Sunday, February 06, 2005

Anti-Zionism or Antisemitism: You make the call

Apparently, the Student Union at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies has been taking lessons from the Mark Elf School of Debate, where opposing views are censored. According the Guardian, the Union
set a policy last November which made the elimination of "foreign occupation, apartheid, [and] Zionism" as a prerequisite for peace a fundamental belief of the union. Hosting an official from the Israeli embassy would compromise this, [Kavita Meelu, co-president of the union responsible for its societies] said in an email.

This policy was cited by the Union when they tried to ban an Israeli embassy official who had been invited by the Jewish Society from speaking at the school as part of a debate. To their credit, the school's authorities stepped in and forced the Union to reverse that decision.

Is the Union anti-Zionist or antisemitic, or both? Doubtless, the leadership of the Union will defend this policy on anti-racism or anti-imperialism grounds.

Don't believe the hype.

A quick perusal of the website of SOAS's Islamic Society, which is under the Student Union's jurisdiction, reveals that they have hosted such speakers as Professor Yakub Zaki, a UK-based Islamic fundamentalist and Holocaust denier who has claimed that Jews were not gassed in concentration camps, and Azzam Tamimi, who has declared himself an advocate of suicide bombing. It is clear from this double standard that the student union's banning of Zionist speakers, besides being an act of censorship, is an ugly example of anti-Jewish hatred disguised as anti-racism.


At 3:46 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Gee, that sounds even worse than our Peace and Justice program!


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