Another Jewish Defence League (non-Jewish wing of EDL) participates at Sodastream
Orim Shimshon, a JDL member, in a video posted on his YouTube channel. Photo: YouTube
‘Palestine never existed’: JDL member at SOAS Israel Society event
By James Burley on December 9, 2013 in News
Orim Shimshon also said activist crushed to death by IDF bulldozer “had it coming”
A member of the far-right Jewish Defence League (JDL) claimed that “Palestine never existed” at a film screening last month run by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Israel Society.
Orim Shimshon also said Rachel Corrie, a pro-Palestinian American peace activist crushed to death in 2003 by an Israel Defence Forces armoured bulldozer, “had it coming.” He added: “I’m just sad I didn’t pancake her myself.”
Orim Shimshon, a JDL member, in a video posted on his YouTube channel. He made the remarks at a discussion held on 18 November before the screening of ‘Have You Heard About the Panthers?’, a documentary about an anti-establishment protest movement in Jerusalem that was founded in 1971.
Shimshon is a member of the JDL, which although it has said it “unequivocally rejects terrorism” has been classed by the FBI as a “right-wing terrorist group”.
The organisation fiercely opposes Islam, saying on its UK website: “We in the JDL do not recognize Islam as a religion. We despise their beliefs and everything they stand for. We believe Islam is a cancer and a plague upon humanity and nature.”
It is possible Shimshon, who was born in Iraq, targeted the event because SOAS Israel Society has a reputation for being more critical of Israel than its counterparts at other universities.
The society, for instance, says it aims to ask “integral questions” about Israel’s “policies towards the Palestinian refugees inside and outside the occupied Palestinian territories.”
Daniel Hayeem, an organiser of the film screening, claimed Shimshon had been “aggressively trying to participate” and said of his comments: “We were disturbed by them.”
Eleanor Penny, who chaired the discussion, called the remarks “racist” and argued they “slowed down any meaningful discussion.”