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Oct 20th 2023: Church Times published letters dated Sept 15th and Oct 20th by Jonathan Coulter, Secretary of CAMPAIN. The letters queried Archbishop Welby's view about apartheid in Israel/Palestine, his unwillingness to hold the British Government to account, and other matters. In our blogs of Sept 15th, Sept 24th and Sept 29th, we published other authors' critiques of Welby's positions.
Sept 6th 2023: Archbishop Justin Welby gave a talk "exploring the meaning of reconciliation" with regard to the Middle East at St Martins-in-the-Fields, London. CAMPAIN followed this with interest in view of the points it had raised in our Open Letter of April 25th.
April 25th 2023: CAMPAIN delivers Open Letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, questioning the Church's position on Israel/Palestine and Archbishop Welby's endorsement of allegations about antisemitism in the UK.
Feb 21st 2023: CAMPAIN delivers Open Letter to the BBC, complaining of misreporting allegations about the scale of antisemitism in the Labour Party since the middle of the last decade (Note: the BBC rejected CAMPAIN's arguments, claiming they had already been addressed in responses to previous complaints. CAMPAIN persisted and on June 29th escalated the complaint to Ofcom which, as of October 20th, was still considering how it would respond).
Jan 31st 2023: Rev. Dr. Stephen Sizer has a long career searching for truth and particularly questioning highly questionable 'Christian Zionism' doctrines, that provide Israel with theological cover for the oppression and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The Church of England has just 'punished' him by suspending him from his priestly functions for 12 years. Jewish Voice for Labour has expressed its outrage by publishing this article. Rev. Sizer has updated his website with authoritative supporter statements. If this concerns you, please sign this petition from Haim Bresheeth of Jewish Network for Palestine.
July 25th: Liverpool pensioner Aubrey White confronted Keir Starmer in a restaurant alledging he colluded with the Murdoch-owned Sun newspaper, lied to get elected, conducted a witch-hunt of left-wingers and betrayed the NHS and working people - see video HERE. This is embarrassing for Starmer, as White is a person of standing, nominated as one of BBC Radio 4’s ‘100 most influential women of the century’, for her defence of women from sexual abuse in the workplace. She had previously shown her mettle when she appealed to the newspaper complaints-handler IPSO about a series of fabricated and untruthful statements in Jewish Chronicle. IPSO is a creature of the press barons and hardly known for taking the side of complainants, but the lying was so blatantly obvious that IPSO found in White's favour - and the Newspaper had to issue a public apology and pay undisclosed damages.
March 1st: Russia's war against Ukraine is raging, and one news story illustrates just how far people will go in peddling falsehoods through social media. Social media users were claiming a viral image showed a Ukrainian girl yelling and waving her fist in front of a Russian soldier, and telling him to go back to his own country. But as a series of fact-checking cites were able to ascertain, this was really a picture of Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian girl, confronting Israeli soldiers in Nabi Saleh, a village in the West Bank, on Nov. 2, 2012. We have no idea who posted this fake news, nor with what motive. See this article in Yahoo News.
Feb 1st, 2022: Amnesty International adds its name to those denouncing Israeli Apartheid in this detailed report and accompanying 14 minute video. It claims apartheid is enforced in a “highly institutionalised manner” in Israel and the Occupied Territories, and says the perpetrators should be probed by the International Criminal Court. Israel and its partisans predictably claim the report is "antisemitic", and various UK supporters call for a review of Amnesty's International's charity status. However, the renowned Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, writing in Haaretz, claims Israeli critics have not responded to a single point made in the report.
Dec 26th: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, of South Africa, dies and his loss is much lamented around the World. However, the response of the Guardian sums up the appalling bias in Britain's "liberal" news outlets. Tony Greenstein commented thus in his blog: "The Dishonesty of the Guardian Knows No Limits – Its Obituary for Desmond Tutu Not Only Failed to Mention his criticism of Israeli Apartheid but they DELETED Professor Mond’s Comment pointing this out!"
Keir Starmer provides a further example of British hypocrisy when he tweeted that Archbishop Tutu was "a tower of a man, a leader of moral activism". Skwawkbox condemned his jumping on the bandwagon in an article entitled Starmer shredded for Tutu hypocrisy: ‘You’d have expelled him from Labour’.
Dec 20th: Rachel Riley court case throws a shadow on the impartiality of the judiciary. The Countdown TV star had sued Laura Murray, a former aide to Jeremy Corbyn, over comments made on Twitter more than two years ago. Murray had tweeted "Rachel Riley tweets that Corbyn deserves to be violently attacked because he is a Nazi. This woman is as dangerous as she is stupid. Nobody should engage with her. Ever." Justice Nicklin awarded Riley damages of £10,000 on the grounds that Murray had misrepresented her. This is an extraordinary judgement given that Riley’s original tweet clearly implied that the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn was Nazi - as you can can see from the BBC account.
