Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Goings on At Leeds University

Further to the posts about extremism in British universities, here is something from Leeds.

MPACUK has published a letter from one "Waleed Kamal" (former head of the Palestinian Solidarity Group at LU) informing of a speech to be given by the Director of Public Affairs for the Israeli Embassy, Ronit Ben-Dor. The letter states:

As a Muslim, a Palestinian, and a Justice supporter, I thought it is a duty to email you as I do not want the University I graduated from to be labeled as providing a Platform for RACISTS....

One is today proud that the University he/she has graduated from is supporting freedom of speech, and is allowing the oppressed to express their views. Yet, it would be a big shame to see the same university who has twinned to support the right to education for Palestinian Students, giving a platform for an advocate of an illegal state on campus.

Well, hold on. If you're proud that the university allows people to express their views why do you want to stop this person expressing her views? And furthermore it is hard to see how Leeds University is supporting freedom of speech. Just last December the Palestinian Solidarity Group sponsored a union motion stating that any complaint from the LU Jewish Society should be ignored "as long as Judaism as a faith is not offended." Disgracefully, that motion was passed. It can hardly be claimed that the PSG is a bastion of free speech.

The letter goes on to say:
The talk deceives the students, and prohibits them from getting the fair and right picture in regards to what is happening in the Occupied Palestinian territories, and the Israeli barbaric behavior.
This is, of course, complete nonsense. Hearing the Israeli side of things could not possibly "prohibit"someone from finding out what is going on. The letter concludes:
I ... would regard it as a pity if Our university is advocating the acts of the illegal Zionist state of Israel.
This letter indicates that extremism is prevalent on British campuses, and following in the MPACUK mould, it often appears in the form of seething hatred of "Zionists".