By Melanie Phillips (The Jewish Chronicle)
The current Arab murder campaign against Israeli Jews is being incited by the Palestinian leadership. Extolling these terrorists as martyrs, it presents them as victims of Israeli violence with no acknowledgement they kill Israelis and are only being killed themselves when they refuse to stop.
The recent LSE Palestine Society exhibition and leaflet that “commemorated the Palestinians who have been killed over their resistance to the Israeli occupation” in recent weeks, assisted such incitement by repeating similar incendiary lies. Following complaints, Student Union Secretary-General Nona Buckley-Irvine conceded that “an exhibition that shows graphic material shouldn’t be in such a central location”. She was, however, “satisfied with the Society’s explanation that they were attempting to recognise that Palestinians are dying as a result of the recent escalation of the conflict”.
Last week, I wrote to Ms Buckley-Irvine. I pointed out the leaflet reiterated a murderous falsehood and asked why she hadn’t condemned its support for terrorist killers, and to explain the double standard in not disciplining the Palestine Society in contrast to the Rugby Society which, after producing “sexist” leaflets, had been disbanded. I also wrote to LSE Director, Professor Craig Calhoun. Was he satisfied with the SU’s justification for terrorism? Why was the LSE permitting the intimidation of Jewish students through systematic demonisation of Israel? Ms Buckley-Irvine’s reply was dismaying. “Your claim that it is Israelis dying at the hands of Palestinian Arabs seems one-sided”, she wrote. “The role of Israel in harming Palestinians is clear.” Refusing to accept the difference between Palestinian murder and Israeli self-defence, she went on: “The exhibition was not commemorating terrorist acts, it was commemorating the loss of life in a two-sided period of conflict”. But the leaflet, referring to named terrorists, said: “Today we are commemorating these people”. And there was no mention of the loss of Jewish life. There was no double standard, she maintained, since “the men’s rugby club produced a clearly sexist, homophobic, classist, racist leaflet”. She would not condemn or discipline the Palestine society “for having an exhibition commemorating deaths of Palestinians, caused by conflict where Israel holds the balance of power”.
Get that? Because Israel is powerful and Palestinians powerless – itself questionable – Palestinian murderers cannot be deemed guilty.
In response to this sub-Marxist, moral illiteracy, I sent her evidence of the unprovoked Arab attacks and deranged Jew-hatred pouring out of Palestinian society. She didn’t budge.
Professor Calhoun didn’t even reply. Instead, his Communications Director wrote the LSE was “deeply troubled” by the exhibition, that “the apparent celebration, even if unintended, of violence and perpetrators of violence caused significant distress to students who identify with victims of that violence”, and that students should act “with respect for the views and feelings of all their fellow students”. So that’s it. No disciplinary action; just hand-wringing. But these murderous falsehoods are a danger to Jews not just in Israel but in Britain. How this squares with the universities’ legal duty to challenge campus radicalisation is interesting.
This episode furnishes more dismal evidence that, over Israel, the minds of our brightest young people are now hermetically sealed around murderous lies that they believe to be true. What an advertisement for the LSE – now, like other campuses, a crucible of ignorance and hatred.
Melanie Phillips is a Times columnist