An event, “Palestine’s Horizon: Towards a Just Peace”, at The London School of Economics(LSE) has come into question after a prominent musician and author, Gilad Atzmon, asserted “the Jews were expelled from Germany for misbehaving.” And later recommended works by the notorious holocaust denier David Irving at the event – which was cut short after the audience became outraged over Atzmon’s remarks.
The event, hosted by The LSE’s Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit, was warned prior to the event by the LSE Jewish Society about the panellists invited, which includes Richard Falk, who had previously been condemned by Anti-Defamation League for illustrating an anti-Semitic cartoon image of a dog with a Jewish Kippur and a sweater with the letters “USA”, urinating on Lady Justice while devouring bloody human bones. He was also condemned by the British Foreign Office for endorsing Atmonz’s book “the wondering who”, which was widely condemned as anti-semitic.
A Jewish Student, Avi, at the event reported, he and a number of students were physically threatened by a member in the audience, who pushed past chairs to attack them, he had previously yelled at them “you’re all Zionists.” Avi raised complaints to security, who refused to remove the man after ushering him back to his seat.
Two Jewish men in the audience later challenged Richard Falk on his cartoon he had published. They later conducted a silent protest, holding up signs- One sign read “Richard Falk: Condemned for Antisemitism.” They were then escorted out by security, at the wish of the chair, Mary Kaldor- a decision which sparked outrage among the Jews in the venue. Atzmon then shouted “rauss”- German for out, at the men before making the controversial remark “the Jews were expelled from Germany for misbehaving”
The event then “descended into chaos”, with one girl Khulan, leaving the event on the verge of crying. Jewish students in attendance angrily dared Atzmon to repeat the remark, which he did and later confirmed his exact wording to “the Jewish News” after the event.
Khulan later told our reporter:
“It was such a hostile environment, I did not feel safe. Emotionally I couldn’t believe such behaviour was coming out of adults (60 years old average age). And then it was the physical part, I sensed something would go wrong and I felt disgusted by the event, it was pure hate speech. The audience laughed when Jonathan Hoffman said that only Jews have right to define anti-semitism”
When Avi challenged Atzmon , saying “What you’re saying sounds very much like a Nazi sympathiser”, Atzmon then responded: “Okay, that’s what you think”
Gilad, who himself is Jewish, was also reported to having recommended David Irving’s book “to anyone who is interested in history rather than the Holocaust religion”
He further stated after the event:
“Jews are always expelled for a reason. This isn’t to say I support expulsion or any measure against Jews or anyone else.”
After the event outside of the venue, a lady accompanying Gilad was reported to have remarked that “the Jews should be driven to the sea” and was subsequently filmed saying “now you understand why you are expelled 2,000 years”
When challenged on her remarks by a student, who stated “we’re not talking to Nazis” while gathering his friends to move away from Gilad’s gang, the women then stated “the Nazis don’t exist anymore”
In the aftermath of the event, The President of The Board of British Jews warned jewish students against studying at the London School of Economics, a university which has been coined as “The London School of Extremism” among the Jewish community:
As @LSEnews thinks it ok to have people like Richard Falk to speak, I strongly advise Jewish students to study elsewhere
— BoardPresident (@BoDPres) March 21, 2017
The LSE’s Student Union and Jewish society issued a joint statement condemning the heads of school for not responding sufficiently to Jewish students concerns about the event.
— Josh Nagli (@joshnagli) March 23, 2017