Zionist Federation may sue David Bellamy over talk pull-out

By Marcus Dysch, February 18, 2010

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (Bricup) has claimed its campaign led TV botanist David Bellamy to pull out of a Zionist Federation science event.

Prof Bellamy was scheduled to be guest speaker at the Israel Blue White and Green event last week, but withdrew offering no explanation for his absence.

The JC understands that the ZF is now considering taking legal action against Prof Bellamy for breach of contract.


What drives lecture-hall hate

By Geoffrey Alderman, February 18, 2010

In terms of the ongoing battle against anti-Jewish racism in this country, February has not been a particularly good month.

First, Cambridge University's Israel society capitulated to pressure from the university's Islamic and Pakistan societies and withdrew its speaking invitation to professor Benny Morris, thereby giving its seal of approval to the absurd accusation that this Ben-Gurion university academic is an "Islamophobic hate speaker."


Deputy Israeli ambassador cancels uni talk

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 18, 2010

Deputy Israeli ambassador Talya Lador-Fresher has cancelled a talk at Manchester University within the last hour amid rising security “threats” from protesters.

Ms Lador-Fresher was due to speak at 3pm to the politics society of Manchester University Students Union. But after 300 protesters were expected to turn out, organised by another student society Action Palestine, the embassy cancelled her visit.


University Challenge: Guttenplan vs Amit

By Jessica Elgot, February 16, 2010

It was a clash of the Jewish titans on University Challenge last night as the two contestants taking the competition by storm met in one of the programme’s quarter finals.

Gilead Amit, 20, a physics undergraduate and captain of the Imperial College, London team, met natural sciences student Alex Guttenplan, 19, the captain of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in a close match which began with a lead by Imperial College.

But it was in the last few moments that Mr Guttenplan’s team stormed to victory, with the team scoring 95 points in the last few minutes.


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.


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”.


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.


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.”


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.


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.