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    « "We are all Hamas": the real voice of its messengers in London | Main | SOAS students now occupying key SOAS space with SOAS UCU leader support »



    We must hold the line on this one. SOAS Students Union and UCU cannot be allowed to influence academic independence. Shindler must be supported.


    Please can everyone who opposes this Orwellian attempt at academic censorship go to the lectures to support Colin


    The lectures start at 5.30 in Room G50 at SOAS. 26 Jan; 2 Feb; 23 Feb; 2 March; 16 March

    Please go -- and stand up against academic censorship

    Joe Camel

    "Freedom of speech is like a plague!" We've heard that before:

    Embarassed SOAS student

    SOAS's management are, thank god, pretty set on these events going ahead.
    We all got this email last week:

    Dear Colleagues and Students

    I have received a number of emails and letters regarding the Tel Aviv
    Special Lecture Series taking place at SOAS this term, with the first
    lecture taking place this evening. Some of these letters and emails
    ask me to cancel the lectures, some urge me to allow the lectures to
    go ahead.

    At the core of SOAS's mission as a University is our commitment to
    academic freedom, and I am proud that SOAS is an institution grounded
    in the academic pursuit of knowledge, which welcomes a diversity of
    views and provides a forum for free and open debate on a range of
    issues affecting our regions.

    Because of our commitment to open debate, and because of our regional
    focus, lectures and events that take place at SOAS do often cause
    controversy. I am regularly lobbied to intervene to cancel an event,
    then lobbied again by a different group to ensure that the event goes
    ahead. Provided we are acting within the law, and provided I can
    ensure the safety of staff, students and visitors, my response to such
    requests remains firm: SOAS is in a rare position as an institution
    to be able to provide a forum for free and frank debate on some of the
    most important issues affecting the world today and it is my job as
    Director to ensure that academic freedom can prevail.

    For this reason the School's senior management team has decided that
    the first lecture in this series should go ahead this evening. That
    decision has not been taken lightly whilst the terrible conflict in
    Gaza continues. I respect all those views expressed to me -- both by
    those asking for the series to be cancelled and by those asking for it
    to continue and I once again express my heartfelt concern and sympathy
    to all those affected by these devastating events. But this lecture
    series takes place as part of a wider series of events which, last
    term, included a lecture on Tel Aviv and Ramallah at which the
    Palestinian Ambassador Professor Manuel Hassassian was a keynote
    speaker. At the same time as the first Tel Aviv lecture is taking
    place, the School's Students' Union Palestine Society, is holding a
    lecture entitled 'Gaza as a Metaphor: Victims and Perpetrators.' This
    is a typical evening at SOAS, where a wide range of issues from a wide
    range of perspectives are debated in an atmosphere of enquiry and
    tolerance. It is my job as Director to uphold freedom of speech and
    tolerance, which is one of the School's most fundamental values, and I
    therefore hope you understand and respect my decision.

    Professor Paul Webley
    Director and Principal

    Incidentally, there is another rather embarassing event going on at SOAS right now. I just got this email too:

    Dear Colleagues and Students

    Some students have occupied part of a SOAS building, the Brunei Suite.
    The School is working with the SOAS Students' Union to resolve the
    situation as quickly and peacefully as possible. The School will take
    all measures to ensure the health and safety of staff and students
    during this time period. We will be in touch with staff and students
    by email and via the SOAS website with updated information as it
    becomes available.

    Professor Paul Webley
    Director & Principal

    And, from the SU,
    To all staff and students

    As you may be aware some students are occupying the Brunei Suite in response to the Ministry of Defence's "We Were There" exhibition. Whilst the Union does not support unlawful activity, we support the group's aims and objectives, as they are in-line with Students' Union policy as passed in Union General Meetings. We are in negotiations with the School and the occupying students to find the most constructive outcome to the action. Our main priority is the welfare of all students and staff. We will keep you updated as to further developments.

