Canadian Brooke Goldstein is a dynamic and fearless young New York-based advocate against “lawfare” – the use of the law to stifle free speech and intimidate particularly critics of Islamism into staying silent.
This week she has been in the UK talking at University Jewish societies as well as at other fora including for the Henry Jackson Society in a room in Parliament last night.
Brooke made an inspirational film (”The Making of a Martyr”) about the abuse of children who become suicide bombers. Together with Alistair Leyland she risked her life seeking out and meeting leaders of terrorist organisations responsible for recruiting children for suicide attacks. Incredibly in April 2006, the Second Annual United Nations Documentary Film Festival honoured "The Making of a Martyr" with the "Audience Choice Award" for Best Film.
I was at Brooke’s meeting last night and can testify that she is an inspirational speaker.
But students in Leeds were unable to hear Brooke Goldstein this week. Because Leeds University Jewish Society cancelled her scheduled talk there without even having the courtesy to tell her why.
One can only guess at the reason. A clue is given by previous cancellations of speakers by Jewish students. In 2010 Cambridge University Israel Society cancelled Benny Morris and UJS cancelled Douglas Murray. Brooke Goldstein has spoken out for the right of free speech for Geert Wilders and has advised him as a client on issues to do with free speech. In the crazy logic of these students, that presumably suffices to make her “Islamophobic” (note that she has not said she agrees with Wilders, she just supports his right to free speech). And in the topsy turvy Alice-In-Wonderland world of British academia – where Islamic Societies are free to host the most outrageous racist speakers while Jewish societies insist on playing not just by Queensberry Rules but by gold-plated Queensberry Rules – that was considered sufficient to pull the plug on her.
Tomorrow’s JC calls it “Leeds JSoc's shame”:
The spineless and craven students responsible (reportedly some still wanted the meeting to go ahead and stood their ground) should indeed hang their heads in shame. They were even too ashamed to tell Ms Goldstein why they cancelled her.
Universities are the foremost battle-ground in the campaign to delegitimise Israel. It seems that some Jewish students can hardly wait for the first excuse to raise the White Flag.
The Leeds students have given their reasons here:
They are not accepting any comments.
Brooke Goldstein is well able to speak for herself and I understand she will do so.
I have watched much of the extract of "The Third Jihad" here:
I find nothing objectionable, Indeed how can it be since most of it is based on news footage.
Stephen Franklin attempted to post the following comemnt on the Leeds J Soc site:
As a result of reading this post I decided to watch “The Third Jihad” to find out what was so unacceptable about it. The film is largely narrated by an American Muslim and is about the dangers of the radical element Islam within the USA. It would seem to me to be dangerous to close our eyes to the dangers of radical Islam. Calling it unacceptable to be associated with the film, if only by advertising it, would seem to me to be perverse.
British Jews ought to be more concerned about attitudes of some Muslims in the UK. In December 2005 a Populus poll taken for The Times (http://web.archive.org/web/20080424014812/http://www.populus.co.uk/the-t...) asked British Muslims about their attitudes to the Jewish Community in Britain. The results were alarming, not least the view of the majority of those who answered that the Jewish Community in Britain are “legitimate targets as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East”.
Brooke Goldstein reports that one Leeds student is interning for her and another has apologised for the way she was treated.