My key strategy has always been to go where others do not. I sit with the liars and the haters and then report on what I find. This week is no different – This is the story of a Palestine Action induction event.
The Palestine Action induction
The Zoom induction starts with Huda Ammori appearing on camera alongside another activist called Richard Barnard.
Listeners are welcomed and then told there is a form they need to fill in, so they can later be added to a relevant ‘chat group’.
Location is key, and you will only be added to groups relevant to the area you live in. Palestine Action operate in small cells. This Zoom event is all about finding recruits and it is made clear from the outset, that if you are not interested in what they describe as ‘direct action’, you are watching the wrong event.
We are shown the Palestine Action ‘launch video‘ and we hear that Elbit ‘build weapons to test on Gaza civilians’. The video includes all the usual smears about Apartheid, war crimes, mass killings and through graphic imagery, leads the viewer to believe that Israel is a brutal war zone. It is difficult to reconcile this with the fact that the total casualty count for the entire year stands at about 21 – almost all of them engaged in acts of terrorism.
— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) July 30, 2020
Their argument is simple. The UK is complicit, Elbit are in the UK, Elbit tests weapons on children, therefore anyone who disagrees with them attacking Elbit is a supporter of war crimes and Apartheid.
Ammori’s Horrible History
No anti-Israel event is complete without a total rewrite of history and Ammori soon launches into her own fictional tale. Apparently the ‘Balfour Declaration’ was where the UK ‘basically mandated that is was okay to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people‘. She also grossly understates the Jewish percentage of the population of the time. She then quickly jumps to 1948, when the ‘Zionist’ Militia‘ backed by ‘Western countries‘ – ‘went in and ethnically cleansed 750,000 Palestinians from their homes‘. The Zionists also ‘killed many, many, Palestinians in the process‘.
That is absolute ahistorical bunkum. Balfour didn’t mandate anything and 1948 was a bloody and desperate civil war that saw equal casualties on both sides. By January 1948 Arab irregular forces had already invaded the British mandate and had begun attacking Jewish settlements – all this long before the May invasion by several Arab states. In addition, every Jewish village that fell into Arab hands was entirely emptied of its Jewish inhabitants. These facts however do not sit well with Ammori’s lies. If she tells the truth, her entire movement falls apart.
But Ammori is all about the lies. Having laid out the history she then reinforces the *fact* that the UK are profiting from Israeli war crimes and as UK citizens it is our responsibility to bring this relationship to an end.
Elbit, Palestine action, lies and childish politics
We are told Elbit is the main target for Palestine Action but there will be other targets. Ammori is speaking freestyle and soon slips up by talking about ‘Jewish settlements’ rather than Israeli ones. She realises what she has done and quickly corrects herself. At this point Richard begins to talk. He reminds people this isn’t about coffee mornings but taking direct and diverse action. He reaffirms – ‘letter writing, talking to politicians – it’s over‘. ‘It (democracy) is pointless, it doesn’t work‘. Richard stresses the small cell aspect of the Palestine Action network. Ones, two’s and three’s – small groups are what is wanted.
Ammori then starts on Elbit again and is adamant that Elbit test on civilians in Gaza to make money. She claims this is one of the reasons the actions against Gaza takes place. Ammori refers to Gaza as a ‘live testing site‘. Sticking to the issue of Gaza, Ammori talks of Palestinians as people without a choice. This is the biggest lie of all. Palestinians have been offered peace deals several times – they chose to vote for Hamas. Terrorists choose to fire rockets. Not a single Israeli action would occur if Palestinians chose peace.
The conversation becomes even more ridiculous. Ammori begins to go on about Elbit’s UK sales, which she says are to stop refugees arriving on our shores, or for the police to monitor ordinary civilians. ‘This is all quite scary‘ she says, and claims ‘Elbit is as the heart of it‘. Either Ammori doesn’t understand the way markets work or she sees Elbit as a thinking devil, manipulating democratic governments into taking actions they would not take if Elbit did not exist. This is insane stuff. It is the politics of a silly child.
Ammori begins to randomly throw names into the mix. She brings in Trump and the ‘Mexican wall’, and in what is becoming increasingly common in anti-Israel circles she attacks India, drawing parallels between Kashmir and the Palestinians. This is an Islamist driven agenda.
Richard returns to the fantasy land and says they will get rid of Elbit as their ‘first win‘. The group clearly has a vastly overstate opinion of itself. The UK’s commercial aircraft and British soldiers are safer because of Elbit. So are our streets. If they think they will ‘get rid of Elbit‘ by throwing paint, these people are deluded. But he goes on – ‘we will succeed, we will win and we will get rid of them‘.
Direct action and civil disobedience
It is Richard who begins to describe the ‘necessary’ action. Such as ‘occupation’ or ‘visual attacks such as ad hacking‘. This is an induction event that took place before the attack on Elbit in London on Saturday and Richard invites people along to Saturday’s event, giving instructions that are quite clear – ‘we are not about demonstrations, we call for civil disobedience to go alongside it’.
Ammori takes this a step further. She suggests their strategy is to ‘shut Elbit down by any means necessary‘.
