Universities

Calls for the destruction of Israel in SOAS lecture

By Marcus Dysch and Robyn Rosen, February 11, 2010

Palestinian academic Azzam Tamimi, who has advocated suicide bombing, has told students he “longs to be a martyr” and that Israel “must come to an end”.

Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, spoke to students at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) on Tuesday.

On Monday, he addressed Cambridge University’s Islamic Society and is also due to speak at the Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ Palestine Week at Manchester University this weekend.

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Benny Morris talk cut by Cambridge Israel society

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

Cambridge University’s Israel Society has been slammed for bowing to pressure from Muslim students to cancel a speech by a top Israeli historian.

Prof Benny Morris had been due to speak on Thursday, but the event was cancelled after complaints from, among others, the university’s Islamic and Pakistan societies who claimed he was an “Islamophobic hate speaker”.

Israel Society president Jake Witzenfeld called the cancellation “unfortunate but noble”, adding: “There was no intention to “give racism a platform”.

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Brown concern over Hamas campus talk

By Leon Symons, January 21, 2010

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Universities Minister, David Lammy, expressed concern this week as it emerged that Birmingham University was refusing to ban a speaker who has advocated suicide bombing, supports Hizbollah and is widely known as Hamas’s representative in the UK.

Labour MP Denis MacShane, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, protested to the university’s vice-chancellor Prof David Eastwood about the appearance of Dr Azzam Tamimi, who told BBC TV he would be happy to be a suicide bomber.

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An unseemly public brouhaha

By Geoffrey Alderman, December 30, 2009

The now very public slanging match involving Michael Gross and David Newman, reported in the JC last month, represents, for me, a multiple sadness.

On November 16, Newman, the British-born professor of political geography at Israel’s Ben-Gurion university (BGU), appeared on the notorious Channel Four Dispatches pseudo-documentary that purported to examine the working and impact of “Britain’s Israel Lobby.”

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Antisemitic graffiti at Colchester University

By Marcus Dysch, Campus Editor, December 23, 2009

A university campus laundrette has been daubed with the words “exterminate Jews” in German.

Law student Kate Douglas spotted the graffiti on a wall at the University of Essex’s campus in Colchester.

Juden ausrotten was scrawled in black marker pen, with the German for “you must die” above it in red pen.

The graffiti was quickly painted over by the university last week.

Ms Douglas said: “This was a phrase used by the Nazis and Hitler himself to call for the extermination of all Jews. I was disgusted and deeply saddened to find it.

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Boycott is 'blasphemy' says Hebrew University chief

December 10, 2009

Universities should treat attempts to boycott academics as blasphemy, says the new president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson said he had “deep concerns” about new efforts by the University and College Union to broaden the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) front against Israel.

“It is endangering the academic discourse whenever it infiltrates even marginal institutions. It comes from the margins into the heart,” he said.

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LSE union twins with Gaza despite protests

By Robyn Rosen, December 3, 2009

The London School of Economics (LSE) will be twinning its union with the Islamic University of Gaza, despite protest from students.

A motion which called for the twinning was carried after 161 students voted in favour and 131 against in a debate organised by LSE Palestine Society.

Students from the Israel Society protested outside with banners saying “Say yes to hummus, no to Hamas”.

The decision was made after Ben Grabiner, chairman of the LSE Israel Society, demanded a recount of the votes after allegations of fraud.

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Gilead Amit, the student storming University Challenge

By Candice Krieger, December 3, 2009

Fingers on buzzers: Which Israeli-born student captained his team to a thrashing victory on University Challenge this week? Answer: 20-year old Gilead Amit.

A physics undergraduate at Imperial College, London, Gilead astonished viewers as he led his team almost singlehandedly to a second-round victory over St Hugh’s College, Oxford, to land a place in the quarter-finals.

Gilead, who speaks four languages was the top points scorer in the 280-80 trouncing, shown on BBC Two on Monday.

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Antisemitism institute to be opened at Birkbeck

By Leon Symons, November 19, 2009

The first academic institute in Britain to deal solely with antisemitism — only the second in Europe — is to be set up in London, funded by £1.5 million from the Pears Foundation.

The new institute will occupy a building on the campus at Birkbeck College, part of the University of London, and will be next to the proposed new home of the Wiener Library, the world’s oldest Holocaust memorial institution, which will offer its resources to the project.

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Scars yet to heal on Canada hate campus

By Blake Lambert, October 8, 2009

A month into the new academic year, Toronto’s York University is attempting to restore the confidence of the Jewish community after anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist harassment and intimidation dominated its campus last year.

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