Palestine Solidarity Campaign banned from Richmond May Fair again

Nearby: Campaigners will have their stall near the fair today

Nearby: Campaigners will have their stall near the fair today

First published in News by

A campaign group that works to promote peace in Palestine has been banned from the Richmond May Fair for the third year in a row.

The Richmond and Kingston Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), said the event, held at St Mary Magdalene Church and Richmond Green on Saturday, May 10, was anything but fair after it was once again banned from having a stall.

The group was first kicked out of the fair in 2011, after three people complained, but has been subsequently banned each year since.

The group, which makes a formal request each year for inclusion, said it would set up nearby in protest with politician Jenny Tonge.

Chairman of PSC’s local branch Ben Jamal said: “I am not surprised we are not allowed in again but I continue to be disappointed because I think this case is so unreasonable and I think there has been a large body of people expressing their opinions that they are wrong.

“In the context of it all you would think that maybe they might think ‘Maybe we got this one wrong’ but they are not shifting their position.”

The group, which campaigns for peace in Palestine, was first banned from the fair after strong complaints it was anti-Semitic.

Hope and Play, a charity that supports Palestinian children, has been granted a place at the fair but has been told it cannot have any political material on the stall.

Mr Jamal said: “Our aim as a group is to bring people’s attention to what’s happening in Israel and to try to persuade them to take action in a non-violent and democratic way.

“People have a right to disagree with us but they don’t have a right to say it should be closed down.”

The fair, in its 44nd year, will see live music from the Richmond Music Trust’s jazz band and the Kew Wind Orchestra, as well as a Punch and Judy show for children.

The fair committee said the May Fair was not a political gathering but an opportunity for charities and groups much needed funds while giving families an excellent day out.

The fair committee did not want to comment further.

Comments (9)

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6:08pm Sat 10 May 14

Twotonted says...

There is a political element to this group, but that is also true of many of the stands allowed by the 'Fair' committee.
I did note the the space opposite the fair normally used by the Palestine Solidarity Committee was 'occupied' this year by a pro Israel group. How appropriate!. Maybe next year the pro Israel group will build a high wall to enclose the Palestinians to try and silence them.
There is a political element to this group, but that is also true of many of the stands allowed by the 'Fair' committee. I did note the the space opposite the fair normally used by the Palestine Solidarity Committee was 'occupied' this year by a pro Israel group. How appropriate!. Maybe next year the pro Israel group will build a high wall to enclose the Palestinians to try and silence them. Twotonted
  • Score: -33

6:49pm Sat 10 May 14

metis says...

Twotonted wrote:
There is a political element to this group, but that is also true of many of the stands allowed by the 'Fair' committee.
I did note the the space opposite the fair normally used by the Palestine Solidarity Committee was 'occupied' this year by a pro Israel group. How appropriate!. Maybe next year the pro Israel group will build a high wall to enclose the Palestinians to try and silence them.
I was with you up until that last sentence. The Jewish stand was right next to the Palestinian one and there were no walls or fireworks been lobbed over it. I thought it a very reasonable compromise. The committee took a sensible stance in not allowing either and to have them set up stall next to each other off the green provided a good counterpoint for the issues. Pity real life isn't conducted in the same manner.
[quote][p][bold]Twotonted[/bold] wrote: There is a political element to this group, but that is also true of many of the stands allowed by the 'Fair' committee. I did note the the space opposite the fair normally used by the Palestine Solidarity Committee was 'occupied' this year by a pro Israel group. How appropriate!. Maybe next year the pro Israel group will build a high wall to enclose the Palestinians to try and silence them.[/p][/quote]I was with you up until that last sentence. The Jewish stand was right next to the Palestinian one and there were no walls or fireworks been lobbed over it. I thought it a very reasonable compromise. The committee took a sensible stance in not allowing either and to have them set up stall next to each other off the green provided a good counterpoint for the issues. Pity real life isn't conducted in the same manner. metis
  • Score: 17

11:20pm Sat 10 May 14

valedateit says...

