Sam Westrop

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Sam Westrop on BBC Big Questions representing the British Israel Coalition

Sam Westrop is a right wing pro-Israel activist, a Freedom Association member and the founder and director of the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy and the British Israel Coalition.

Contents

History

Westrop was born in 1989[1] and studied music at York University where he also founded a Freedom Association society of which he was Chairman[2].

His writing has been published on Harry's Place[3] the Jerusalem Post[4], and the Freedom Association[5] website amongst others.

Activities

Climate change denialism

In October 2009 Westrop was one of organisers of a Freedom Association society event at York University called 'Climate Week', designed to 'question the politics and ethics of climate change science', based on the belief that 'we do not know if anthropogenic climate change is occurring or not'.[6]

The Freedom Association

In July 2009 Westrop was listed as a speaker at the Freedom Association summer party alongside UKIP donor Stuart Wheeler, UKIP MEP Roger Helmer, Freedom Association member Lindsay Jenkins and Rev Dr Peter Mullen, a patron of Anglican Friends of Israel. The talk was part of the Association's 'Better Off Out' campaign which calls for Britain to leave the EU.[7]

In 2009 Westrop spoke at the Freedom Zone, a party conference fringe event organised by the Freedom Association[8] and at an Israel solidarity event in Germany in 2011 on what he called the 'green-red-brown' network - an 'unholy alliance' perceived to exist between Islamists, the far left and the far right against Israel.[9]

Stand for Peace

Despite claiming to oppose interfaith organisations, which he has described as a manifestations of 'European sickness'[10], Westrop established Stand for Peace which describes itself on its website as 'a Jewish-Muslim interfaith organisation' with Hasan Afzal in 2011.[11]

Westrop has written that the group , which works ‘to prevent both violent and nonviolent extremism’ has worked 'closely' in the past with Student Rights, another anti-extremism pressure group concentrating on universities.[12]

Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy

In 2009 Westrop and others co-founded the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy[13], a 'think-tank and pressure group advocating liberty and democracy in the Middle East'[14].

In November 2011 Westrop produced a 'dossier' entitled 'An Evening with the PSC: Examining Racism, Extremism and Homophobia within the Palestine Solidarity Campaign', which accused a number of PSC activists of racism and suggested the organisation was homophobic and had links to the far-right. He has also asserted that people working within the PSC pass information about its activities to IMED.[15]

British Muslims for Israel and Stop the Bomb

Hasan Afzal and Westrop co-founded British Muslims for Israel – a project of the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy.[16]

Westrop also reportedly started the British incarnation of a group called Stop the Bomb, described as a 'student-run pressure group' opposing an Iranian nuclear programme and calling for economic and political sanctions against the country.[17] It appears to be run from within IMED by Dan Coen.[18]

British Israel Coalition

Westrop is a director of the British Israel Coalition, described as the 'grassroots arm' of the British Israel Coalition Public Affairs Committee[19] and reportedly founded in April 2011[20]. It says that it exists to 'combat the visceral hatred of Israel that is championed by the delegitimisation network'. [21]

Jewish National Fund role

Westrop is also involved in the Jewish National Fund UK, according to the Jewish Chronicle, as a press officer.[22] He has written this about the organisation:

The anti-Lieberman Jews have signed petitions claiming that the JNF UK is doing everything from forcing the Bedouins from their homes to darkly working to ‘Judaize Jerusalem’. JNF UK, with which I am involved, does exactly the opposite. It has run projects with Bedouins before and is continuing to do so now, benefiting their communities in the Negev greatly. It is not involved in any dispute with Israeli Bedouins.[23]

Views

Jewish establishment not doing enough for Israel

Westrop has criticised major Israel lobby groups such as the Zionist Federation for not doing enough to organise counter-protests at anti-Israel demonstrations. He is quoted in the Jewish Telegraph as saying 'On the whole I have found the Jewish leadership appalling when it comes to Israel'.[24]

In the Jewish Chronicle Zionist Federation executive director Alan Aziz has responded by stating that Westrop "wants to promote himself", and argued that "egos" were hampering co-ordination of Israel advocacy work.[25]

According to Haaretz, Westrop has stated that Yachad, a 'pro-Israel, pro-peace' British Jewish organisation similar to J Street, are 'aiding the enemy.[26]. Th British Israel Coalition Public Affairs Committee's slogan is also 'pro-peace, pro-Israel.'

