is nothing that the fake ‘Campaign Against Anti-Semitism’ charity’ likes to do
than to bully and harass someone who is vulnerable. The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism twisted
and distorted what Malaka Mohammed has said, in tweets over a year old in order
to portray as racist , a victim of Israel’s racist and murderous regime.
Malia Bouattia is the latest target of the racist Campaign Against Anti-semitism as it attacks Malaka as a ‘terrorist’
is a 26 year old PhD student at Exeter University. Malaka lost 66 members of her family in
Israel’s murderous attack on Gaza in 2014, the so-called Operation Protective
Edge. The CAA has, since it was founded
in August 2014, continuously smeared and libelled opponents of Zionism and Israel’s
murderous and racist regime as anti-Semitic.
Its targets have ranged from the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy
Corbyn, to the late Sir Gerald Kaufman and myself.
the evidence that Malaka is an anti-Semite?
Has she accused Jews of being blood suckers interested only in money, of
having undesirable social and sexual traits, stereotyped them as rich and powerful,
accused them of killing non-Jewish children for religious rituals (the ‘blood libel’)
or called for physical attacks on them? Of
course she has neither said nor done any of these things.
The CAA’s disgusting posts attacking Malaka
swastika was carved into a student door at Exeter University and a ‘rights for
whites’ sticker was put up on campus, Malaka organised a demonstration against racism and fascism. But you would
never know this from the tirade of lies that the CAA puts up on its website.
The CAA admitted
that ‘After a spate of antisemitic incidents
at the University of Exeter, students decided to organise a protest march. They
did what came naturally to them and asked Malaka Shwaikh, exposed by Campaign
Against Antisemitism as a terrorist-supporting antisemite, to address
the crowd and make Jewish students feel safe. Whilst professing an admirable
desire for solidarity, Shwaikh took the opportunity not to renounce any of her
views and to instead berate those “attacking” her as simply venting their
Perhaps there was
nothing to renounce and perhaps the ‘exposure’ by the CAA consisted of nothing
but smears and lies? After all, why
would students ask a ‘terrorist-supporting anti-Semite’ to address them if the
CAA’s lies were true?
The CAA posted a
video made in a style which Leni Refenstahl, the Nazi producer of Triumph of the Will would have been
proud of. It had dramatic martial music,
the sound of explosions and a scary voiceover attacking Malakha. Included on this video was Malaka addressing
the said students, in a passioned speech against racism that was met with
whoops and cries. Clearly it was yet another
lie of the CAA to say that she ‘berated’ those present.
Another vile CAA post attacking Malaka warning of the perils of democratic
What really concerned the despicable Zionist propagandists
of the CAA is Malakha’s consistency, her opposition to racism and with it what
Israel has done to her people, the Palestinians.
A good example of the way that the CAA twisted and
distorted what Malaka said was in their article
The CAA print all
their titles in capitals, the Internet equivalent of shouting – because shouting
is what the CAA is best at.
CAA call her ‘Shwaikh, a name that she doesn’t use so as to avoid problems for her
family) tweeted in 2015: “If terrorism means protecting and defending my land, I am so proud to
be called terrorist. What an honour for the Palestinians!” The CAA use Malaka’s family name because it
is their intention to try and ensure that further Israeli repression falls on
The key word here, which CAA purports not to understand, is the word ‘if’ which is the conditional. True Zionists aren’t the brightest of sparks
but there is nothing in her statement which justifies terrorism. What she said was that if defending and protecting her land was terrorism, then she would
be happy to be called one. In other
words, what she is saying is that the legitimate right of an occupied and
oppressed people to defend themselves against the occupier is not terrorism.
It is a sophisticated argument, which obviously causes CAA some
difficulty. When you are in business to
distort facts and engaged in the ‘art’ of smearing and defaming people, then
subtlety and sophistication go out the window.