Anyone that thinks that the PSC is anything but anti-Semitic is simply ignoring obvious facts. For one, their logo represents what they want Palestine to be - that is, the entirety of Israel - "from the river to the sea". Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic, but implication of its destruction is, which is exactly what they are advocating.

Twonoted: "Maybe next year the pro Israel group will build a high wall to enclose the Palestinians to try and silence them." - funny, isn't it usually the PSC and Co that build these walls for their demos? I don't think I've once seen a Zionist group put one up.
Anyone that thinks that the PSC is anything but anti-Semitic is simply ignoring obvious facts. For one, their logo represents what they want Palestine to be - that is, the entirety of Israel - "from the river to the sea". Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic, but implication of its destruction is, which is exactly what they are advocating. Twonoted: "Maybe next year the pro Israel group will build a high wall to enclose the Palestinians to try and silence them." - funny, isn't it usually the PSC and Co that build these walls for their demos? I don't think I've once seen a Zionist group put one up. valedateit
  • Score: 32

10:30pm Sun 11 May 14

Lemonaide1 says...

Apologies Richmond and Twickenham Times, but the PSC is most certainly NOT a campaign group working to promote peace in the Middle East! It is a political and anti-Semitic group who's main objective is to wipe the state of Israel from the map and anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded.

Week after week, you will find these souls, chanting racist slogans, voices full of hatred and bile for israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, and the only place where most of us would ever wish to live - especially those of us who are women who wish to be educated, gay or practicing Christians.

Ask any member of the PSC why they aren't protesting against the massacres in Syria, the kidnapping of the 200 Nigerian schoolgirls into slavery or maybe the slaughter still taking place between the Sunnis and the Shi'ites, and they do not have an answer. They just aren't interested in these atrocities while the state of Israel still exists.

Please do not give this group the air of respectability by calling them a campaigning group, working for peace, when in fact they are political, racist and blatantly anti-Semitic.
Apologies Richmond and Twickenham Times, but the PSC is most certainly NOT a campaign group working to promote peace in the Middle East! It is a political and anti-Semitic group who's main objective is to wipe the state of Israel from the map and anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded. Week after week, you will find these souls, chanting racist slogans, voices full of hatred and bile for israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, and the only place where most of us would ever wish to live - especially those of us who are women who wish to be educated, gay or practicing Christians. Ask any member of the PSC why they aren't protesting against the massacres in Syria, the kidnapping of the 200 Nigerian schoolgirls into slavery or maybe the slaughter still taking place between the Sunnis and the Shi'ites, and they do not have an answer. They just aren't interested in these atrocities while the state of Israel still exists. Please do not give this group the air of respectability by calling them a campaigning group, working for peace, when in fact they are political, racist and blatantly anti-Semitic. Lemonaide1
  • Score: 29

8:34am Mon 12 May 14

Judy Weleminsky says...

As I promised last year through the letters page of the Richmond and Twickenham Times, I co-ordinated a stand near this year's Fair to present the other side of the story which the Palestine Solidarity Committee conveniently omits.

Our stall went under the banner Pro Israel, Pro Palestinian, Pro Peace because we want a positive future for Israel and Palestinians. We know that can only be guaranteed through a real peace between respectful neighbours. Sadly the Palestinian Authority having recently joined with Hamas - a terrorist group committed to destroying Israel and killing Jews - is no longer pursuing peace.

I am delighted to say that our stand was welcomed by the overwhelming majority of Fair-goers, many of them taking our literature and looking with interest at so much information they don't normally see.

