UK Schoolgirl Censored for Award-Winning Free Palestine Speech
by Stephen Lendman
UK-based Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge is open to London and Essex secondary school students – “believ(ing) everybody should have the skills, confidence and desire to speak in public, and (is) dedicated to helping people of all ages and levels achieve this.”
Wanstead High School student Leanne Mohamad’s uplifting Birds of Peace, not Bombs speech took top honors in the Redbridge regional final – supporting Palestinian rights, wanting them treated as human beings, opposing racist discrimination.
UK-based anti-Palestinian blogger Edgar Davidson complained to the Speakers Trust – involved in training students to participate in the Speak Out Challenge.
He turned truth on its head, accusing Mohamad of delivering “a virulently anti-Israel speech full of lies and blood libels,” claiming it “should not have won the competition…”
In response, the Jack Petchey Foundation and Wanstead High School unanimously excluded Mohamad from participation in final rounds competition.
Speakers Trust CEO Julie Holness invented nonexistent ST “rules,” used to justify Mohamad’s exclusion, saying:
Speakers “must have a positive and uplifting message…(They) should never inflame or offend the audience or insult others…(P)ropaganda is ruled out absolutely…”
Mohamad’s speech was warmly received, greeted with standing applause and approval, discussing hard facts, disturbing reality in Occupied Palestine, what anti-Palestinian racists want suppressed.
The late internationally renown human rights champion Hedy Epstein (August 1924 – May 2016) once said “Palestinian are an amazing, resilient people. They will never give up. Israelis may kill many of them, destroy their homes, destroy their lives, but they will never be able to destroy their hope.”
Mohamad spoke forthrightly about occupation harshness, Gaza’s blockade causing her baby cousin’s death. Denied medical care took his life.
Her free Palestine speech deserved top honors, now considered verboten, removed from the Speakers Trust site and You Tube.
It’s one of many examples of the power of Israel and its minions to control the message – denigrating truth-tellers, exposing Israeli high crimes, the only possible way to stop them.
A Final Comment
A previous article discussed Imad Barthouthi, a distinguished Palestinian astrophysicist, an Al-Quds University Professor of Theoretical Space Plasma Physics.
In December 2014, Israel lawlessly detained him for nearly seven weeks – over Facebook comments he posted, critical of its summer 2014 Gaza aggression.
On April 24, he was again lawlessly arrested, sentenced days later to three months administrative detention without charges or trial – for truth-telling Israel wants suppressed.
Last week, an Israeli military court ordered him released, effective Sunday, citing no justifiable reason to hold him.
Netanyahu’s regime ignored the ruling, invented so-called “incitement” charges to detain him indefinitely – despite international support for his release.
Palestinian Prisoners Society attorney Jawad Boulos blasted the decision, saying it revealed “again…to those who…look for proof that all the legal procedures by the (Israeli) occupation forces – namely, the military prosecution – are trivial and illusionary, and pay no attention to legal rules.”
Nearly half a century of brutal Israeli occupation reflects the worst of institutionalized racist viciousness – Palestinians victimized for not being Jews.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
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