Complex arguments are not what Zionism’s propagandists and smear
merchants are into. It’s like a
Frenchman during the war responding to Nazi accusations of ‘terrorism’ by
saying that if defending themselves
against fascism was terrorism then so be it.
The CAA’s real concern was that Malaka was ‘about to become Vice
President of the Students’ Guild’. The
idea of Palestinians being elected to a student union position is too much for
the racists that make up the CAA.
Even worse Malaka tweeted that “The shadow of the Holocaust continues to fall over us from the
continuous Israeli occupation of Palestine to the election of Trump”.
What can possibly be racist about this?
Drawing lessons from the Holocaust is the best way one can pay tribute
to those who were murdered. Ah but
Malaka also claimed that “Zionist ideology is no different
than that of Hitler’s”. Well there are many
similarities between Zionism and Nazi ideology, just as there are between Nazism
and other racist and colonial ideologies.
The belief in racial superiority, building a state based on only one exclusive
ethnicity (Aryan vs Jewish) is common to both Nazism and Zionism. There are many other similarities between Zionism
and Nazism in the way it views the untermenschen.
It is a widespread fallacy that Nazism was only about the Holocaust but
the Nazi regime lasted from 1933-1945, the Holocaust took place from 1941
onwards. For the first years of the Nazi
regime, from 1933-39 much of the British press was extremely
supportive of the regime. The Daily Mail
and Express supported much of what Hitler did.
The Times under Geoffrey Dawson refused to print criticism’s of Hitler’s
The fact is that many Jews and Israelis have made comparisons with the
Nazis. Malaka wrote that
“Hitler did his deed and the Palestinians
had to pay for it.” Apparently this
too is anti-Semitic. Not only is the CAA
nasty and vindictive, but their racist Chairman, Gideon Falter, is not only spiteful
and malicious but stupid too.
The CAA posted an article saying that Jackie Walker had posted text saying that Hitler wasn’t to blame for the Holocaust. In fact the quotation below was from Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion!
This ‘Hitler justifying quotation’ was from David Ben-Gurion, quoted in the autobiography La Paradox Juif (the Jewish Paradox) of Nahum Goldman, President of the World Zionist Organisation and the World Jewish Congress
It was not long ago that the CAA accused Jackie Walker of being
anti-Semitic on the basis of a quotation from Israel’s first Prime Minister
David Ben Gurion. The reason being that
Ben Gurion had said that the Palestinians could hardly be blamed for the
anti-Semitism of the Nazis, even though they were paying the price. When the CAA found out who they were accusing
of making anti-Semitic statements, they deleted the post, but not before we
took a screenprint. Ben Gurion’s statement was:
‘Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I
would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their
country. Sure God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God
is not theirs. We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is
that to them? There has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but
was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen
their country. Why should they accept that?
The CAA asserted that ‘according to the International Definition of Antisemitism,
“Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is
antisemitic.’ If that is so (the
IHRA definition isn’t so categorical, it says ‘might be anti-Semitic’) then the definition is wrong. But the CAA believe that anything they
disagree with is automatically anti-Semitic, which is why they accuse so many
people of being anti-Semites.
Saying that the shadow of the Holocaust continues to fall over us simply
means that the racism of the Nazis still continues in one form or another. Quite why this is anti-Semitic, even accorded
to the polluted channels of Gideon Falter’s mind is baffling. But Falter is nothing if not a dishonest
cutter and paster, because as Malakha says below, this was a follow-up to a
tweet which stated that “the Holocaust
was one of the bleakest chapters in the history of the 20th century”. Perhaps the latter was also anti-Semitic? The CAA found it more convenient not to
Like the Police State organisation that they are, the CAA boast that
they have appealed to Exeter University to expel Malakha, thus demonstrating
that they hold freedom of speech and thought in utter contempt. They inform us that
‘Disgracefully, the University of Exeter has told Campaign Against
Antisemitism that it “cannot comment on individual cases.” We are not so easily
What can possibly be disgraceful in refusing to comment to a group that
has no business interfering in the internal politics of Exeter University to
CAA were even more put out that Malaka had received ‘the glowing endorsement of Malia
Bouattia, the President of the National Union of Students’. As Malia is another Black woman who has been the
target of the CAA for ‘anti-Semitism’ one can understand their discomfort!
