Full extent of LSE Atwan fury is finally revealed on video


The journalist Abdel Bari Atwan has been accused of "cowardly, bullying tactics" and breaching policy on antisemitism after a recording of his speech to students at the London School of Economics was made public.

The lecture, held by the student union's Palestine Society at LSE last week, descended into chaos after 30 Jewish students walked out in protest.

The visual and audio quality of the recording, taken by the Palestine Society, is poor and repeatedly skips sections. It was only made publicly available on Sunday, six days after the lecture.

Police are now investigating following complaints of antisemitism.

Mr Atwan referred to the "Jewish lobby" at least four times and called Israel a "racist state" and a "dictatorship".

He turned to a Jewish questioner and said: "This is a smear campaign against me. Who is bombing? Am I bombing the Israelis? Are Gazans bombing Israelis? Who bombed Gaza? Who killed thousands of people in Lebanon? They should be ashamed of themselves. You are bombing us every day."

He said the "Jewish lobby" was "extremely dangerous and is endangering the whole planet, the whole world", and that it "controlled" the American Senate, Congress and media.

When asked to condemn Hamas and Hizbollah, Mr Atwan declared: "Do you want me to condemn people for resisting the occupation? Did Hamas commit ethnic cleansing?"

During a question and answer session, Ben Grabiner, LSE's antiracism officer, spoke about the LSE's antisemitism policy: "Antisemitism includes but is not limited to accusation of Jewish control of the world, government, media as well as blaming Jews as a collective for imagined or real atrocities.

"This evening, Mr Atwan, you've pointed at Jewish students and said: 'You've bombed Gaza'. You've used the term Jewish and Zionist lobby interchangeably, that is also antisemitic, and you've published pictures of the star of David interspersed with Nazi propaganda."

In response, a female member of the audience shouted at Mr Grabiner: "You are a Nazi!"

Raheem Kassam, the Muslim director of Student Rights, said: "These are truly cowardly, bullying tactics which have no place in an academic environment. He must be held to account for creating the conditions on campus whereby audience members see fit to call Jewish students 'Nazis'."

Mark Gardner, from the CST, said: "This epitomised everything that is wrong with the content, facilitation and impact of anti-Zionist hatred on campus."

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