Israel “silences” critics

Expulsion without return

We are pleased to announce our online meeting with award-winning Nazareth-based journalist Jonathan Cook, and investigative reporter Asa Winstanley from The Electronic Intifada. They join us for this important discussion about propaganda, censorship & the Israel lobby. It will take place on Wednesday February 24 at 7pm.

To gain access to the meeting: register here.

There has never been a more difficult time to be a supporter of Palestinian human rights. All UK solidarity groups have come under fierce attack from pro-Israel lobbyists, just for the crime of trying to tell the truth about Israel’s actions against the Palestinian people. How do we fight this war? How do we continue to give support to a displaced and oppressed people when voicing criticism of Israel is criminalised?

These two journalists are on the front line of a propaganda war which they say has seen the weaponisation of anti-Semitism worldwide, resulting in the smearing of Palestinians and their supporters and the chilling of free speech in all public spheres.

More information about the meeting: Why can’t we talk about Palestine?

If you have any problems registering for the meeting: email us.

  • Video of our recent meeting with Ilan Pappé and Ghada Karmi: Expulsion without Return? The Palestinian Experience: YouTube video here.
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Image Credits: Hastings & Rye Palestine Solidarity Campaign .


  1. That’s a very valid opinion, Tim. But, without any antagonistic intent, why do you believe that?

    It would be interesting to discuss why a talk, given by informed commentators, should not be presented to local people. Are you able to explain your perspective?

    Have the people of Rye not got an interest in politics, in human rights, international law and foreign affairs? Would they not be interested in questions of freedom of speech and conscience? Would they not care to consider how the limits upon those rights might affect their own freedoms? Or how constraints, legal, advisory or social, might in effect encroach upon democratic liberties?

    Or should they be shielded from such issues?

    To my mind, this sounds like a very worthy discussion indeed. Perhaps we should listen first, then make up our minds?

    Indeed, perhaps your sentiment actually goes to the very heart of what this talk is about?

  2. Guy, thank you for your comment which I totally agree with. Not sure why my response is not here but I too said surely sometimes one has to look wider than one’s own borders especially at the moment as the pendemic will only end when one understands that everyone globally gets the jab which is not happening in poor countries esp not Palestine

  3. My objection is not with the event as such being advertised. Any legitimate and lawful society may wish to bring an event to people’s attention. What is inappropriate is the pejorative and judgemental headline and the content of the piece. If people of Rye have an interest in international politics, there are a myriad of other sources they can turn to, rather than a local news source. As for my perspective, I take special exception to the comment about the ‘weaponisation of anti-Semitism’. Without entering into the debate about Palestine, which I repeat I do not consider a relevant issue for our local news source, I would just say that my wife’s family lost several members during the holocaust, including my wife’s grandfather, 3 great aunts and a great uncle, most dying in concentration camps. She finds the comment I refer to as offensive and it should not be published here. If you and others wish to debate this issue at a meeting that is of course your right, but the topic and a one-sided view should not appear here.

  4. Tim, the comment re antisemitism was directed to people who might consider it because of supporting Palestine as has been done many time in the media and society.
    There was no intent to offend your wife, my family had to flee, parents lived through the war under the Nazis, some family members ending in the camp.
    I don’t often talk about it or make it an excuse that I support Palestine under the oppression but over time in this country I have come across accusation and had to mention my Jewish background.

    Apologies to your wife, really it was meant generally, maybe expressed differently she would not have taken it personally.
    Having said this and in terms Rye News being a local paper surely it’s permissible to branch out occasionally. No-one needs to take any notice if irritated by it.

  5. Hi, Tim
    Thanks so much for explaining. I can completely appreciate you and your wife greeting that phrase with acute sensitivity. Who would not in your wife’s position? What an utterly tragic story, and pitiably, one of millions… Such experiences should not be forgotten. I repeatedly talk to my own kids about the Holocaust to ensure that they understand.
    Re the wording of the article, I suppose the “weaponisation” phrase is a polemical headline proposition and we need to listen to the talk to gauge the veracity of that proposition. I suppose we have to hope that discussing and defining anti-Semitism, in good faith within the bounds of a measured and objective political discussion,
    is not the same as promoting anti-Semitism. I don’t believe it is. I would be highly disinclined to listen if it proved to be. However, this is undoubtedly a very febrile contemporary debate, and I can’t help but think, Tim – and with due respect to you and your wife – that your points in a way illustrate just why such conversations need to happen? And I think they need to happen locally, nationally and globally.
    Again, thanks for your thoughts. I shall listen, and perhaps we can review the talk here afterwards? I think the one thing we have to learn from all the present upheaval in the world is that there should be more respectful dialogue and less vituperative antagonism. Let’s hope this talk falls into the former category.

  6. Thanks to you both for your comments and understanding. I still do not think that Rye News is an appropriate forum on which to discuss such controversial and problematic international issues but on that we will have to differ.
    I am very sorry Heidi to hear that members of your family were victims of racist persecution.
    I will leave it at that except to say that I agree it is so important that discussions on such issues can take place without venom and insult. Sadly that has not been the case in so many exchanges in social media.

  7. Very well said Guy and Heidi. Such a meeting/conversation is very most definitely needed and not only in Rye, but everywhere! We are very pleased that this issue is being brought to the attention of our community and will listen with interest. There is nothing anti-Semitic about standing up for human rights and freedom of speech. Margo and Robin.

  8. I agree with Tim Rothwell !
    Can Rye News please return to being news of Rye and its surroundings. International and political events have plenty of coverage in the media which we can all access when we CHOOSE .
    Why not set up a forum where like minded people can thrash out these problems without involving people like me who just want to grow (even) older and not get hot under the collar.

  9. I want to turn off the news more and more these days, Sheila, so I know exactly what you mean. But I think the days are gone when events in faraway places don’t effect us. Once upon a time we didn’t need to think about glaciers in the Arctic or Amazonian rainforests, and we’d rarely think about somewhere as close as Brussels, let alone obscure cities like Raqqa or Wuhan. But we live in an interconnected world now and we can’t pull up the drawbridge, alas. The reverberations from events in these distant places reach our shores as surely as refugees turn up in rubber boats in St Margaret’s Bay. And frankly, sometimes events that may or may not effect us actually aren’t really covered in the news cycle – especially at times like this, when we’re all looking inward. So, personally, I think more information’s always better than less information. As for getting hot under the collar, I think we’re all being admirably polite!


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