The past month has been an incredibly difficult
time as I have had to endure an apparent organised campaign against me, a
26-year-old student. The campaign hinges around a false belief that I am a
racist and is designed to silence and punish me for my Palestinian activism.
Not only have I been smeared, but my work in anti-racism, including recently co-organising
a march against anti-Semitism, has been completely ignored as clearly it
does not fit the narrative used to discredit me and my activism for Palestine.
Signs posted around Exeter campus announcing Anti-Facist March, co-organized by Malaka Shwaikh, in response to racist vandalism on campus including a swastika carved into a door. Photo Credit: The Tab
I have been subjected to bullying, harassment,
threats, and serious defamation of character. There have been multiple articles
written about me including one by an Exeter student for the Times of Israel in
which I am called a terrorist supporter. I do not need to explain how serious
this is in the current global atmosphere of Islamophobia.
These attempts at character assassination are part and parcel against
those involved in the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality. As
I will show below, there is no truth in them whatsoever.
Malaka Shwaikh addressing the Lammeh Conference, Istanbul Feb. 25, 2017.
However the point of these attacks is not to
determine the truth, but rather to bully those who speak up for Palestinian rights,
in order to scare others away from Palestinian activism.
The ‘evidence’ used to smear me is largely based on
my tweets, taken entirely out of context and manipulated to create the worst
possible picture of me. Most of these tweets were posted back in 2012–2015 and
have previously been brought to discredit me in other institutions.
For example, my tweet on Holocaust Memorial Day:
“The shadow of the Holocaust continues to fall over
us from the continuous Israeli occupation of Palestine to the election of
was a follow-up to a tweet where I said:
“the Holocaust was one of the bleakest chapters in
the history of the 20th century”
Both tweets are inter-linked and cannot be
separated. I have never denied the horrific crime of the Holocaust that was
inflicted upon the Jewish people and others, neither have I ever made light of
it. The tweet in question was referring to how following this genocide in
Europe, and in an attempt at making amends, European powers supported a settler
colonial project which would see Palestine wiped off the map. The message of
the tweet was that Palestinians have been made to pay for a genocide that was
committed in Europe. The tweet prior to that recognized undoubtedly the horrors
of the Holocaust. 140-character tweets are not enough to elaborate on the
context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but my social media audience
usually has a strong contextual background. Conveniently the first tweet was
ignored by these media outlets that have been attacking me.
Three tweets from the 8th February 2013 were
inserted by a hack. The tweets follow the same format and content, and they
were all tweeted in a short space of time. I also had other social media
accounts hacked at some other time. As soon as I saw these tweets, I removed them,
changed all of my passwords and took further security measures for my social
media accounts. It is very common for social media accounts of Palestine
solidarity activists to be hacked in this way and the false content used to
Without understanding the wider context, the
“If terrorism means protecting and defending my
land, I am so proud to be called terrorist”
Posted in January 2015, it may appear as a radical
statement that could raise serious concerns at both the University of Exeter
and its Students’ Guild. However, it is my honest belief, and as I will attempt
to explain, these kind of statements by Palestinians in general, and me in this
instance, are most commonly in response to efforts by Israel advocacy groups
and the Israeli government to demonize and dehumanize Palestinians. This is
done by using the emotive dog whistle by Israeli descriptors of ‘terrorist’ and
‘terrorism’ whenever referring to the ‘Arab’ population. Palestinians who throw
stones in response to Israeli soldiers invading their villages are labelled
violent thugs, rioters and terrorists. Palestinians who nonviolently protest
the illegal occupation are portrayed as violent individuals who terrorize
Israeli Jews. Practically any Palestinian who resists the Israeli occupation
and its plethora of human rights violations, war crimes and serious violations
of international humanitarian and human rights law is stigmatized in this way.
