the Lord Mayor (Rae Humberstone, Labour) adding the prestige of his person (and therefore the sanction of his council) to proceedings.

Councillor Humberstone (pictured below) succeeded  Councillor Mohammed Abbasi as mayor, and was himself succeeded as sheriff of Oxford by Sajjad Malik.

Participants in this hatefest include "household name" Israel-demonisers such as Mustafa Barghouti and Mads Gilbert.

To quote from the publicity brochure:

Palestine Unlocked – celebrating life and culture
Welcome to Oxford’s first Palestinian festival!

From 4th-21st June 2015 the city will be filled with Palestinian creativity and life. The festival will be showcasing Palestinian theatre, film, food, music, art, photography, craft and dancing, as well as ‘unlocking’ the realities of life in Palestine.

Events will happen across a range of city venues from Pegasus Theatre in East Oxford to Barefoot Books in Summertown including the Phoenix Picturehouse, several Oxford churches and colleges, the Town Hall and Bonn Square. [My emphasis]

... events are still being added so do make sure you come back for more:

Thursday 4th June
Film: Omar – A tense, gripping thriller about betrayal, suspected and real, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Followed by a panel discussion with guest speakers.

Friday 5th June Comedy Night: Palestine Unlocked hosts a comedy night at Oxford’s number one comedy venue. Ivor Dembina (Guardian-rated ****) will compere a specially compiled line-up of comedians.

Saturday 6th June Celebration of Solidarity – the official opening ceremony features Palestinian dancing, music, craft and food. The Lord Mayor of Oxford will also be making an appearance at 11.15am.

Sunday 7th June Kite Flying – Come and learn how to make your own kite!  Followed by the chance to launch them into the skies.  All ages welcome.

Monday 8th June A conversation with Dr Mustafa Barghouti
– One of Palestine’s foremost human rights activists interviewed by ex-UN communications head and All Souls Fellow Edward Mortimer.

Tuesday 9th June Palestine: Exile and Return – Palestinian authors Dr Ghada Karmi, Karl Sabbagh and Selma Dabbagh will speak about their work and writing. 7.30pm, Council Chamber, Oxford Town Hall. [My emphasis]

Wednesday 10th June A Bird is not a Stone
– A rare opportunity to discover the range and variety of extraordinary voices in contemporary Palestinian poetry translated by Scotland’s most acclaimed poets. Editor Sarah Irving and poets involved in the project will bring this poetry and its beauty and significance to Oxford

Thursday 11th June Film: Open Bethlehem. Followed by QandA with director Leila Sansour.

Friday 12th June Romeo and Juliet in Palestine
Tom Sperlinger discusses his recent book, written following teaching at the Abu Dis campus of al Quds University in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Book of Gaza: writing from a city under occupation and under fire. Sarah Irving and Abu Saif will present stories from the prize-winning collection The Book of Gaza alongside extracts from the documentary diaries The Drone Eats with Me.

Saturday 13th June Palestine History Tapestry Project: a talk about how the embroidery project started and how it is helping Palestinian women generate much needed income.
Ashtar Theatre and Pegasus Youth Theatre: performed by Ashtar Theatre (from Ramallah); Pegasus Youth Theatre. Followed by a short talkback time for questions and discussion.

Sunday 14th June Family Storytelling: Stories and songs from Palestine with storyteller and author Chris Smith.
Living Stones: following Christ in the Holy Land. A sermon by Sami Awad of the Holy Land Trust, Bethlehem.

Monday 15th June The Oxford Medical Teaching Initiative in Palestine: Oxford Medics who have travelled and worked in Palestine will discuss their experiences. 
Impossible to Possible: what does nonviolence mean in Palestine today? An evening with Christian Palestinian Sami Awad, Executive Director of the Holy Land Trust, Bethlehem.

Tuesday 16th June News from Palestine: Reuters cameraman Abed Quisini speaks about his 17 years of experience capturing the news stories of a population under occupation and  Middle East Eye editor David Hearst talks on the pressures in London of editing and producing stories on Palestine.
Opening of Photojournalism Exhibition, followed by 7.00pm Panel Discussion at the Friends Meeting House
Seminar on Trauma Management and Rehabilitation: hear from UK doctors who have set up a programme for advanced limb reconstruction for victims of war injuries in Gaza.

Photo credit:
Wednesday 17th June Celebrating Oxford Connections: a reception with the Lord Mayor of Oxford to mark the opening of the Oxford-Palestine Photo Exhibition. 
Development of Evidence-Based Health Care in Gaza: learn from Gaza-based health professionals about promoting the principles of Evidence-Based Health Care in the Gaza Strip.

Thursday 18th June Hope in a Time of Darkness
: a sermon by HG Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK

Film double bill: High Hopes and When I Saw You. Including a QandA with producer Angela Godrey-Goldstein.

Friday 19th June Film: 5 broken Cameras. The film showing will be followed by QandA with the director’s brother and leader of the Popular Resistance Committee of Bil’in Iyad Burnat.

Ramadan 2015: To mark the Holy Month of Ramadan, Palestine Unlocked will be distributing Palestinian dates to local Oxford mosques for their community Iftar (breaking fast), dates donated by Zaytoun.

Providing Medical Care during the 2014 Assault on Gaza
:  Dr Mohammed Maqadma and Dr Mads Gilbert will describe the response at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza and how primary health care and transport were maintained.

Saturday 20th June Friends of Sabeel UK Conference: “Christians and Muslims: Peaceful Co-resistance in Palestine-Israel.”
Palestine History Tapestry Project: a talk about how the embroidery project started and how it is helping Palestinian women generate much needed income.

Gaza 2014 – Another opportunity to hear Dr Mads Gilbert and Dr Mohammed Maqadma talk about their experiences of providing medical care in Gaza during the military assaults.

NK nuts, "Nakba Day" in London
Sunday 21st June Unlocking Palestine – Moving Forward: an event looking to the future for Palestine. Short addresses will be made by a range of speakers from organisations including Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Neturei Karta. [My emphasis]

See more, including times and venues, here


  1. Nathan of Plaza2 June 2015 at 19:39

    I don't think we need any prizes for guessing on which mayor's watch this extravaganza was cooked up

    1. "Extravaganza" - apt word, Nathan!

  2. At two and a half weeks, it's almost as long as the history of the palestinians.

  3. Thanks for informing us about this Daphne. I shall certainly be complaining at the various venues for this hatefest.