Anti-Israel Protesters Disrupt Talk by Renowned Holocaust Scholar Deborah Lipstadt at UC Berkeley
Renowned Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt was disrupted by a group of anti-Israel activists during a talk on antisemitism at the University of California, Berkeley, last Thursday.
In a Twitter thread posted on Sunday, Lipstadt pointed out that her lecture was on present-day antisemitism and had nothing to do with Israel, implying that the protesters had targeted her because she was a Jew speaking on Jewish issues.
“My talk was about antisemitism here and now,” she said in a Twitter thread posted on Sunday. “Not about Israel. Three protesters positioned themselves next to me with signs attacking Israel.”
“In the talk, when I spoke about antisemitism from the left, I mentioned that many people refuse to see antisemitism as legitimate,” Lipstadt said. “They dismiss claims of antisemitism as simply being a sop to protect Israel. This is the only prejudice those on the left refuse to take seriously.”
“I want to thank the protesters for making my point more clearly than my words could,” she stated.
Lipstadt noted she had ignored the protesters, as she had “far more important things to discuss.”
On Thursday night I spoke at Univ California Berkeley Law School. My talk was about antisemitism here and now. Not about Israel. Three protesters positioned themselves next to me with signs attacking Israel. pic.twitter.com/jhcCXW2eUJ
— Deborah E. Lipstadt (@deborahlipstadt) February 16, 2020
Well-known for her work on Holocaust denial, Lipstadt shot to prominence in 1996 when Holocaust denier David Irving sued her for libel.
The suit led to a trial in which, under British law, the defense was effectively required to prove that the Holocaust was genuine, causing some to refer to it as “putting history on trial.”
In 2000, the presiding judge ruled against Irving, and said, “The allegation that Irving is a racist is also established.”
The case was later dramatized in a the 2016 film Denial.