It is absolutely vital to understand the wider issues before making a judgement
on that particular tweet. So far the Campaign
Against Anti-Semitism (CAA) has not demonstrated anywhere that I
condone or support violence against civilians in any way — nor for that matter
have they produced any evidence that I have incited violence towards anybody,
since clearly I have not. How this particular tweet has anything to do with
anti-Semitism is beyond me — this connection also wasn’t explained by the CAA
in any of their publications or communications.
Other social media posts that have been brought up
by individuals attempting to discredit me were written between 2012–2015.
During these years, the Gaza Strip was still devastated by heavy Israeli
bombing campaigns, as well as subjected to a heinous Israeli military attack in
2014 in which over 2000 Palestinian civilians were killed. As a Palestinian
from Gaza, during these years I experienced trauma and devastation that I would
not wish on anyone. Many family members, friends and neighbours of mine were
killed by the Israeli Army. My posts were written in an incredibly emotional
state when my very existence and that of my loved ones were in danger.
Like most people, as I gain more life experience, I
express myself differently and all these posts if written today would reflect
Attacks published against Malaka Shwaikh accusing her of anti-Semitism directly prior to Exeter University Students’ Guild elections did not deter the student body from electing her to various positions, including member of the trustee board (for the 2nd year), as well as National Union Student delegate.
I believe the attacks against me have been an
attempt to defame my character, particularly as a Palestine activist and as a
Muslim woman. It is no coincidence that they coincide with my election to
various positions in Exeter University Students’ Guild.
president Malia Bouattia faced similar, if not worse, attacks when she ran
for and won her position. This pattern of attacks against Muslim women of
colour who are elected into positions of power serves to silence and exclude us
and demonstrates that racism is not a thing of the past, it continues to
infiltrate our institutions at all levels.
Richard Brook, Vice President of the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) was filmed covertly by Al Jazeera admitting to conspiring to oust NUS President Malia Bouattia, as part of a sting operation involving the Israeli embassy. Working in “secret” with Michael Rubin, Parliamentary Officer for the Labour Friends of Israel(LFI) and Russell Langer, campaign director for Union of Jewish Students (UJS). (Screenshot: MEMO)
I should also point out that these unfounded
charges against me will certainly have an effect on my freedom of movement.
Countries do not need much of an excuse to refuse visas to Muslims and a simple
google search of me reveals many of these inflammatory and abusive articles
calling me an anti-Semite and a terrorist. The fact that mainstream media has,
in an extremely one-sided way to date, reiterated these untruths gives further
weight to the slurs and defamation. It will also have serious implications when
I return to Gaza — threats have already been sent to my family back home. Gaza
is under siege by Israel and all movement in and out is controlled by the
Israeli military occupation making it highly likely that they will not let me
out again, that is if I ever manage to get back in.
One of several signs posted around Exeter campus announcing the Anti-Facist March, in response to racist vandalism on campus including a swastika carved into a door. Photo Credit: The Tab
Even this current horrendous attack will not stop
me continuing fighting against all forms of racism, including antisemitism and
Islamophobia. My activism for Palestine is not contradictory to, but indeed is
totally compatible with fighting against all forms of racism. In fact the
struggle for Palestinian human rights is part of a struggle against racism and
for all human rights globally. My commitment to equality will guide me in my
newly elected positions as Trustee, NUS delegate and VP Postgraduate Research.
I will represent all students equally regardless of their faith, or none, race,
gender and sexual orientation.
