Three Faiths Forum stands by its anti-Israel student

By Jessica Elgot, September 15, 2011
Nadia Marques de Carvalho

Nadia Marques de Carvalho

An LSE student who called for a third intifada against Israel has been selected by the Three Faiths Forum for its parliamentary leadership training.

Nadia Marques de Carvalho, 19, an active member of LSE's Palestine Society, is one of 53 students chosen to be mentored by an MP as part of the 3FF's UN award-winning "Parliamentors" scheme.

Stephen Shashoua, 3FF director, said the Forum was not informed of Ms de Carvalho's views, expressed on Twitter, but insisted that she would be allowed to stay on the programme. "He views are her own and we do not endorse them. But interfaith is not just everyone who agrees getting together, we want people to disagree and learn from each other. We don't think people should be rejected because of their political views, but we wouldn't tolerate clearly criminal action or incitement."

On Twitter, Ms de Carvalho is vocal about her support for Palestinian leader Raed Saleh. She supports a violent uprising against Israel, and urges people to boycott the country, tweeting: "If I lost everything I had at the hands of Israel, I would become fearless. Most dangerous predator. Palestine, realise your strength."

Other tweets include: "The core of Israel is built on racism. Israel - a Zionist state - is in itself antisemitic" and "Israel: someone should tell you. You were founded on stolen land, ethnic cleansing, village demolition, and massacre."

Ms de Carvalho dismisses the notion of a peaceful solution to the conflict, writing: "Zionists never want to discuss the past, only want to find a 'solution' to justify the monster they've created."

Mr Shashoua said: "The views are shocking, but I hope they can be confronted in a healthy way. I hope we will not see any more of this, but if it continues we will review if she is right for the programme".

StandforPeace, an anti-extremist, interfaith group of students has written to the 3FF about Ms de Carvalho. Director Hasan Afzal said: "Time and time again, radical students who facilitate open bigotry are hijacking interfaith dialogue as a particularly odious method to propagate their message of hate.

"Whatever one's position on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Ms de Carvalho is a student who calls for violence. Every aspect of her beliefs conflicts with the interfaith values that the Three Faiths Forum promises to espouse."

Previous mentors involved in the 3FF scheme include MPs Iain Duncan Smith and Hazel Blears.

Last updated: 10:29am, September 16 2011