A professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) has called Israel a “Western virus” and accused the Jewish state of using the Holocaust as the “clincher argument” in its “presumed right over Palestine”.
Dr Haim Bresheeth, who is a Professorial Research Associate at SOAS’s Centre of Global Media and Communication, made the comments in a debate hosted by the controversial pro-Iranian charity Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC).
Dr Bresheeth reportedly claimed that “This form of Islamophobia [since the Crusades] has never disappeared from the West and explains the great centrality of Zionism to Western regimes Israeli presumed rights over Palestine are seen as, within Zionism, as exclusive and religious-based with the Holocaust deals at the clincher argument. This is very useful because no one seems to be able to say anything about this combination of, you know, Judeo-Christian and Holocaust arguments…The West had conceived of Zionism as the bulwark of Western capitalism against Islam and the Arab world and used it to open the Middle East for western interests, and this is continuing. Exactly along the lines developed by Herzl over a century ago. In this way Israel became the Western virus in the region during the Cold War, developing its political outlook as a Western/US outpost in the Near East – an agenda gradually adopted by the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Apartheid South Africa, and most importantly the EU.”
Also featuring in the debate, which was on the subject of the “normalisation” of Israel, was Dr Marwa Osma, a Lebanese commentator who has appeared on the Iranian-backed Press TV and has called for support for “armed resistance” along with “international pressure” against supposed “Zionist aggression”, according to the JC.
The chair of the charity, Massoud Shadjareh, also reportedly claimed that there was “huge concern the way that there has been a policy of the Zionists to normalise themselves in all different arenas,” apparently including interfaith programmes between Jews and Muslims. He is reported to have said: “the institution of interfaith was used as one of the tools for this and you know, you could ask yourself, you could look into it, why is it that all the Jewish organisations who are involved in interfaith are actually Zionists while we know there is a huge number of anti-Zionists, non-Zionists in the Jewish community and none of them are represented.”
A similar absurd argument has previously been advanced by the conspiratorial Bristol University academic, Dr David Miller.
It is understood that after the debate was uploaded onto the IHRC’s YouTube channel, the following disclaimer was provided: “All views are the speakers’ own and do not necessarily reflect the views of IHRC.”
SOAS has long been a hotbed of antisemitism among UK campuses.
SOAS reportedly told the JC: “One of SOAS’s core values is Freedom of Speech and we encourage the SOAS community to express themselves openly, with mutual tolerance and intellectual freedom. However, freedom of expression may not be exercised as hate speech or to threaten the safety or freedom of expression of others. We have a clear and explicit zero-tolerance policy in relation to antisemitism and all forms of racism. This particular event was not a SOAS organised event and we are not responsible for its content. Views that are expressed at such events by individuals are not views expressed on behalf of SOAS itself.”
If any students are concerned about antisemitism on campus or need assistance, they can call us on 0330 822 0321, or e-mail [email protected]
Image credit: SOAS