“Rights for Whites” (Photo Credit: Susannah Keogh/ Exeposé)
Just last week, I co-organised a march with my
friends in Exeter University against fascism in response to a swastika and a “Rights
for Whites” notice that were found in halls of residence earlier in
February. The march was an attempt to send a clear message to all those whom
these racist attacks were intended to incite against, including all my Jewish
colleagues and friends, that you will never be alone. We stand in solidarity
with you and we will defend you. A few weeks earlier, I co-organised the largest
protest in Exeter in twenty years against the USA Muslim travel ban (My
name is Malaka Mohammed in both articles — I have not used my family name
‘Shwaikh’ previously since this can have serious consequences to the safety of
my family back home in Gaza because they are under Israeli military occupation
and siege). However, conveniently, my
role in organising these protests has never been mentioned by the Campaign
Against Antisemitism. I have been attacked, threatened, and bullied throughout
without a single attempt to clarify with me the true facts. After I changed my
Twitter username @MalakaMohammed, it was hijacked in an attempt to discredit me
even more (my current Twitter username is @MalakaShwaikh).
The attacking media defamed me without even seeking
my response, denying me the right to reply. While in Gaza Israel used its
military arsenal and now in the UK I’m targeted by the media. Every tweet, post
and comment I ever said is sifted through in search for ammunition to tarnish
my reputation and silence me. With all these resources going into what I said,
or didn’t, the attacking media showed no appetite to find out my thoughts and
beliefs. For example, as a campaigner for justice and equality I believe in a
One-State Solution, a state that is based on equality and justice for all
regardless of their ethnicity, political identity, religious beliefs or none.
But this is really what Israel fears, a solution with equal rights for all the
people, without apartheid. The reality is that Israel imposes apartheid even
against the Palestinians with Israeli citizenship.
Why are the CAA and so much media dedicated to
attacking me? Is it because I’m a Palestinian woman from Gaza daring to speak
out and enjoying the respect of many? It’s natural that we Palestinians resist
the Israeli occupation and oppression, like in all struggles for freedom. This
is why I support the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS),
which is modeled on the boycott campaign against apartheid South Africa. BDS is
a human rights based campaign, to bring non-violent international pressure on
Israel to abide by international law. As governments have failed to push for
justice, people of conscience are supporting BDS, including Israelis and people
across the world.
On the other hand, the media has shown little
interest in scrutinizing the Campaign against Antisemitism (CAA) — an
organization with a large credibility gap, which is currently facing serious
complaints. There is also a national petition against the Campaign. It is a great pity
that the CAA act in this way, because at this time especially, we need a proper
campaign against anti-Semitism, rather than a group which seeks to defend
Israel by attacking its critics by falsely accusing them of anti-Semitism.
I’m inspired by the letter of support signed by over 130 students’ leaders
and PhD researchers at Exeter University in solidarity with me:
“Following the recent defamation, attacks, and
threats that our new VP research postgrad has received based on 140-character
tweets posted some four years ago, mistranslated and taken out of context, we,
the postgraduate and wider student community in Exeter, wish to show our
support and solidarity with Malaka.”
Shwaikh is a popular inspirational Palestinian human rights speaker who has addressed international audiences in close to 100 cities about her experiences in activism, anti-racism, BDS, and the power and influence of women and youth.
Letter of support for
Malaka Shwaikh following the recent attacks, threats, and defamation
To be forwarded to the University of
Exeter and the Exeter Guild of Students:
Following the recent defamation, attacks,
and threats that our new VP research postgrad has received based on
140-character tweets posted some four years ago, mistranslated and taken out of
context, we, the postgraduate and wider student community in Exeter, wish to
show our support and solidarity with Malaka. Some of us have known Malaka since
she came to Exeter some two years ago; during that time, she has been a
non-stop activist fighting all forms of racism, from Islamophobia to
antisemitism. She has been a loud voice against discrimination and bigotry for
a long time. As a Palestinian herself, she has been touring the world to speak
up for justice and to defend the Palestinian right to freedom, justice and
equality. We firmly believe that seeking justice for and defending the rights
of Palestinians is important. Smears of antisemitism to counter this and
digging up tweets from several years ago and taking them out of context are
disingenuous. We in the student community can disagree and still respect each
other, unless our disagreement is rooted in oppression and denial of basic
We are calling on the University and
the Guild to:
• Recognise that fighting for
justice in Palestine and the Palestinians does not equal antisemitism.
