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Board halt Israel hate author talk

Leader praises Quakers after they cancel Palestine campaign group event with State of Terror author

     

    A Palestinian Solidarity Campaign backed event featuring an author accused of peddling antisemitic theories on Israel and Judaism, has been cancelled.

    Thomas Suarez was due to speak at the meeting, promoting his latest book State of Terror – How Terrorism Created Modern Israel.

    But on Monday, it emerged that the meeting due to take place at the local Quaker owned Friends Meeting House in Cambridge this Thursday, had been called off.

    Cambridge PSC said on Tuesday they were "disappointed"  with the decision to cancel the event.

    Mr Suarez, a professional violinist, rose to notoriety after an hour-long rant on Jews and Zionism to the Palestine Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies last November.

    He branded Zionism “fascist” and claimed its leaders encouraged antisemitism in Germany to force Jews to move to Palestine.

    Speaking about “the Jewish state”, he said: “Crammed into those three words are all of Jewry, Judaism, Jewish history, culture, persecution, and most cynical and exploitative of all, the Holocaust.”

    The Board of Deputies are among the Jewish organisations  known to have raised objections to Thursday’s event.

    Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board, told the JC: “Thomas Suarez has repeatedly and unapologetically made statements comparing Zionists to Nazis. We approached the Quakers to make them aware of the nature of this booking.

    "We are glad that, having considered the matter in line with Quaker values, the decision was taken to cancel the booking.

    "We applaud this step, taken in solidarity with our community in the struggle against racism. It underlines that Quakers are more interested in peace and reconciliation than the hate promoted by Cambridge PSC.”

    Jonathan Hoffman, an activist who is familiar with the book, said "I am very pleased that the Wardens of the Friends Meeting House had second thoughts. 

    “This book demonises Israel by falsifying history and contains a number of false and hateful allegations - such as that  the Israeli government systematically stole reparation money intended for survivors. This meeting would only have fuelled hatred of Jews.  I know that several students were very upset about it. "

    A spokesman for Cambridge PSC said: “Naturally we are disappointed with the decision.

    "We had been in detailed dialogue with the Friends Meeting house about the proposed meeting and understand the pressure they have been put under. We have had a strong relationship with Friends Meeting House over the years and this will continue, given our shared deep commitment to human rights and justice for the Palestinian people.”

    The JC also approached Friends Meeting House for comment.
     

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