The place we chose to put our stand was totally free when we arrived and part of the public space just as the space that the PSC stand occupied. Our band of enthusiastic volunteers were buoyed by the positive reception and we plan to be present in other public places to combat the deceptions promulgated by those who wish to destroy Israel and are careless as to their support for terrorists and those who hate Jews.
As I promised last year through the letters page of the Richmond and Twickenham Times, I co-ordinated a stand near this year's Fair to present the other side of the story which the Palestine Solidarity Committee conveniently omits. Our stall went under the banner Pro Israel, Pro Palestinian, Pro Peace because we want a positive future for Israel and Palestinians. We know that can only be guaranteed through a real peace between respectful neighbours. Sadly the Palestinian Authority having recently joined with Hamas - a terrorist group committed to destroying Israel and killing Jews - is no longer pursuing peace. I am delighted to say that our stand was welcomed by the overwhelming majority of Fair-goers, many of them taking our literature and looking with interest at so much information they don't normally see. The place we chose to put our stand was totally free when we arrived and part of the public space just as the space that the PSC stand occupied. Our band of enthusiastic volunteers were buoyed by the positive reception and we plan to be present in other public places to combat the deceptions promulgated by those who wish to destroy Israel and are careless as to their support for terrorists and those who hate Jews. Judy Weleminsky
  • Score: 15

1:19pm Tue 13 May 14

kingstonpaul says...

As important as the Palestinian issue is, and given the obvious vehemence of the debate among both Palestinian and pro-Israelis, why is this being played out at the May fair. Forgive me if I for one am not interested in visiting what should be an event based on entertainment and fun, only to find it hijacked by political interests and agit-prop merchants.
As important as the Palestinian issue is, and given the obvious vehemence of the debate among both Palestinian and pro-Israelis, why is this being played out at the May fair. Forgive me if I for one am not interested in visiting what should be an event based on entertainment and fun, only to find it hijacked by political interests and agit-prop merchants. kingstonpaul
  • Score: 5

8:30pm Tue 13 May 14

Twickenham resident says...

Totally agree with you kingstonpaul.

Every year the same old moan is played out. It is supposed to be a MAY FAIR, where people go to enjoy themselves and have some fun. The last thing people want to do is walk political and graphic anti abortion tables (as there used to be). They completely spoil the atmosphere of the FAIR and have no place whatsoever there.

Why not place your table at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park or pay for an advert in the newspaper if you want to raise awareness? A FAIR is not the place to do so.
Totally agree with you kingstonpaul. Every year the same old moan is played out. It is supposed to be a MAY FAIR, where people go to enjoy themselves and have some fun. The last thing people want to do is walk political and graphic anti abortion tables (as there used to be). They completely spoil the atmosphere of the FAIR and have no place whatsoever there. Why not place your table at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park or pay for an advert in the newspaper if you want to raise awareness? A FAIR is not the place to do so. Twickenham resident
  • Score: 4

12:10am Wed 14 May 14

humrogers says...

Leave the May Fair to be what it is - instead of allowing this pro terror Palestinian bunch of rabble rousers to hijack and politicise it. Im pleased the pro Israelis are there to counter weight these self righteous & pompous fools who only see 'evil' in the only place in the ME where democracy reigns.

Unbelievable carnage all over the place ( e.g. Syria, whose wounded are treated in Israel!) - but these cyclops-like fiends obsess over one state.

Keep banning them!
Leave the May Fair to be what it is - instead of allowing this pro terror Palestinian bunch of rabble rousers to hijack and politicise it. Im pleased the pro Israelis are there to counter weight these self righteous & pompous fools who only see 'evil' in the only place in the ME where democracy reigns. Unbelievable carnage all over the place ( e.g. Syria, whose wounded are treated in Israel!) - but these cyclops-like fiends obsess over one state. Keep banning them! humrogers
  • Score: 4

10:59pm Wed 21 May 14

hursthill says...

It's worth noting that Jenny Tonge not so long ago said she empathised with Palestinian suicide bombers. ( and they have the cheek to say they promote peace !)
It's worth noting that Jenny Tonge not so long ago said she empathised with Palestinian suicide bombers. ( and they have the cheek to say they promote peace !) hursthill
  • Score: 4

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