Bomb threat halts screening of film at JVL fringe meeting

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Bomb threat halts screening of film exposing attempts to silence pro-Corbyn left

Police evacuated 200 people from a Liverpool women’s education centre on Tuesday evening after bomb threats against a film screening organised by Jewish Voice for Labour.

An anonymous caller told a young receptionist at Blackburne House that there were “two bombs that would kill a lot of people.” As a result a screening of Jon Pullman’s film “The political lynching of Jackie Walker” had to be abandoned, forcing onto the street the 100-strong audience, plus 100 other staff and users of the Grade II listed building attending a writers’ group, a pilates class and a teacher training session.

The film is an incisive and chilling expose of attempts to silence critics of Israel, in particular those who support the socialist project of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. It connects the global struggle against racism and the far right with the Palestinian cause – a cause which is increasingly subject to censorship, often using unwarranted accusations of antisemitism. Jackie Walker, an irrepressible anti-racist, socialist campaigner, is a prominent victim of this silencing campaign.

Edinburgh-based activist filmmaker Jon Pullman posted on Facebook:

“The Israeli-sponsored campaign to discredit and vilify principled campaigners for Palestinian human rights, aided and abetted by both media and pro-Israel parliamentary groups, will ultimately be exposed for what it is; an attempt to protect the world’s only apartheid state and provide cover for the escalating project to wipe Palestine from history.

This is no peripheral issue. In the growing international showdown between right and left, between might and right, the violent racism of contemporary political Zionism acts as a model for muscular ultra-nationalism and provides impetus for ethnic supremacists everywhere. It must be confronted and overcome.

This film attempts to lend energy to that struggle and will be seen.”

JVL had hired security staff in anticipation of disruption by right-wing pro-Israel fanatics who routinely attempt to sabotage pro-Palestinian events, especially those organised by dissenting Jews. Police are investigating the source of the anonymous call but it appears that the bomb threat  – a criminal act – indicates growing desperation on the part of those attempting to suppress a narrative they do not wish to be heard.

The incident was immediately covered by the Liverpool Echo, with a report including a video interview by JVL’s media officer Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi. It was then picked up by the Guardian and generated a wave of internet comments.


















Comments (4)

  • Linda Edmondson says:

    This film must be shown. The hoax stunt only reinforces the need to show it. Could it be posted on YouTube, or crowdfunded for an online showing? I don’t suppose many venues would be happy to show it and in any case those of us who don’t live in a large city wouldn’t be able to get there. I’d be happy to contribute to the costs of getting it shown, whichever medium were chosen.

  • frank says:

    Much love and respect to all at JVL.
    Will Hodge be condemning this?

  • Andrew Hornung says:

    ‘The Guardian’ ‘s failure to give a complete picture is hardly surprising. Readers might remember that on 6th September it printed a contribution by Michael Segalov which contained the following sentence: “Denying the Jews the right to self-determination in principle should fall foul of [the] newly drawn line [created by the IHRA document].” This could be interpreted as calling those “denying the Jews the right to self-determination in principle” antisemites. But the on-line version of Segalov’s contribution doesn’t say this. It says “denying Jews the right to self-determination in principle (when not achieved at the expense of an oppressed minority group) should fall foul of this newly drawn line”.
    I spoke to the reader’s editor who told me that the section in brackets had been cut for reasons of space! (I don’t know if Michael Segalov has contacted the paper to complain.)
    Typically The Guardian (at least in its printed form), while rightly proud of the fact that it is the only major news outlet to give any serious attention to the issue of antisemitism, in the end is actively involved in confusing the issues under debate.

  • Martin says:

    So will the police be investigating this hoax bomb threat? It’s an offence which can carry a custodial sentence. Police ARE able to trace these things.

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