American-Israeli activist, Miko Peled, is scheduled to speak on Friday 10th November at University College London (UCL) at an event organised by the UCL Friends of Palestine Society.
Mr Peled’s views have, in the past, engaged the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government and also engage the Prevent counter-extremism strategy.
Campaign Against Antisemitism is writing to UCL to raise our concerns about Mr Peled and to call for the event to be cancelled.
In September, Mr Peled made national headlines by demanding at the Labour Party Conference that delegates should have the freedom to engage in debate as to whether the Holocaust actually happened at all. He said that people should be free to ask “Holocaust, yes or no” because “there should be no limits on the discussion.” He additionally reportedly proposed that Israelis should be treated like Nazis. He was widely condemned.
Mr Peled has form. For example, on 23rd May 2016, speaking at an art gallery in Euston, London, Mr Peled alleged that the Labour Party’s antisemitism furore is being fabricated by “Zionists”. He said: “Everyone knows this entire antisemitism thing is nonsense”. At the same event, Mr Peled also alleged that Islamophobia is a strategic invention of “Zionists”. He said: “If anyone has any doubt, that this entire Islamophobia thing isn’t coming directly from pro-Israeli groups, then excuse me you are out of your mind. Absolutely. And when you look at each case, individually you will see, the hand, the fingerprints of some Israeli lobby, some pro-Zionist groups.”
On 14th September 2016, Mr Peled tweeted about a new aid package granted to Israel by the United States: “Then theyr surprised Jews have reputation 4being sleazy thieves. #apartheidisrael doesn’t need or deserve these $$.” In response, his forthcoming event hosted by the Princeton Committee on Palestine was cancelled on the basis that: “The last string of tweets are antisemitic and hateful, which are counterproductive to an educational event on the conflict.”
The event is advertised to take place from 17:00-20:30 in Cruciform LT1 and is titled “Segregated and Unequal, Palestinian Life in Apartheid Israel”. Though it has been organised by UCL Friends of Palestine Society, it has the backing of pro-Palestinian student societies at various London universities, namely City, Imperial, Kings College, Queen Mary and Westminster.
Miko Peled’s views engage the International Definition of Antisemitism and his invective is threatening to the safety of Jewish students. In the wake of antisemitic violence at UCL and an internal inquiry which found severe failures in the university’s response to antisemitism, UCL should cancel this event and ensure that theirs is a campus that does not give antisemitism the space to thrive.
Cancelling Mr Peled’s event will ensure that Jewish students feel welcome at UCL and have a safe and positive experience. If you are aware of an antisemitic speaker being invited to speak at a university, please contact [email protected].