• Publish a statement in solidarity
with Malaka against all the attacks and threats and defend her as a student,
activist, trustee, and an elected member of the Guild.
• Guarantee legal protection for Malaka
including against the calls to have her deported.
Yara Hawwari – PhD student, fourth year
Ayat Hamdan, PhD student, second year
Lamees Felemban, MA student, second year
Rama Sahtout, PhD student, fourth year
Francesco Amoruso, PhD student, second year
Niklas Haller, PhD student, second year
Charlotte Sefton, PhD student, second year
Sylvia A, PhD student, second year
Hanadi H, PhD student, fourth year
Gabriel Polley, PhD student, first year
Schluwa Sama, PhD student, first year
Mohammad Affan, PhD student, first year
Richard Wilson, PhD student, second year
Raafat S, PhD student, first year
Aparna Mahiyaria, PhD student, second year
Daniya J, PhD student, second year
Yaar Paretz, PhD student, second year
Ana Castillo, PhD student, third year
Mohammed A. PhD student, second year
Sinibaldo De Rosa, PhD student
Veronica Garbarini, PhD student
Stephen Nutt, PhD student
Andrea Battistello, PhD student
Zhala Khader, PhD student
Alexander McDonald, PhD student
Zubir Ahmed, PhD student
Jihad Mashamoun, PhD student
Geradus Johannes Hoetjes, PhD student
Hussein AlAhmad, PhD student, second year
Jana Mechurova, PhD student
Megan Pallagrass, PhD student
Monica Ronchi, PhD student
Isobel Kingscott, PhD student
Marta Marsano, PhD student
Nikusha Naridashvili, PhD student, 66005259
Kate Holmes, PhD student
Giorgia Ferrari, PhD student
Rachel Houseago, PhD student
Bogdan Nicolae Brebeanu, PhD student
Asier Arrate Irusquieta, PhD student
Vito Morisco, PhD student
Francesco Bentivegna, PhD student
Becca Savory Fuller, PhD student
Rachel Khaled, MA student, second year
Ahmed al-Kinani, MA student, second year
Enrica Fei, PhD student, 650001645
Asma Char, PhD student, first year
Omenya Nabil Muhammad, PhD student, second year
Allan Hassaniyan, PhD student
Kubra Irmak, MSC Student, 660037613
Ahcene Adjeb, Postgraduate Student, 660061860
Emine Enise Yakar, Phd student, third year
Sumeyra Yakar, PhD student, third year
Tessa Crossley, Masters student, 610028200
Cagkan Ozturk, Masters student, 660061490
Marcel Goltan, Masters student
Zaynab Z, PhD student, fourth year
Mohammad Sabbah, PhD student, fourth year
Adam Hogan, PhD student, first year
Officers-elect and societies’ members
Katalina Karamani, VP welfare elect, the Students’ Guild
Tessa Crossley, postgraduate taught officer, the Students’ Guild
Cameron Rose, Society executive for Political, Campaigning and Causes
Charlotte O’Halloran, NUS delegate elect
Aida Magluba, Trustee Board, the Students’ Guild
Hayden Cooper, Socialist Society, 640007627
Victoria Amanfo, Feminist Society
Habib Rahman, Islamic Society President
Lizzie Harman, 640039969, Amnesty Society and the World Music Choir
Eaindra Cho, Debating Society and Feminist Society
Mayassa Hamdan, Islamic Society 650019791
Mateo Peyrouzet, Spanish Society
Alejo Black, Socialist students
Clare Engenio Smyth 630014478, Creative Writing Society