During an anti-Israel demonstration held on Friday night, the President of the University College London (UCL) Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Society, Saleem Nusseibeh, led the notorious “From the river to the sea” chant and warned the crowd of hundreds about “Zionist plotting”.
The chant of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” only makes sense as a call for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state — and its replacement with a State of Palestine — and is thus an attempt to deny Jews, uniquely, the right to self-determination, which is a breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism.
Mr Nusseibeh, addressing the crowd, also spoke of “Zionist manoeuvring and plotting” and claimed that “these Zionists will be removed, their presence will be gone.” He then finished his speech by leading the “From the river to the sea” chant that was heard at different points throughout the night.
In addition to this, recent online footage shows the UCL SJP President speaking on a discussion panel in December where, on a video uploaded to the “Palestinian Return Centre” YouTube channel, he said: “If the UN accepts that Zionism is racism and Israel is the manifestation of Zionism, that means Israel is a racist state.” He added: “You have to pick between principle or the law that is enacted by some of the most bloodthirsty powers that existed and still, unfortunately, preside over much of the world.”
Under the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour)” is antisemitic.
Friday night’s rally was reportedly organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). This is not the first time that a PSC rally has featured antisemitism. An investigation by Campaign Against Antisemitism in 2017 exposed extensive antisemitic bigotry amongst supporters of the PSC.
Numerous signs bearing the slogan “Stop Judaisation of Jerusalem” were spotted at last night’s demonstration. One of the banners spotted at the rally was that of Jewish Voice for Labour, an antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation.
An evidence gathering team from Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit was present at the rally held outside the Israeli Embassy in West London. The event featured numerous speakers, including Tony Burke, General Secretary at Unite and Vice President of IndustriALL Europe, Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and Former Shadow Chancellor and Labour Party MP John McDonnell.
Other speakers featured were Jo Grady, General Secretary of the University and College Union, PSC Chair Kamel Hawwash and rapper Kareem Dennis, known as Lowkey.
Mr Dennis has previously described Israel as a “racist endeavour” in direct and deliberate contravention of the Definition, described Zionism as “antisemitic”, spoken of the “Zionist lobby” in the context of global capitalism, has reportedly backed the disgraced former Labour MP Chris Williamson and has repeatedly supported the antisemite Jeremy Corbyn.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Another week, another rally on British streets infested with antisemitic tropes. Yet again, a prominent Labour MP addressed the crowd, and a leading student activist led an antisemitic chant and denounced ‘Zionist plotting’. UCL and its Students’ Union must investigate.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews almost four times more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.