The how to be a thug guide
We are told their network uses Signal and potential recruits are instructed to download the app and hand over their mobile number in order to be added to the relevant regional group. Ammori then begins to tell people what to do. It is about small cells. Even if they are alone, they don’t have to wait for help or instructions, they can just take a bucket of red paint down to their local Elbit offices. She then says it is important to take a photo and send it by email to Palestine Action so they can share it online.
Ammori then shares an image of a vandalised bus stop:
She refers to it as an ‘ad hack‘, which basically means vandalising a billboard on the London Transport system, removing a paid advert and replacing it with one of their own. We are told by Ammori that this illegal act is ‘quite an easy thing to do‘. ‘All you do is slip a bus stop poster down, flip it over and then put it back up painted‘. We are told that all we need is a t60 screwdriver and then directed to Google for further details. To sell the vandalism even further, Ammori tells those listening this also attacks those ad companies who are selling us ‘crap’ like on ‘Amazon’.
Another vandalised bus stop is shown. This time in Oldham. It plays on the fact that over 25% of Oldham’s population is Muslim, with large Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities. We can see the Islamist political linkage, that Kashmir and the Palestinian issue are the same.
It is Richard’s turn to instruct people how to engage in illegal activity and we are presented with a slide with an image of a bus that has been ‘ad-hacked’:
Again we are told how easy it is. ‘You literally just slide the other advert off, and you just need to paint it and slide it back on again’. The next slide is of the front of the building at 77 Holborn:
They keep reminding us that all these actions were taken and nobody was arrested for it. At this point we are told that Palestine Action will soon be releasing ‘activists packs‘ that will contain items such as the stencils needed for this type of attack.
More illegal stuff
Another video is shown, this time of an action of ‘occupation’, inside Elbit’s office. We see graffiti all over the walls and we watch the activists brazenly taking the action on camera.
The police do nothing
When the video ends, Huda Ammori begins to talk about the ‘non-consequences’ of all these actions. This fact is referenced at the end of the video which states nobody has been prosecuted for any of this ‘direct action’. Ammori states that sometimes the charges are dropped, but for the most part, people are not even arrested. Richard takes over and proudly boasts that they have videos of police telling them ‘not to worry‘. He tells us that Elbit’s factories have been shut ‘over 20 times’ and nobody has been prosecuted. He says it shows how ‘evil’ Elbit are before stating that is also shows ‘we can get away with it‘.
On the next slide Richard Barnard expands horizons by suggesting that the targets are not just Elbit, but any company that deals with them. The slide shows other attacks against other sites, including Discovery Park House in Kent:
This shows the naivety of the authorities in backing off. The Palestine Action leaders openly state they will be expanding their activity onto more vulnerable targets. So when they hit the smaller companies – it will be the responsibility of those who until now, have let these thugs openly boast and brag about how easy it all is. To highlight this point Huda Ammori reminds us that nobody was charged for this action. They are openly telling their potential recruits not to worry about the police. Their next slide showed a similar attack in Oldham.
The final action we are informed of is their recent occupation of the roof of the UAV Engines factory at Shenstone. We are shown a final video to explain more about it. During the video we are once more informed that the police have told the activists ‘they can just go without being arrested‘. In the video we are even shown footage of an activist throwing what looks like a brick at a window. It fails to break through the glass and falls down below. Had someone been underneath, they could have been killed. But still, no charges appear to have been brought.
The potential recruits talk
With the presentation over, Huda Ammori tells those listening to each introduce themselves and explain why they want to join the Palestine Action network. We heard from Edward in London who is from the International Solidarity Movement. He tells us the ISM activists are all stuck in the UK because of Covvid, and one by one they are coming to help Palestine Action. Edward also tells us he works with the Europal Forum. Daniella from Birmingham is a student. Someone says she is from a legal background (and so should know better) – she tells us all she is interested in getting involved in more ‘action’.
We hear from a few more. There are about 10 people who joined the call in total. Mizanur Rahman also attended. He is an ‘officer‘ at Brent and Harrow PSC. Mizanur tells us he has been an activist for a long time but he wants to ‘escalate stuff‘. Another attendee of note was Linda Speight. The only thing she tells us is that she is part of Jewish Network for Palestine – the fake Jewish group launched in SOAS about two years ago. It is perhaps worthwhile noting that both Mizanur Rahman and Linda Speight both attended the demonstration on Saturday.
And then it was over.
For those interested I have uploaded a full audio of the event.
Toxic and dangerous
Palestine Action use Zoom for their events, even though inciting people to engage in illegal acts clearly contravenes the Zoom terms of service. They use GoFundMe for fundraising, even though the same situation applies. Both of these organisations need to remove these platforms they provide the group.
Palestine Action is clearly both toxic and dangerous. On Saturday they jumped out of a car and threw buckets of paint over several Jewish activists. They openly taunt the police. Palestine Action activists publicly perform on camera because they are not worried they will pay a price for the damage they do. They instruct people how to engage in illegal action without a care in the world. Their leaders publicly state they will do whatever is necessary. It is their stated publicly strategy to widen the net to attack smaller and more vulnerable targets. There have been dozens of actions and it is time something was done to stop them – before someone really gets hurt.
David Collier blogs at BEYOND THE GREAT DIVIDE