Even the Oxford Union is not immune.
A speech by Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, on Monday was disrupted by protestors. Legitimate protest is one thing – but what transpired in Union revealed the underbelly of some very ugly politics.
The Jewish Chronicle reports:
Antisemitic and anti-Israel abuse was shouted throughout Danny Ayalon’s speech on Monday evening, with students causing numerous disruptions to the event.
As many as 10 others, carrying Palestinian flags, made attempts to attack Mr Ayalon but were intercepted and removed by security.
Outside the hall protesters chanted: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Most outrageous were the comments made by one Arab member of the audience who
ran towards Mr Ayalon shouting the Arabic phrase “Itbah Al-Yahud” [Slaughter the Jews].
That student has now been identified as Noor Rashid. The JC reports:
Several eyewitnesses said they heard Mr Rashid shout: “Itbah Al-Yahud”, an Arabic phrase meaning “Slaughter the Jews”. Mr Ayalon translated the phrase with this meaning.
But Mr Rashid claimed that he had in fact shouted “Khaybar ya Yahod”, a classic Arabic battle cry referring to a seventh-century attack by Mohammed on the Jewish community in Khaybar where the Jews were conquered and made to pay half of their income to the Muslim population.
Not really much of defence, is it? Mark Gardner from the Community Security Trust rightly points out:
…shouting an old battle cry harking back to a conflict between Muslims and Jews, where Jews were attacked for not converting to Islam, still sounds like incitement to me.
The police should still continue with their investigation. It is about time incitement was treated as such. We are very quick to charge neo-Nazis with incitement, which is right of course, but there appears to be an increasing distinct double standard.
Gardner gets straight to the heart of this matter. After all, what would the reaction have been if Rashid began singing the Horst Wessel song during the meeting?
Depressingly, Rashid is a collegiate representative for the Oxford University Islamic Society. It remains to be seen what action they will take against him, along with his college, St Edmund’s Hall where Rashid is also on the JCR Committee as a ‘Unions Officer’.
On his facebook page Rashid says of himself:
Beneath a veneer of sanity lies a huge unlubricated monster-cock of anger, frustration, insecurity and vacuity.
Well, you said it!