By Jonathan Hoffman
February 24, 2012
Dear Professor Michael Driscoll
Last night‘s Middlesex University Palestine Society meeting at Hendon was every bit as vile as might have been expected given the speakers – Ken O’Keefe, Ghada Karmi and ‘Jihad’ Jenny Tonge. You can tell how vile it was by the fact that Jihad Jenny was the mildest of the three speakers. In fact O’Keefe was subsequently reported to the Police for suspected Incitement.
Let me introduce you to O'Keefe if you have not had the pleasure:
It being Hendon there were quite a few Israel supporters in the audience and O’Keefe’s worst statement was to them:
Like the Nazis [he meant the Germans who resisted the Nazis] you have a special obligation [to oppose Israel]”.
You must know that Jew/Nazi comparisons are antisemitic:
He also repeated the "troofers'" lie that “Israel and Mossad was directly involved in 9/11".
Tonge alleged falsely that “the Jewish Constitution is being changed to make Israel a Jewish-only state”
O’Keefe falsely claimed that Mandela compared Israel to apartheid South Africa. The truth is that in April 2000 Mandela came to London and spoke to the Board of Deputies of British Jews. He spoke of the need for Israel to leave the lands taken in 1967 but not unless there was first recognition of the Jewish State by the Arab States: “I added a second position, that Israel cannot be expected to withdraw from the Arab territories which she legitimately conquered when the Arab States wanted to whip her out of the map of the world.” No mention of ‘apartheid’ in Israel – from a man who spent 27 years as a prisoner of the loathsome apartheid regime in South Africa.
O’Keefe said that Israel’s objective was “to maintain perpetual conflict”
Karmi said that Israelis behave towards the Palestinians as if they were a subhuman species. She said that if a newborn baby is born and dies at a checkpoint the Israelis are pleased because that’s “another Palestinian gone”.
Karmi always says “it is not antisemitic to criticise Israel”. When she says it, I always challenge her to identify an instance when a critic of Israel has been incorrectly labelled “antisemitic” but she never can. This device is simply an attempt to delegitimise complaints of antisemitism – and is therefore itself racist.
Karmi said that 250,000 Israeli Arabs had had property confiscated under the Absentee Property Law (1950). Not true. The Law only applied to people who fled in 1948, not to those who stayed!. (And the Law only applied to long-term absentees. Moreover decisions under the Law are subject to judicial review (as is the case with all administrative decision-making in Israel)).
A shameful meeting. Universities have a duty of care to their students. What action do you propose to take?