A Government building in Westminster is hosting the “biggest ever in Europe” pro-Palestinian event, organised by a group allegedly linked to anti-Semites, Islamists, and terror groups.
Palestine Expo 2017 is due to take place just yards away from Parliament in the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, which is owned by the Government and operated by an agency of the Department for Communities and Local Government. The building was reportedly one of those considered as a venue to host Parliament itself when the Palace of Westminster is closed for renovations.
Although presented as a family-friendly introduction to Palestinian history and culture, the event will host Islamist and anti-Israel speakers and has been described as a “Jew hate event” by Jewish groups.
— Friends of Al Aqsa (@FriendsofAlAqsa) May 13, 2017
The event, to be held on the 8th and 9th of July, has been organised by the Leicester-based Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA), which claims it is “concerned with defending the human rights of Palestinians and protecting the sacred al-Aqsa Sanctuary in Jerusalem”.
The group, however, is allegedly linked to the Hamas terror group, has supported Islamists funded by Iran’s Khomenist regime, and openly publishes the work of Paul Eisen, described as a Holocaust denier by left-wing papers such as The Guardian.
The group’s founder and chair, Ismail Patel, was a supporter of the late French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy has been pictured with Hamas leaders.
At a 2009 rally, Mr Patel told the crowd: “Hamas is no terrorist organisation. The reason they hate Hamas is because they refuse to be subjugated, occupied by the Israeli state, and we salute Hamas for standing up to Israel […] to the state of Israel: you no longer represent the Jewish people.”
Hamas is a fundamentalist, anti-Semitic militant group widely classed as a terror organisation, most notably by Israel, the U.S., and the European Union (EU).
There are also widely published claims that FOA has further links to Hamas via Patel’s work with the British Muslim Initiative (BMI), links to Khomenist Iran due to support for the Islamic Human Rights Commission, and links to the pro-Caliphate Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood due to support for the charity Interpal. According to UK Media Watch:
“‘Friends of Al Aqsa’ is one of the more extremist Islamist organizations at work in Britain today. It supports the Muslim Brotherhood-linked charity “Interpal” (proscribed by the US Treasury) and advertises it on its website.
“It collaborates with the Khomenist Iranian-funded faux human rights organization known as the Islamic Human Rights Commission in organizing events such as Al Quds day at which public support is expressed for the Iranian proxy militia Hizbollah.”
In line with these concerns, Jewish Human Rights Watch has written to the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, calling on them to “cancel the Jew hate event”, which they also say is linked to Hamas and claim could be in breach of the Equalities Act.
— Jewish Human Rights Watch (@jhrwatch) May 3, 2017
The event is playing host to Tariq Ramadan, a famous Egyptian-Swiss Islamist philosopher who is the grandson of the Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna.
Also on the bill is outgoing National Union of Students (NUS) president Malia Bouattia, who was condemned for “outright racism” by MPs and was found to have made potentially anti-Semitic comments by an internal report.