Eve Garrard has circulated the following on the activists’ e-list of the lecturers’ union UCU.
“Our union is affiliated to the Stop the War Coalition, which is holding a conference on 1 December. One of the speakers it has invited to this conference is Ibrahim Mousawi, the editor of al-Manar TV, Hizbullah’s broadcasting network. Al-Manar has circulated rumours that the attack on the World Trade Centre on 9/11 was a Zionist conspiracy, and has also broadcast soap opera episodes showing Jews killing Christian children in order to use their blood for ritual food. That is, it has been responsible for the peddling of very traditional anti-Semitic material which constitutes a direct incitement to racism.
Mousawi is the editor of a big budget, sophisticated, international media corporation, financed partly by the Iranian government, which produces antisemitic material in order to make people hate Jews. Mousawi has himself been reported as saying that Jews are a lesion on the forehead of history. Inviting him over here to speak is not supporting someone to speak for the oppressed, rather it is providing a platform for a purveyor of Jew-hatred to tell us about his views.
What does the UCU think we can learn from this person? Why would anyone value a critique of Zionism known to be based on a hatred of Jews? If the UCU thinks we should be opposing the “war on terror”, does it want to do so by supporting representatives of terrorist organisations whose stated aim is to kill Jews and destroy?
The UCU should not be associated with the kind of poisonous racism that Al-Manar promulgates, and I would like to know what action it is going to take to dissociate itself from this connection.