Gideon Levy on academic boycott

You may, like me, have lost count of the number of times Gideon Levy’s opinion pieces in Ha’aretz have been invoked as justification for the academic boycott of Israel and for the dissolution of Israel. I’d mistakenly come to think of him as another pro-boycott campaigner smuggled onto the UCU Activists List.

To the contrary, Aimee Riese reports his recent presentation at the London School of Economics, including:

“In a question-and-answer session following his lecture, Levy was questioned about the current Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. He said while he understands the “motivation for wanting to punish Israelis”, he does not think BDS will be effective because it will make Israeli society more nationalistic. An academic boycott, he said, would be directed in the wrong place. He also said within Israel, BDS is perceived as another method of attempting to delegitimise the state and has not been effective.

When asked if he supported a “one state” solution, Levy said he would like to live side-by-side with Palestinians in one state, if it were to be equal and democratic. He said he was sceptical as to whether this would be the case, and therefore said he supported a two state solution.”

(I don’t understand the motivation for wanting to punish Israelis.)

An mp3 recording of the event is available via the LSE’s podcast channel.

Public meeting – no zionists, no undesirables allowed

Further to a JC article describing how senior figures in the Manchester Jewish community were ordered out of a meeting hosting Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, Manchester PSC Chair Linda Clair has had the following letter published in the Jewish Chronicle :

When are you going to start telling the truth and not a completely distorted version of the facts? I was the chair of the Gideon Levy meeting you report (JC August 27). Michael Samuels and his two companions did not actually enter the meeting to start with. They were outside the room when I asked Mr Samuels his name and where he came from. He replied and said he came from Manchester. I told him and his companions that they would not be allowed in – that Zionists were not wanted in that meeting. Mr Levy, who was already in the meeting room, and was standing behind me, asked me to let them in, which I did, only at his request. This was before he spoke to them. Whatever they said to him certainly did not influence my decision to allow them in, I had legal advice that although it was a public meeting, it was on private property and so we were well within our rights to exclude any undesirables. In case you want to label me antisemitic, I am not, I am an anti-Zionist Jew, and I know the difference between the two, even if you choose not to.

Linda Clair

I won’t comment on the letter because it speaks for itself (I should however point out that Manchester JFJFP’s promotion of the meeting was simply to send an email with details of the meeting and they were not involved in organising the meeting itself).

Israeli peace activist Mossi Raz in London, 10th May

Israeli peace and civil rights activist, Mossi Raz, to speak in London on Monday 10 May

Byline: Kubbeh

Long-standing Israeli peace and civil right activist, Mossi Raz will be leading a public discussion, “From Lebanon to Gaza: Challenges to War and Peace,” in London on Monday 19 May 2010 (7.30pm). Raz is the former head of the largest peace movement in Israel, Peace Now and has served in the Knesset as a Meretz MK and as a captain in the Israel Defence Force.

This will be a unique chance to hear from one of the country’s leading peace activists on the current situation in the Middle East. He will be talking about Israel’s recent incursions into Gaza and south Lebanon and the disputes they cause among left-wing groups in the Knesset and Israeli civil society. The event will also provide a panoramic and up to date account on the current political situation in Israel, informed in part by his involvement with the groundbreaking Palestinian-Israeli All for Peace Radio station.

The event is hosted by Meretz UK at Hashomer House, 27a Broadhurst Gardens, London NW6 3BN.

Entry £3, free to Meretz UK members (no one turned away due to lack of funds).

Volunteer for Hope Not Hate’s final push in Stoke, Barking and Dagenham

Volunteer for day-by-day activities coordinated (very well) by Hope Not Hate in the run-up to Thursday’s elections.

Report and video of Bricup meeting at Soas with Bongani Masuku

Jonathan Hoffman : “I read out the last paragraph of the HRC finding. I was shouted down but managed to ask the question. When I had finished asking the question Hickey said that no-one should answer my question – not in the lecture theatre and not on the Panel. It is all in the video on YouTube.”

See the whole article and the link to YouTube here.

Colloquium I: Aspects of Antisemitism in the UK

International Study Group
Education and Research on Antisemitism

Colloquium I: Aspects of Antisemitism in the UK

Saturday, 5 December 2009, 2 pm
Bedford Square Building Royal Holloway University of London, Room G3, 2 Gower Street, London WC1E 6DP

2.15 pm
Lesley Klaff
Antisemitism on Campus: A Modern Perspective

3.15 pm
Philip Spencer
Antisemitism and Holocaust Memorial Day

4.15 pm
Gunther Jikeli
Antisemitism Among Young Muslims in London

For further details, please email

  • or contact
  • Hagai van der Horst (,
  • Doerte Letzmann ( or
  • Gunther Jikeli (

Flyer for Colloquium I.

The organisers tried hard to avoid scheduling this event for a Saturday, and will do all they can to prevent this happening for future events.

Karl Marx and the Jewish Question – Robert Fine at SOAS Monday


5.30 pm Monday 30 November2009 Room G50

Karl Marx and the Jewish Question

Professor Robert Fine Department of Sociology, University of Warwick

SOAS is five minutes from Russell Square underground station. All events are open to the public. For further information, please contact Professor Colin Shindler email: telephone: 020 7898 4358

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