University of Kent: It’s OK to Be an Antisemite if You’re a Famous Journalist
In late January, Amira Hass gave a speech at the University of Kent, and accused the “Elders of Zion” — a group of Jews — of planning the eternal subjugation of Arabs in the territories:
And I ask myself did the Elders of Zion really sit together at the beginning of the Seventies and then during the nineties, and plan, and have all these military orders, all these changes? I believe that they knew for sure that they don’t want to give back the land and in the Nineties, my conclusion is that they wanted to do everything possible to stop the two state solution.
So this Haaretz writer went down to the depths of classic antisemitic conspiracy theories and used it in a university lecture.
Asked to clarify the University’s position and what action will now be taken to prevent the use of further antisemitic rhetoric at the University under the guise of political discourse about Israel, David Powell, Head of the Office of the Vice Chancellor told us to confirm that no action would be taken, writing:
“A debate may doubtless be had about the precise point that Ms. Hass may have been making in her own presentation but we would note that she is a bona fide (and award winning) journalist working for a respected Israeli newspaper.”
There you go! If you are a “bona fide” and award wining journalist, you cannot be possibly say anything that is too offensive for college audiences!
It’s a get out of jail card for antisemites!
Antisemitic conspiracy theories are not to be shunned, as long as they are promulgated by someone who is famous. Hass’ fame allows antisemitism to rise from something that is reprehensible into something that can be legitimately debated.
That is exactly what the University of Kent is saying.
As far as this new guidance — that being an award winning journalist may say whatever he or she wants on campus without consequence — I wonder if that rule applies to all forms of bigotry, or only one specific kind?