A Terrible Decision


By Jonathan Hoffman
February 3, 2010
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http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2010/02/cambridge-university-israe...

Benny Morris has made some robust remarks about Palestinians, because he was worried by the Intifada, as most Israelis were. But the idea that he is "Islamophobic" is absurd. He has taught Jewish and Muslim students alike. He is concerned about terrorism but he is not, repeat not, "Islamophobic".

And I have sat through countless anti-Israel meetings at British Universities, many of which have crossed the boundary into antisemitism.

To revoke Morris' invitation was a terrible decision.

Cambridge University Israel Society invited him in the full knowledge of who he is, what he stands for and what he has said. I understand pressure was brought to bear on them by the Student Union. That was also wrong.

I have some knowledge of what has been happening at Cambridge as I spoke there last year, to a meeting organised by Cambridge Gaza Solidarity. It was well chaired, I was able to say what I wanted and was received politiely. In my book these things made it a success:

http://www.oyvagoy.com/2009/02/23/support-jonathan-hoffman/

COMMENTS

amber

Sat, 02/06/2010 - 00:17

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Hamas pragmatic? They call for the extermination of the Jewish people, and you call them pragmatic?

Disgusting.


Harvey

Sat, 02/06/2010 - 11:59

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To CU Israel Society

Dear Jake,

Several years ago ,I was privileged to view a video of Sam Cohen ,Chairwoman of LSE Jewish Society,speaking at a debate on "Israel an apartheid state."She spoke eloquently,with knowledge and a fierce determination in the face of an overwhelmingly pro Palestinian audience. I was reduced to tears by her passion and refusal to bow to a hostile audience .Unfortunately ,I was virtually in tears for all the wrong reasons when Iread of your sorry capitulation to the CU Islamic society.

You were wrong to do so on several fronts. Leaving aside the obvious question of Freedom of Speech and the fact Prof Morris ,a learned historian and scholar of Middle East Studies should have been allowed to voice views and opinions and be subject to rigorous examination of those views.

The simple fact is that you have allowed yourselves to be influenced in what you can and can't do on the say so of the other sides own political agenda and without fully understanding their political reasoning behind it.For unless you were to invite someone from Bet Salem or some other leftist non Zionist NGO you would not gain their seal of approval.In other words CU Islamic Society and their myriad of Israel hating supprters has dictated your agenda.

Israel is faced by a concerted multi tier effort to delegitimize and to demonise it. Be it through academic and trade boycotts or an endless stream of hostile commentary in the left wing media.

You have the privileged position of being part of the front line that counters the vitriol propoganda and deceit emnating from Israel's detractors.Instead you have unquestionably capitulated to a little intimidation. If they have a problem with your choice of speaker let them take it through the university channels.Why did you do their job for them?

Perhaps you imagined you would achieve some sort of trade off and get them to think twice about inviting characters like Daud Abdullah . Don.t waste your breath .If it suits their agenda they will not give it a second thought .

You dropped the baton badly this time and made a mockery of all the hard work and devotion other University Israel/Jewish societies have put in over the years

Perhaps think of Sam Cohen when inviting your next speaker.I know I will.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 15:51

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http://thejc.com/news/uk-news/26917/row-over-cambridge-university-hate-s...

Just to rub in what a terrible decision it was to cancel Benny Morris, the Cambridge Islamic Society is hosting Tamimi tonight ...


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 15:55

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I'm sure you'll be there to shout at him, Jonathan. Two shouters in one room. Fascinating sport.


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 18:15

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And SOAS Islamic society is hosting Tamimi and White tomorrow night


vortigern (not verified)

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 19:13

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Quite right that this advocate of ethnic cleansing and genocide was stopped from speaking. Can you imagine the outcry if a supporter of the deportation of Jews had been invited to speak?

Re crossing the boundary into anti-semitism, like a panzer Morris smashes through the boundary into Jewish racial supremacism.


Harvey

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 22:55

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I don't blame the Islamic Society. They never had any intention of doing a trade off with our young naives.
However I do think that those responsible for this debacle should seriously consider their position.


amber

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 23:01

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moshe, you should support Jonathan in this. Tamimi is the worst kind of racist bigot.


Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 01:01

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