Westrop wrote in July 2011 that a confrontational attitutde should be adopted by Israel advocates:

[We] need to aggressively attack the very root of hatred and hypocrisy. We need to cut the head off the network of groups and ideologies that work to terrorize British Jewry. We cannot be insular and solely Jewish, but we must work with pro-Israel Muslims, Christians, atheists, liberals and conservatives - all of whom exist in ample numbers. We also cannot be territorial; the more groups the better. It is about being on the offensive – advancing with a spear rather then trembling behind a crumbling shield. It is about standing up for what is right rather than dithering over what is acceptable.[27]

'Interestingly hostile' mob mentality Arabs

Westrop has also reportedly stated, after visiting Jordan and Syria:

I did not find the Arabs romantic. I found them interestingly hostile. A mentality of very irrational hatred was evident everywhere, venom regurgitated by government propaganda. Decades of despotic rule have kept a perpetual mob mentality. There is not the ability for the individual to think about what the reality of their relationship with Israel may be.[28]

Affiliations

People

Publications

Resources

Notes

  1. Sam Westrop Director Check, Comapny Check], accessed 18 July 2012
  2. In Defence of a Ground Zero Mosque, The Freedom Association, accessed 16 July 2012
  3. It Can't Just Be on the Students, the University and Unions Must Act, Harry's Place, accessed 16 July 2012
  4. Fight Back blog, Jerusalem Post, accessed 16 July 2012
  5. Emotional Fraud, The Freedom Association, accessed 16 July 2012
  6. Against the adulteration of science by idealism, The Atheist Conservative, accessed 16 July 2012
  7. Stuart Wheeler to speak at Freedom Association Summer Party on 18 July, The Freedom Association, accessed 16 July 2012
  8. Tories Got Talent, YouTube User simontrichards, accessed 16 July 2012
  9. Israel Soli Camp 2011, YouTube User scrapheaper, accessed 16 July 2012
  10. Interfaith Apostate, The Propagandist, accessed 16 July 2012
  11. About Us, Stand for Peace, accessed 16 July 2012
  12. Islamism in British universities, Jerusalem Post, accessed 16 July 2012
  13. Only 22, but Sam leads fight against the Israel bashers, Jewish Telegraph, accessed 16 July 2012
  14. Sam Westrop profile, LinkedIn, accessed 16 July 2012
  15. Only 22, but Sam leads fight against the Israel bashers, Jewish Telegraph, accessed 16 July 2012
  16. Uncommon Courage, The Atheist Conservative, accessed 16 July 2012
  17. Letters February 3rd, TotallyJewish.com, accessed 16 July 2012
  18. About Us, IMED, accessed 16 July 2012
  19. Join Us, BICPAC, accessed 16 July 2012
  20. New Coalition Feels Let Down By Community, Jewish Chronicle, accessed 16 July 2012
  21. About Us, British Israel Coalition, accessed 17 July 2012
  22. You Don't Defend Israel Properly, Jewish Chronicle, accessed 16 July 2012
  23. Fool to the left of me, Neo-Nazi to the right..., Jerusalem Post, accessed 18 July 2012
  24. Only 22, but Sam leads fight against the Israel bashers, Jewish Telegraph, accessed 16 July 2012
  25. You Don't Defend Israel Properly, Jewish Chronicle, accessed 16 July 2012
  26. Anshel Pfeffer, Learning from J-Street across the pond, Haaretz, accessed 16 July 2012
  27. Let’s make it work, Jerusalem Post, accessed 18 July 2012
  28. Only 22, but Sam leads fight against the Israel bashers, Jewish Telegraph, accessed 16 July 2012
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