(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
LONDON – The
Venezuelan Embassy in London has been accused of glorifying terrorism
ahead of its commemoration on Saturday of the 10th anniversary of the
outbreak of the second intifada.
The intifada was “at the
forefront of the world struggle against white supremacist
neo-colonialism and settler-colonialism,” according to the embassy.
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legation's website describes the event, titled “Ten years since the
second intifada: making the empire turn back,” as an exploration of the
reason for the eruption of the intifada and “its ramifications for the
Palestinian revolution and national liberation struggle.”
It also says that the intifada “has been a catalyst, and formed part of
the process of an emerging multi-polar world and the growing strength
and confidence of the South.”
The event will “explore the intifada's relationship with movements of
resistance against Anglo-American aggression, invasion and occupation in
Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas and conflicts in the 'war on
A message will be delivered on behalf of the Venezuelan Ambassador
Samuel Moncada at the event. Other speakers include former MP and
veteran anti-Israel activist George Galloway; the former plane hijacker
Leila Khaled, who will address the event by video, and Massoud
Shadjareh, chair of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, organisers of
London Al-Quds Day - an annual event in support of the resistance
movements against Israel.
The IHRC is a Hezbollah and Islamic Republic supporting organization
associated with the UK branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir. At an anti-Israel rally
in Hyde Park during the Second Lebanon War, Shadjareh wore a Hezbollah
Journalist Sukant Chandan will chair the event. He heads the George
Habash Memorial Committee, where the founder of the Popular Front for
the Liberation of Palestinian is described as “a man who contributed
more than most to the revolutionary struggles of a liberated Palestine
and a free and united Arab nation.”
The London-based think tank the Centre for Social Cohesion has called
for the British police to intervene and accused the embassy of
“This is disgraceful event; its intention is to glorify the murder of
civilians and an act of glorification of terror,” CSC director Douglas
Murray said. “According to the 2006 Terrorism Act, the glorification of
terrorism is an illegal act in the UK. Therefore the police should
attend the event and arrest anyone who contravenes the law.
“The second intifada was a campaign of murder of Israeli civilians. The
murder of civilians by terrorists is something the British government
and police should consider with the upmost seriousness, whether it is
terrorism directed against Israelis, British people or anyone else.
“If this were a meeting celebrating 7/7 [terrorist attacks on London]
they would be arrested. They are celebrating bus bombs in Israel, so
Galloway and company should also be arrested. There is no difference
between celebrating the murder of people on buses in Tel Aviv or on tube
trains in London,” Murray said.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews condemned the event.
“Sadly, once again the Venezuelan government, through its embassy in
London, is siding with those who promote discord and intolerance, much
like their president and his friendship with the president of Iran,” the
Board¹s chief executive Jon Benjamin said. “Fidel Castro’s recent
comments [against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s denial of the
Holocaust and supporting Israel’s right to exist] show that he can see
the reality beyond the dogma, but the Venezuelan regime doesn't seem to
have achieved that level of political maturity.”
The Friends of Venezuela, a pro-democracy group of Venezuelan expats in
the UK, condemned the event and decision by the ambassador to give the
credence to it.
“Ambassador Moncada does not speak on behalf of the Venezuelan people.
Neither his views, nor his feting notorious terrorists and apologists of
terrorism in Venezuela's diplomatic venues, are representative of the
majority of Venezuelans,” the group's spokesman Alek Boyd told The
“As demonstrated in the last elections, when the forces aligned to
President Chavez got a minority of the votes, most of us feel profoundly
ashamed of what the head of the executive and his minions are doing.
Equally important to note is that none of the relationships that Chavez
has made with rogues - such as Ahmadinejad - have been sanctioned by the
Venezuelan people through Congress.
“For that reason, we can only profusely apologise and say that this
event does not represent the vast majority of Venezuelans,” Boyd added.
“We were disgusted to hear that the Venezuelan
embassy finds it appropriate to celebrate terrorism and the death of
innocent Israelis. We think it is not just mad but completely
‘Caracus’,” an Israeli official told the Post.
The Venezuelan Embassy has refused to comment.