UCU invited and toured around university campuses, Bongani Masuku: a man condemned as an inciter of hatred against Jews by the South African Human Rights Commission.
Yesterday, the BBC published an article which originally contained the following paragraph:
Raheem Kassam, of student anti-racism campaigners Student Rights, said: “The overpowering racist jeering as displayed by some audience members at the event is a stark and chilling revelation of what can happen when extremism is allowed to take root in universities.
“This man was first shouted down, then ignored by the event chair and panellists.
“Why? From what we hear shouted when he is speaking, because he is, ‘Jewish’, and ‘not welcome here’.”
In response, the well funded anti-Zionist lobby bombarded the BBC with demands to change the article. The article, as you can see, how now been changed, and includes denials by ethnically Jewish pro-boycott campaigners that there was racist heckling. Here, for example, is the quotation from Naomi Wimborne Idressi:
Also in the audience was Naomi Wimborne Idressi. She said: “I am a Jew and I am very sensitive about anti-Semitism. There was no anti-Semitism at the meeting.
“It was a meeting which was fervent about human rights. There was a lot of learned discussion.”
Idrissi’s politics are set out here.
Some of the lobbying to alter the BBC article can be viewed on the JustPeaceUK email list here.
BRICUP’s response is here. They deny that anybody called out “Jew-ish”:
In particular a careful listening to the video of the event discloses that the word ‘jewish’ was never used but in fact the heckler said ‘now you know’.
Have a listen, at 5:11 to the recording. I can hear somebody calling out “Jew-ish”. There is a great deal of noise, but I am hard pressed to think of what the heckler might be shouting, if not “Jew-ish”. It most certainly is not “now you know”.
There is a broader issue which BRICUP and the other apologists ignore – deliberately. Why did UCU tour around Britain a man who a reputable Human Rights body identified as an inciter of hatred against Jews? Irrespective of Jonathan Hoffman’s politics – which include condemning Jewish extremists in the strongest terms – why was discussion of Masuku’s racism shut down by UCU’s Tom Hickey? Why aren’t participants at the meeting concerned by this man’s antisemitism?
BRICUP proudly note that they have discovered that Raheem Kassam was a student Conservative activist.
So, we have the astonishing sight of a supposedly Left wing union activist shutting down debate on antisemitism, backed by BRICUP and a bunch of Left wing Jews who can’t see or hear antisemitism, while attacking a Tory voting Muslim for having the temerity to speak up against racism against Jews.
Never thought that the day would come when that would happen!