gaza airstrike 298.88.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
A Tel Aviv University academic will call for a boycott of Israel,
speaking at a London university event next month to commemorate "one
year since Israel's attack" on Gaza.
Dr. Anat Matar of TAU's Philosophy Department will be speaking
on February 17 at London University's School for Oriental and African
Studies (SOAS) - a campus renowned for anti-Israel activity.
Matar's talk is to be titled "Supporting the Boycott on Israel: A View from Within."
She is taking part in a series of events over the coming weeks
organized by the Palestinian societies at five University of London
campuses - University College London, SOAS, Imperial College, Kings
College and Goldsmiths - as well as at the University of Westminster.
In an article in Haaretz
in August, Matar accused her
own university of being complicit with the "occupation" and questioned
Israel's stance on Palestinian academic freedom and basic education.
A mother of a conscientious objector, on her profile page on
the university's Web site Matar lists her main nonacademic activities
as "movements against military service" and the "Israeli Committee for
Dr. David Hirsh, a sociology lecturer at University of London's Goldsmiths College and editor of Engage
a campaign against the academic boycott call against Israel, strongly
criticized such moves, saying they were "delusional" and "dangerous."
"Israeli anti-Zionists boast that their country carries out the
most important and horrific genocides in the world," he said. "The
delusions of grandeur of Israeli anti-Zionists are as puerile as those
of the most naive and proud nationalists. But it is dangerous to tell
Europeans that the Israelis are a unique evil on the planet, because
this lie finds a resonance in the collective memory and it feels
plausible to some contemporary Europeans."
The series of events is titled, "Gaza: Our Guernica," in
reference to the bombing of a Basque town during the Spanish Civil War.
The 1937 attack caused widespread destruction and civilian deaths, with
1,650 reportedly killed.
"In April 1937, on a market day, the Nazis attacked Guernica
from the air, first with bombs and then with incendiaries. Fighter
planes followed the bombers to machine-gun survivors. It was the first
time anybody had launched an attack from the air to kill a civilian
population. A third of the population was killed or seriously injured
in an afternoon," Hirsh said.
The series of events opened last Thursday with a candlelight
vigil at University College London, recently in the headlines after it
was discovered that failed Detroit airline bomber Umar Farouk
Abdulmutallab was a former president of the Islamic Society there.
Two other Israelis are taking part in the series. On Monday,
journalist Daphna Baram spoke at SOAS in a talk titled, "Besieged in
Self-Righteousness: Israeli public discourse after the last invasion of
Next Wednesday, Israeli academic Avi Shlaim, professor of
International Relations at Oxford University, will speak about "Gaza:
Past and Present" at Goldsmiths.