Dr Paul Stott

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Anti Zionism Coordination (AZC) Annual Conference and Jeremy Corbyn MP

Feb 25, 2022

On 12 February 2022, Anti Zionism Coordination (AZC) held online its annual rally, entitled 2022, The Year to Combat Normalization: We Will Resist the Entity and Protect the Homeland. The AZC — said to be based in Istanbul — was launched in February 2021, bringing together ‘anti-normalisation’ and ‘pro-Palestinian’ activists from 20 countries.[1]

Jeremy Corbyn was advertised to speak at the rally but did not do so. Promotional literature about the conference which was posted on the AZC’s Facebook page on 6 February listed Jeremy Corbyn among the participants.[2] On 8 February the conference’s schedule was posted, in which 15 minutes were allotted for Jeremy Corbyn, directly after the controversial Palestinian Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine.[3] It was not till 12 February, the day of the event, that a new poster was released, without Jeremy Corbyn.[4]

Corbyn’s expected participation in the rally was covered by the Daily Mail, in an article to which Policy Exchange’s Security and Extremism Unit contributed. Corbyn’s spokeswoman told the Daily Mail that: “I can confirm that Jeremy Corbyn is not speaking at this event. Jeremy Corbyn receives invitations from a myriad of individuals and organisations. This invitation was declined earlier this week.”[5]

The AZC is headed by Ahmed Wehman, a Moroccan previously arrested in his country for his anti-Israel activism – as the head of the Moroccan Observatory against Normalization.[6] Wehman was praised by Ahmed Al-Raissouni, president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), as a symbol in Morocco of the Palestinian cause and a special national and global symbol of fighting normalisation with the ‘Zionist occupier’.[7] The IUMS is a key international theological Islamist outfit, which was founded and previously headed by the controversial Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, considered to be the global spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood.

To justify their rejectionism of Israel and of establishing normal relations with the Jewish state, the AZC for example, published a cartoon on its Facebook page depicting a Jew walking away from Palestine, whilst carrying on his back a book titled The Forged History, in addition to the Trump and Balfour Declarations.[8]

Several members of the AZC’s Higher Committee are affiliated with Middle Eastern Muslim Brotherhood branches; some of them also participated in this rally.

Among the rally’s sponsoring bodies were:

  • Boycott Campaign Palestine (BCP), said to have been founded by Hamas in 2015,[9] and headed by Basem Na’im, a former Hamas minister and head of Hamas’ political and foreign relations portfolio in the Gaza Strip.[10]Basem Na’im referred to the Arab world’s normalisation efforts with Israel as a “new wave of penetrating the Arab countries”,[11] and said that these agreements are aimed to ‘pervert the truths’ and target the Palestinian ‘resistance’ [muqawamah].[12]
  • The Lebanon based Al-Quds International Institution, which was designated by the US Treasury in 2012 as a Hamas controlled charity.[13] The organisation’s board is headed by Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.[14]
  • The Forum of Preachers of Palestine, led by Omar Foura,[15] a senior figure in Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).[16]

Both Hamas and PIJ are organisations proscribed by the UK Government.[17] It is worth noting that in November 2021, when the UK government decided to proscribe Hamas in its entirety, Policy Exchange’s Security and Extremism unit unveiled[18] the words of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) figure Khaled Al-Batsh, who stated:[19] “It is clear that there is a Zionist minister in the British government who works under the orders of Bennett, Lapid and Gantz, and who must be held accountable”.

 

Dr Paul Stott is the Head of Security and Extremism at Policy Exchange

[1] https://www.facebook.com/814455225335003/posts/3715178868595943

[2] https://www.facebook.com/AZC1948/photos/3096171507293084

[3] https://www.facebook.com/AZC1948/photos/3097322567177978

[4] https://www.facebook.com/AZC1948/photos/3100555393521362

[5] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10502855/Ex-labour-leader-Jeremy-Corbyn-pulls-speech-Hamas-linked-Israel-rally.html

[6] https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20191030-morocco-activist-tried-for-protesting-against-israels-participation-in-exhibition/

[7] http://raissouni.net/2023

[8] https://www.facebook.com/AZC1948/photos/2915383565371880   

[9] https://www.masarat.ps/article/5194/%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%B9%D9%8A%D9%85-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%83%D8%A9-(BDS)-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AC%D9%87%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%B7%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%8A%D9%84%D9%8A

[10] https://hamas.ps/en/post/3718/Hamas-denounces-UN-Security-Council-failure-to-condemn-colonial-settlements

[11] شاركت حملة المقاطعة – فلسطين… – حملة المقاطعة – فلسطين | Facebook

[12] حصاد التطبيع” ندوة عقدها المؤتمر الشعبي بحثت في نتائج اتفاقيات التطبيع مع الاحتلال على القضية الفلسطينية والمنطقة (palabroad.org)

[13] Treasury Sanctions Two Hamas-Controlled Charities

[14] https://alquds-city.com/index.php?s=news&cat=13&id=30660&skw=%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%B6%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%8A

[15] https://apaimages.photoshelter.com/image/I0000j8.IyPb.tso

[16] http://qudsradio.ps/episode/16292

[17] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/proscribed-terror-groups-or-organisations–2/proscribed-terrorist-groups-or-organisations-accessible-version

[18] Death threat issued against “Zionist agent” Priti Patel – The Jewish Chronicle (thejc.com)

[19] Palestinian Islamic Jihad Threatens Priti Patel – Guido Fawkes (order-order.com)

Dr Paul Stott

Head of Security and Extremism Read Full Bio

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