    If you have any questions or comments please e-mail Nizam Uddin on

    Nizam, Ben & Marya


    Dear Cambridge protesters,My name is Thomas, and I am an Oxford diidssent. I have written a short story to sum up our adventures in the Radcliffe Camera. It is entitled Adventures in the Radcliffe Camera'. I was hoping you would take inspiration from it, that it would keep your spirits high, and that it would get published on your website. Have any similar vignettes been written about your experiences?Here is an extract from the novella. It is from the first chapter, where Mary, aided by a mysterious stranger named Toothy', first enters the Radcliffe Camera.Adventures in the Radcliffe Camera Come on, Mary! Gareth shouted from the bottom of the Radcliffe Camera. Gary Gary I can't do it! Mary replied, staring at the four foot high fence in front of her, its jagged iron points gleaming ominously, like a murderous chef's knives. I I'm going to go home. Gary shook his woollen hat clad head, a small dot in the crowd of protesters already over the barricade. Don't be ridiculous! Come here! Mary stared at the chef knives again, a plan of action beginning to form in her head, when she felt a gloved hand on her shoulder. ere, lassy! a toothless old man, eyes rolling manically, proffered his hands. I'll give yer leggie! Leg ? Mary asked, confused. Ee leg up, he repeated. I'm too old to go in dere, but don't you worry. I'll do all I can to help yee, yee? Yee. Before she could stop him, Mary was pushed up and over the fence. The strength of the man was unbelievable. Toothy Gould! he shouted through the bars of the fence. Don't yee ferget me name! T-thank you! Mary shouted, before she was pushed away by the surge of the crowd.I am solidly in solidarity with you all.Thomas Smith


    Dear Rev. Willems,Your understanding of the facts is fweald. The Negev belonged to Israel after the armistice agreement that ended the war of 1948. About 80% of Israel's population is considered Jewish. The Arabs of Israel have three political parties that are predominantly Arab, and at least two or three Arabs have served in the Cabinet (but not enough). And there is a big difference between the rights enjoyed by Arab citizens of Israel as opposed to those of non-citizens who live under occupation. About half of Israel's Jewish population originates from the Arab world, from which about 800,000 were expelled in the 1950s and 1960s. The European-origin population of Israel are survivors of centuries of persecution or discrimination in the Christian world, not to mention the Holocaust. (Intermarriage between these two segments of Israel's Jewish population is high.) Europe did not fight for Israel's survival in 1948, 1967, nor in 1973. The problem began with European antisemitism, but it has gone far beyond the time of colonialism. The solution voted back in 1947 by the UN (not just Europe) of two states for two peoples with protections for minorities is still available, if only both parties would fully grasp it.


    What follows is a few prphgaaras from the booklet titled "Big Lies: Demolishing the Myths of the Propoganda War Against Israel" by David Meir-Levi:The State of Israel was created in a peaceful and legal process by the United Nations. It was not created out of Palestinian lands. It wascreated out of the Ottoman Empire, ruled for four hundred years by the Turks who lost it when they were defeated in World War I. Therewere no Palestinian lands at the time. There were Arabs who lived in the region of Palestine who considered themselves Syrians. It was only after World War I that the present states of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq were created artificially out of the Turkish [Ottoman] Empire by the British and French victors. Jordan was created on about 80 percent of the Palestine Mandate, which was originally designated by the League of Nations as part of the Jewish homeland. Since then, Jews have been prohibited from owning property there. Two-thirds of Jordan's citizens are Palestinian Arabs, but it is ruled by a Hashemite monarchy.In 1947, the UN partition plan mandated the creation of two states on the remaining 20 percent of the Palestine Mandate: the State ofIsrael for the Jews, and another state for the Arabs. The Arabs rejected their state, and launched a war against Israel. This is the primal cause of the Arab refugee problem.The Arab refugees were roughly 725,000 people who fled because of the war that the Arab states not the Palestinian Arabs -- started.The Arab states - dictatorships all - did not want a non-Arab state in the Middle East. The rulers of eight Arab countries whose populationsvastly outnumbered the Jewish settlers in the Turkish Empire, initiated the war with simultaneous invasions of the newly created state of Israel on three fronts. Israel begged for peace and offered friendship and cooperation to its neighbors. The Arab dictators rejected this offer and answered it with a war of annihilation against the Jews. The war failed. But the state of war has continued uninterruptedly because ofthe failure of the Arab states Saudi Arabia and Iraq in particular tosign a peace treaty with Israel.


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    What makes me so angry about this video is that over 90% of the students in the riot don’t give a damn about the Palestinians, they’re just bored idtios. And I must respectfully disagree with our gracious host Bob–I bet they couldn’t find Israel on the map even after they got to college.No, these are bored rich kids who care about nothing. They wear their Palestinian scarves and wave Che Guevara flags (what does the Cuban butcher have to do with Palestine?) just because their lives are so empty that they want something to get excited about. They came to college to find themselves, only to find out that they are boring and empty. They believe in nothing so they go about and look for someone who is excited about something and follow them in hopes that some of their purpose will rub off on them. Too bad they don’t bother to notice that the people they hang out with are evil.I think that gal in the tight, spaghetti strap t-shirt giggling as she runs up the escalator should see that video of the religion of peace that Bob linked to in todays B&R Friday Edition to get a taste of how girls like her would be treated if the people she is following ever get in charge.

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