‘Zionism Is a Racist Political Ideology,’ Says UK Professor Who Chaired Anti-Israel Event
A UK professor who moderated a panel that kicked off “Israeli Apartheid Week” at University College London (UCL) this week told The Algemeiner why he considers Zionism a “racist ideology.”
Dr. Saladin Meckled-Garcia, director of UCL’s Institute for Human Rights, explained that Jewish statism “puts nationalism of a particular group above the basic human rights of others. I do not believe anyone has a right to do that.”
“I have never challenged the right of the state of Israel to exist, and hope that one day it lives up to the ideal of being a democratic state that upholds the human rights and equality of all its citizens,” he added.
Meckled-Garcia also said that he opened the UCL IAW program — titled “Apartheid: Stories From The Ground,” and hosted by the school’s Friends of Palestine Society — with comments critical of the British government’s recently adopted definition of antisemitism, and “accompanying examples of what constitutes [it].” He has expressed this view publicly, he added, such as when he recently signed his name to a letter, together with 243 other UK academics, stating the definition — which includes demonization and delegitimization of Israel — silenced free speech.
UCL Jewish Society president Joshua Gross called Meckled-Garcia’s suggestion that Israel is not a democracy and does not strive to uphold human rights “a vacant charge.”
“Anyone with an objective view need only take a quick glance at the state of Israel and they can see it is a bastion of democracy in a region bereft of such,” Gross said. “Israel is a state that endeavors to protect the equality and fundamental human rights of all its citizens.”
The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) told The Algemeiner that Monday’s program — which was organized by a student currently under investigation for antisemitism and included a panelist who reportedly shared a video alleging Jews control society’s power structures — is an example of how “UCL has failed its Jewish students again.”
A UCL spokesperson insisted, “IAW is a student society initiative; it is not the university’s. They have a code of practice on what is permissible and what is not, but basically it will be free speech within the law. But again it is not ‘our’ event as a university.”
Last year, UCL was the scene of an extreme protest of an Israel-related event, in which Jewish students were forced to barricade themselves in a lecture hall and wait for a police escort to bring them safely out of a building filled with demonstrators, The Algemeiner reported. UCL recently concluded an investigation into the incident, determining that some protesters had been violent and chanted slogans that “could be considered antisemitic.”