My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Friday, December 10, 2010

An anti-semitic speech at LSE....

Nothing will happen...and these sort of speeches will continue...
Police are investigating allegations of antisemitism after a lecture by a controversial speaker at the London School of Economics descended into chaos and 30 Jewish students walked out in protest.

The subject addressed by Abdel Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, was "How much influence does the Zionist lobby exert in the US and UK?"

During the lecture, Mr Atwan, who had been invited by the Palestine Society, allegedly accused Jewish students of "bombing Gaza", referred to the "Jewish lobby" and refused to condemn Hamas, saying: "Would you want me to condemn those who are resisting the occupation?"

He has previously been captured on video in 2007 on MEMRI TV saying: "If the Iranian missiles strike Israel - by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight if the Iranian missiles strike Israel."

Following the event, students from the Israel Society, who had been refused the opportunity of providing their own speaker to balance the panel, met the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Dr Janet Stockdale. She assured them the event would be investigated and that procedures for such meetings would be reviewed.

The Union of Jewish Students had agreed a set of conditions with LSE's student union beforehand, including the videoing of the event and chairing by an independent academic.

Carly McKenzie, UJS campaigns director, said organisers had failed to meet these assurances: the filming was left to the Palestine Society and has not been made public.

The chair was a senior LSE lecturer who is co-convener of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), Professor Martha Mundy. She has written extensively on her support of an academic boycott of Israel.

An official complaint has been lodged with the university about her conduct by UJS and the Israel Society.

"We feel let down by the student union," Ms McKenzie said. "They reneged on their assurances...Their attitude following the event has been both lethargic and inadequate.

"The comments made by Atwan were in clear breach of the student union's antisemitism policy as well as wider university and civic codes.

"These shocking incidents highlight the importance of better regulation of extremist speakers on our campuses."

Eden Dwek, a 20-year-old geography and economics student at LSE, contacted police after the meeting, saying he had felt concerned for his safety. "The question and answer session is when things got very nasty," he said. "A question was asked by the audience regarding what Atwan said on MEMRI TV. He managed to avoid answering this properly, and when I asked for an answer, I was shouted down by both the chair and Atwan.

"Atwan then proceeded to point at several members of the audience, including me, and shouted 'You bombed Gaza' to each one.

"I felt very intimidated by being shouted at by two people at the same time, especially as one of them was a lecturer from my university who is supposed to have a duty of care for my wellbeing."

One member of the audience accused Jewish students of being Nazis and after the lecture told Mr Dwek directly that his Israeli family were Nazis and that he was part of the "Israeli police".

Gabi Kobrin, president of the LSE Israel Society, who walked out of the event, said: "I felt extremely intimidated, uncomfortable and fearful. As I left, people were jeering and saying "go get her".

"LSESU Palestine Society has shown it has no regard for student welfare, good campus relations nor a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the Middle East.

"Our repeated attempts to work constructively with Palestine Society have been rejected in favour of it pursuing an aggressive, alienating and one-sided agenda."


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