SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE-EUROPE
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
’Pogrom' at University College London
“Deracinate the growth before it metastasizes: Identify the perpetrators and expel them.”
Paris, 31 October 2016
In a letter to University of London Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Adrian Smith, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed “outrage at the 27 October assault at University College London (UCL), by a so-called “pro-Palestinian” mob on a peaceful audience, come to hear an Israeli Gay rights and Palestinian outreach activist.”
The letter related how “the thugs first attacked female students on their way to the event. They then attempted to break into the lecture hall and force doors and windows.”
Samuels described the scene as “redolent of a 1930’s Nazi storm-trooper ‘pogrom,’ or of budding Jihadi volunteers serving ISIS on a British university campus.” He added, “Their screams: ‘Intifada, Intifada, from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ bore witness to their violent intent in championing the cause of a 'Palestine' built on the ruins of the State of Israel. But for the arrival of the police, their target was in certain danger. Indeed,we are particularly concerned in that our U.K. Annual Simon Wiesenthal Memorial
Lecture is hosted by the Institute of Jewish Studies at UCL.”
The letter described the Vice-Chancellor as overseeing “18 London colleges, including UCL, and 9 research centres with a collective student body of 120,000 and an additional 50,000 distance students in 180 countries.”
Samuels argued that, “if the UCL ‘pogromists’ are not harshly penalized, their violence can be expected to spread to other London colleges, infecting a broader student body. There are already such indications at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and my own Alma Mater, the London School of Economics (LSE).”
The Centre stressed that, “this violent totalitarian evil seed is bent on silencing freedom of expression – the very quintessence of academia – and will seek to embed itself in the University of London network and beyond.”
“We therefore urge you, Mr. Vice-Chancellor – together with UCL Provost, Professor Michael Arthur – to rapidly identify the perpetrators and expel them… This growth must be deracinated before it metastasizes,” concluded Samuels.
For further information please contact Shimon Samuels + 33 609 770158.
Przyslala Marysia Stauber