Dec 10th: The US won its appeal against a January UK court ruling that Julian Assange could not be extradited due to concerns over his mental health. Judges were reassured by US promises to reduce the risk of suicide. His fiancée, Stella Moris, called the decision “dangerous and misguided” and said they intended to appeal. Both Reporters without Borders and Amnesty International issued strong condemnations. Amnesty International Europe Director, Nils Muižnieks said the High Court had chosen to accept deeply flawed diplomatic assurances given by the US and, most importantly from CAMPAIN’s perspective, that the US government’s indictment poses a grave threat to press freedom both in the United States and abroad: “If upheld, it would undermine the key role of journalists and publishers in scrutinizing governments and exposing their misdeeds would leave journalists everywhere looking over their shoulders.”
Nov 29th: Journalist Peter Oborne announces he is building a new website listing Boris Johnson's lies, and crowdfunding for this purpose. See this account in the Chiswick Calendar. Oborne describes Johnson as "uniquely deceitful", finding to be particularly harmful his statement that the Brexit deal would not create a trade border with Northern Ireland. It threatened to destabilise the peace and undo the tremendous achievement of the Good Friday Agreement in ending the Troubles.
Nov 11th: Leading politicians and the mainstream media badly misrepresented students protesting against Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s ambassador to the UK, outside the LSE. Hotovely is an unabashed Islamophobe on the far right of Israeli politics and a legitimate target for protest. In this video, Owen Jones tells us the truth about the protest - we dearly hope he continues doing such excellent reporting.
Nov 4th: US puts Israeli spyware maker NSO on blacklist amid security concerns according to The Guardian. The US Commerce Department said that "investigative information had shown NSO and another Israeli surveillance company called Candiur had developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used this tool "to maliciously target government officials, journalists, business people, activists, academics, and embassy workers. The Biden administration's move represents a victory for researchers at Citizen Lab and Amnesty International, who have documented cases of alleged human rights abuses using spyware dating back to 2016. CAMPAIN discussed the problem of such spyware in a blog of March about the aptly name "Act Il." app, used to manipulated online discussion about Israel in western countries.
Oct 22nd: According to a leaked document, the lawyer the University of Bristol hired to investigate allegations of anti-Semitism against Professor David Miller concluded that the academic had “no case to answer.” Despite this, the University bowed to the dictates of Israel and its lobby and fired him anyway. The document proves that the complaint against Miller was instigated by Israel lobby groups, the Community Security Trust (CST) and the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), not by “terrified” students on campus. Read Asa Winstanley’s article for further information.
Oct 1st: the University of Bristol sacks David Miller, Professor of political sociology and a member of the School for Policy Studies, in a case that is very damaging to freedom of expression in British academia - see BBC report here. See Millers' account in this video.
Oct 1st: The Conservative Party refuses to gant investigative media outlet Declassified UK access to its annual conference, which was to hold a session titled “Is free speech in peril?” The move has drawn condemnation from the National Union of Journalists and Reporters without Borders and comes weeks after Miller asked defence secretary Ben Wallace about UK relations with Saudi Arabia at an arms fair. Read about this feat of hypocrisy in this article by Mark Curtis.
July 10th: Another twist in the saga of crony and politicised broadcasting appointments on which we reported on May 16th. The Financial Times reports that BBC Director, Sir Robbie Gibb, sought to block a senior editorial appointment. Jess Brammar, former editor of the HuffPost UK and deputy editor of BBC Newsnight, emerged as the favoured candidate in the recruitment process by Gibb objected that it would shatter the government's "fragile trust in the BBC".
July 10th: In this article, the direct action group Palestine Action claims Instagram has been disabling its account with a view to censoring resistance against Israel’s arms trade. It tells how the group has been removed from no less than eight social media platforms, and how the lawyers of Elbit Systems have been involved in many of these cases, "targeting our pages and harassing those who host us with lawfare".
May 27th: Charlotte Leslie, Director of the Conservative Middle East Council (CMEC), posts an interesting article on Israel/Palestine. See comment by Jonathan Coulter below the article, referring to his blog about Sir Alan Duncan's diaries.
May 21st: a very interesting Byline TV podcast about the Murder of Daniel Morgan in 1987, in Sydenham, South London. It is the most investigated murder case in British history and seems to be the source of endless cover-ups and corruption involving the police and the mainstream media. The sixth inquiry into this murder promises to reveal very interesting results, but Priti Patel has given the story a further twist by taking steps to delay publication.
April 9th: Former Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan has accused pro-Israel lobbyists of "the most disgusting interference" in British politics, and of negatively influencing the country's foreign policy in the Middle East - see article in Middle East Monitor and Channel 4 Clip.