The most interesting part of this footage? Right at the end, when a rather handsome older gentleman hoves into view. If only we could hear what he's saying to the assembled little group of (very familiar) Israel-haters.
According to Mr Seymour's intemperate introduction on YouTube:
"The shadowy guy at the end of the video was insistent that we were in league with terrorists but from his Israeli accent I would guess that he was probably in much closer contact with terror gangs ( of the IDF death squad variety ) than we were ever likely to be."(Some people tell me Seymour's Jewish, btw.)
I intend no ingratitude to Seymour, whose videos I confess I'm drawn to like a moth to a flame, when I say that antipodean readers may find the most interesting bit of this video to be the very very end, when we meet two Australian BDSers from Adelaide who've come along to show solidarity with the ubiquitous Sandra, her equally ubiquitous grey-haired offsider (did you spot her helping to support a banner at the "Al Quds Day" footage I posted recently?), and the rest of the gang:
Meanwhile, from nuts to NUT.
“Conference instructs the Executive to:
support TUC policy, to “boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation and the construction of the Wall”; pressure the UK Government to call on the Israeli Government to comply with international law and human rights treaties; work to win the backing of Education International and the ETUC(E) for these policies and to seek to collaborate with like-minded unions internationally; convey these views to the Israeli Teachers Union; express our solidarity with the GUPT for its objectives for education and discuss with them ways to develop this solidarity; all for an end to the discrimination against Palestinian students and teachers within Israel; encourage divisions to make links with Palestinian teachers and schools including organising delegation exchanges; encourage Associations, Schools and Divisions to publicise the report of the delegation to members; invite speakers to their meetings and encourage active membership participation in work on this issue; organise a special meeting for Division representatives and International Solidarity Officers to present the report, explain Union policy, outlining ways to develop the work and incorporate regular updates in Divisional Secretaries briefings and school representatives training; and continue to campaign for the rights of Palestinian children including child prisoners and work to engage all members in this campaign encouraging individual membership of and affiliation to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and support for Action for Palestinian Children Prisoners; educate the membership through publications, divisions and international solidarity officers of the ‘Pinkwashing’ propaganda used by Israel to make their citizens and the wider world believe that they are progressive in respect of LGBT rights, while distracting attention away from the human rights abuses they have instigated by their occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.”How outrageous that British children's education is in such hands!
What is especially rich is the fact that at this year's NUT conference, which took place in April:
'.... Delegates ... raised concerns about the move to require schools to promote fundamental British values as well as the Government's Prevent strategy, which is aimed at tackling extremism.
Fringe event at conference
The strategy suggests school staff can help to identify and refer youngsters whose behaviour suggests that they are being drawn into extremism or terrorism.
Alex Kenny, of the union's executive, described Prevent as a 'blunt instrument that will do damage and inhibit debate in schools', adding that Ofsted should be allowed 'nowhere near these issues'.
Ofsted now checks that schools are actively promoting British values like tolerance and democracy as part of regular inspections.
Mr Kenny said: 'We live in a damaged and volatile world, and like us, young people are trying to make sense of it, like us, they're trying to come to conclusions about cause, effect and solutions, and like us they want a space to discuss it.
"Schools are places where that discussion, on ethical and political issues should take place, in an environment of enquiry, and it may be an environment where young people say things we don't like, or say things that concern us that we want to address with them, that we want to discuss with them.
But Prevent conflates a notion of British values and an elastic notion of non-violent extremism that is shutting down that debate." ...'(More on the NUT's 2015 conference and anti-Israel activity here)
Hah! I'd have thought that the NUT's adoption of BDS against the world's only Jewish State is also shutting down debate.
|"Zionism's Got To Go!": Al Quds Day, London, 2015|
This week, the NUT and its attitude towards Israel and Prevent has been in the news again, with Al Jazeera alleging:
'School children in the UK who express support for Palestine face being questioned by police and referred to a counter-radicalisation programme for youngsters deemed at risk of being drawn into terrorism under new laws requiring teachers to monitor students for extremism.
One schoolboy told Al Jazeera he was accused of holding "terrorist-like" views by a police officer who questioned him for taking leaflets [produced by Friends of al-Aqsa] into school promoting a boycott of Israel.
The case reflects concerns raised about the expansion of the government's Preventcounter-extremism strategy into schools, with critics complaining that teachers are being expected to act as the "eyes and ears of the state".
Since the beginning of July, teachers have had a statutory duty to monitor and report children who they believe may be susceptible to radicalisation, although Prevent engagement officers, who are usually also police officers, have long been active in schools in areas with significant Muslim populations.
The boy, who was then 15 and attending school in a southern English town, said he was also told that "Free Palestine" badges that he wore were "extremist". Al Jazeera is not naming the student or the school to protect his identity.
"He asked me what I thought of the leaflet," the boy said, describing how a police officer told him he had been brought into the school to "deal with this sort of extremism".
"I explained to him my views about freedom and justice and that I supported Palestine. I said I thought Israel should have tough sanctions put upon it and he said these could be radical beliefs," the boy said.
"He said these are terrorist-like beliefs that you have. He explicitly said you cannot speak about this conflict at school with your friends," the boy said....
The boy said he had subsequently had numerous run-ins with teachers and with the officer, who had an office in the school.
"I asked my form tutor about Prevent and whether he would act as an informant if I said anything, and he said, 'I am uncomfortable with that but that is what I have to do,'" the boy said.
On other occasions, a dinner lady reported him to teachers for inquiring whether any food in the canteen was produced in Israel. A teacher also spoke to his 14-year-old brother, who attended the same school and was told, "Your brother has radical ideas. You advise your brother to stop or we will report him to the intelligence agencies."
|Al Quds Day, London, 2015|
Al Jazeera has identified other examples suggesting that Palestine-related activism is something that teachers and public officials are being encouraged to look out for as part of their Prevent duties....
"We've heard of the police going into schools to talk about Prevent to teachers and saying things like, 'If a kid thinks the West is at war with Islam it might be a cause for concern.' Or if a child goes on a demonstration against the bombing of Gaza, 'Keep an eye on him,'" Alex Kenny of the National Union of Teachers told Al Jazeera .....
Ismail Patel, chairman of Friends of al-Aqsa, dismissed allegations that the organisation's leaflets were extremist and accused the government of "veering towards totalitarianism".
"People are scared to talk about Palestine. A lot of mosques now will not put posters up. There is fear in the community so there is self-censorship and self-policing," said Patel. "That really feeds the process of radicalisation because they are not allowing individuals to express their grievances."...' [Emphasis added]Read more here
"People are scared to talk about Palestine."
I must say, to judge from the truly horrible chanting in London on Al Quds Day, that hardly seems to be the case.
I posted footage here of Al Quds Day marches this year, but, in summary, to quote well-known London-based blogger Richard Millett:
'[P]lacards that have appeared at Al Quds Day demonstrations include: “Israel is a disease, We are the cure“, “Listen Israel, Leave!!!”, “For world peace Israel must be destroyed“, “Israel your days are numbered”, “Death to Israel”, “The world stopped Nazism…the world must stop Zionism”.'