Ron Prosor 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
LONDON – Recalling the accusation by an Egyptian official that Israel was behind
the shark attack in Sharm e-Sheikh earlier this month and labeling the charge
that Israeli medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims
“blood libel 2010,” Ambassador to Britain Ron Prosor said last week that
Israel’s adversaries are constantly crossing the line in attempting to demonize
The ambassador was speaking to more than 400 people last week at
the New West End Synagogue in central London. The event was organized by
London-based organizations, media monitors Just Journalism and the Henry Jackson
Society think tank.
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The panel included law professor Baroness Ruth Deech,
a life peer in the House of Lords; chief editorial writer for The Times Daniel
Finkelstein; author and Observer columnist Nick Cohen; Rafael Bardají, executive
director of the Friends of Israel Initiative and former national security
adviser under Spanish President José María Aznar. The event was chaired by
Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard.
The ambassador said that Britain
had become a major center in the delegitimization campaign against Israel with
the media, university campuses and non-governmental organizations playing
He criticized those who begin their argument by saying
they “believe that Israel has a right to exist.”
“Imagine if I said that
I believe in Britain’s right to exist – people would wonder what I had been
drinking,” he said.
Deech said it was time we tapped into the levers of
justice to bring the anti-Israel campaigners to account.
principal of St Anne’s College, Oxford, said Jewish students were facing a
torrent of hate on campus and need help. While freedom of speech is paramount,
she stressed, it must be within the law.
With the outcry following the
recent invitation to visit the UK issued to American pastor Terry Jones, who in
September threatened to burn copies of the Koran, Deech asked why there was no
similar outcry following the invitation by the University College Union last
year to Bongani Masuku from the Congress of South African Trade
Last year the South African Human Rights Commission found Masuku
guilty of using inflammatory, threatening and insulting statements against the
South African Jewish community after he made threats against Jewish businesses
and supporters of Israel, declaring that Jews who support Israel must leave the
Why also, she asked, was there no similar outcry following the
call to boycott Israeli academia? “No other country is held to account in the
same way,” she said, adding that Israel is also discussed more than any other
country in the House of Lords.