Exchange with “Student Rights”

Dear Student Rights,
I was just googling away and happened across this “open letter” penned by a chap called Raheem Kassam.  The letter berates world renowned scientist Stephen Hawking for his public endorsement of the “boycott Israel” campagin.  As your esteemed organisation will be aware, however, Israel is an egregious violator of international law, whose crimes are directly facilitated by the British government (through its supply of arms and political/diplomatic cover).  Thus, contrary to the claims made in the letter, Israel is an entirely legitimate target for boycott by British nationals of conscience… many of whom see blindingly obvious parallels between the way Israel treats Palestinians and the way apartheid-era South Africa treated blacks.  This in mind, it seems to me that Kassam’s “open letter” could quite reasonably be viewed as a subtle form of… shhh, whisper it quietly… extremism?  😉
I look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes,
Joe Sucksmith


Your flattering email comes directly to me, just FYI, as the director of Student Rights
And while I’m sure we can disagree on nuances, because clearly you believe the most free and democratic state in the Middle East (have you visited with a name like Raheem Kassam?) is a pariah, I hope you’re not naive enough to believe that boycotts are an effective road towards peace. I assume your aspiration is peace of course, as mine is, in which case the question returns to you: How exactly does seeking to demonise an entire population bring about peace?
I look forward to your deepest thoughts on the matter.
Kind regards,



Not quite, Raheem.  Your “aspiration” is for peace defined on the terms of the oppressor.  My “aspiration” is for peace defined on the terms of the oppressed.
Put another way, my “aspiration” is for a just peace; specifically, a peace which involves Israel’s genuine compliance with UN resolutions 194 and 242.  Boycott is a non-violent means of assisting the Palestinians’ struggle to this end.
Btw, a cursory search of your “Student Rights” site reveals it to be a comically crude front for two mutually reinforcing agendas: the demonization of Islam and the defence of zionism.  Small wonder that you’re welcomed with open arms by the Israelis…

Keep on with your armchair activism Joe. You’re changing the world, don’t you know? 🙂

Sent from my iPhone


Thanks, Raheem, that means a lot to me.  Just out of interest: who are your major donors, and have you, at any time, accepted monies from the government’s Prevent pot?  I ask because, like you, I’m interested in exposing the funding streams of extremist organisations, and especially keen to establish whether any such organisations have received “public money”…

No we’ve never taken any money from any government. We have no “major” Donors to the point where I don’t even take a salary for my work. Our donors are all private, philanthropic individuals and current and recent students who believe that extremism on campus is a problem. We have no authority to disclose the names and information of individuals but I can assure you, as far as you believe me, that they are thoroughly ethical sources of funding with absolutely no cause for concern from the staunchest perspectives. My colleague, Rupert, is very left wing and as many people know my politics are of the right. Therefore to find donors that suit both perspectives is hard, but possible, and we don’t intend to breach their privacy.

Sent from my iPhone

Thanks, but I get it now.  Student Rights is a front for the far right Henry Jackson Society, of which both you and Sutton are members.  I see you’re listed in the ranks of “professional staff” on the HJS website  – this means you’re paid by HJS, right?  Your “very left wing” (LOL) colleague Sutton as well, given he shuttles between Student Rights and Strategic Analysis (an HJS arm)?
The “far right” HJS which is named after a progressive senator, has many Labour signatories and more lefties working there than righties? Yeah good one mate. And no, I left HJS full time in march. I’m now an associate fellow. Unpaid.
Are you really this naive or simply brainwashed? Get a clue. And stop emailing me.

Sent from my iPhone


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