Merrill Lynch withdraws support of London University event

Scheduled speaker denies Israel's right to exist.

By JONNY PAUL
January 31, 2006 02:10
2 minute read.
meryl lych 88

meryl lych 88. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Merrill Lynch has pulled its sponsorship from an event discussing the Palestinian elections because of the participation of a Hamas supporter who condones suicide bombing. The event, entitled "the Palestinian Elections and their Consequences," is to be held at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies Wednesday. Hosted by the London Middle East Institute, it was to mark a series of events sponsored by Merrill Lynch. Speakers at the event include Ziyad Abu Zayyad, a Fatah party member from the Palestinian Legislative Council and Ambassador Robert Pelletreau, former US Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East. Also speaking at the event is Dr. Azzam Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought. In a November 2004, BBC interview, Dr. Tamimi made it clear to journalist Tim Sebastian that he was a Hamas supporter who does not recognize Israel's right to exist. "Israel has no right to exist in my home, on my father's land - has no right to exist," he said. "It may exist despite me. It may exist because it is powerful, because it is supported by the US, but I will never as a Palestinian give legitimacy to a state that is created on land robbed from my father, from my grandfather and from my mother." In the same interview Dr. Tamimi said that suicide bombers are part of the struggle, putting forth the opinion that suicide bombers don't do it because they are desperate or poor. "They do it because they want to sacrifice themselves for a cause after all avenues have been closed before them," he told Sebastian. Asked if suicide bombing was so glorious and honorable would he do it, the response was a categorical "yes." "If I can go to Palestine and sacrifice myself I would do it. Why not?" In an article entitled "Winning the Battle of Arguments" written in 2002, Tamimi called Israel a Zionist, racist and fascist state and defines both the two-state and one-state solution as equally inadvisable. "In the long term Israel has no future and the Jews who support Israel and Zionism, and especially those who have chosen to migrate to Palestine to occupy the lands and homes of the Palestinians, should reconsider their positions. Eventually, Palestine will return to the Muslims as it did after more than a century of occupation by the Crusaders about 10 centuries ago," he said. A spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch said, "We pulled our support immediately from this event when this came to light [Dr. Tamimi's attendance] and are in no way associated with the debate." Professor Robert Springborg, director of the London Middle East Institute, sees it important to have an Islamist viewpoint, especially with the result of the election swinging in Hamas's favor. He said, "We are aware of Dr. Tamimi's views but do not endorse them. We are not responsible for his views as long as he doesn't violate the university's code of ethics. We are merely providing an opportunity for those connected to, and interested in, the elections."

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery

By JPOST.COM STAFF