‘Hamas supporter’ speaks at Scottish HMD event

By Stephanie Brickman, January 29, 2009

A Scottish anti-Israel fringe group has held what it claimed was a Holocaust Memorial Day event, with a guest speaker who openly supports Hamas.

The Scottish Palestinian Solidarity campaign hosted two all-day events in Edinburgh and Glasgow on Sunday January 25 entitled Resistance to Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing : from Europe in the 1940s to the Middle East Today.

The key speakers were Dr Azam Tamimi, director of the London-based Institute of Islamic Political Thought, and Liliane Kaczerginsky, daughter of Yiddish poet Shmerke Kaczerginsky.

In Edinburgh, speaking to the 32 people present in a 100-seat hall, Dr Tamimi asserted: “Now it is an irony that we talk about Holocaust memorial when we have just seen the holocaust of another time, perpetrated by those who claim to be speaking in the name of Holocaust survivors.”

Headded: “Israelis are professional liars, compulsive liars by nature, and this is the nature of Zionism.”

The SPSC originally registered the event on the Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) website, but it was later removed.

Holocaust survivor David Goldberg, a member of Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation, said: “As far as I’m concerned that was not a Holocaust memorial event. I lost nine members of my immediate family. This event abuses their memory to make a political point.”

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “HMD provides us with the opportunity to remember those people who lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis as well as consider the universal lessons that we can learn from this tragic episode.

“It is extremely disturbing to think that any group would consider this day as a platform to make political points — particularly if it considers it appropriate to host a speaker with inflammatory views.”

Liliane Kaczerginsky claimed that her father would not have been a supporter of present-day Israel. She said: “Zionism dishonours the genocide of European Jews.”

The Muslim Council of Britain boycotted the Holocaust Memorial Day national commemoration on Sunday in what it said was protest at Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The council failed to send a representative to the event in Coventry as had been expected.

Last year, MCB members attended the memorial day for the first time, having previously demanded it should be renamed “Genocide Day”.

Last updated: 11:44am, February 3 2009