University of Exeter_311.
(photo credit: Wikicommons)
LONDON – The University of Exeter will not be taking any further action
following a student event last week in which the speaker claimed that “Hitler
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On Tuesday evening, jazz musician Gilad Atzmon, who
has been called an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, spoke at an event
hosted by the university’s Palestine Society.
“Hitler was right”
and “anti-Semitism doesn’t exist,” Atzmon told an audience of 30, according to
London newspaper the Jewish Chronicle
A spokesman told The Jerusalem
on Monday that the university will not be launching an investigation or
taking the matter further.
“We are happy with the way the student union
has dealt with the situation,” the spokesman said.
The student union is
independent to the university.
Prominent anti-Israel activists Dr. Ilan
Pappe and Dr. Ghada Karmi both lecture at the University of Exeter, which is in
Devon in southwest England.
Atzmon’s remarks prompted many students to
walk out of the talk.
Nick Davis, president of the university’s student
union, the Students’ Guild, said that while Aztmon’s speech was “clearly
provocative,” they were taken out of context.
Davis also said the student
union “ensured a large staff and security presence at Gilad Atzmon’s talk to
ensure quick and effective shutdown in the event that our equal opportunities
policy was breached.
“Atzmon’s speech was clearly provocative, but when
his comments were contextualized they did not breach our policy. We are working
closely with the Jewish Society to discuss their concerns,” he
London based campus-extremism watch group Student Rights said it
would follow up with the school.
“We’ll be taking up this issue with the university,” Raheem Kassam,
director of Student Rights, said. “Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism is
increasingly accepted as ‘normal,’ and students and academics alike
must fight tooth and nail to put the proponents of such ideas back in
the holes they crawled out of.”
Atzmon is regularly accused of being anti-Semitic and a Holocaust denier. He recently caused controversy with a new book, The Wandering Who?
, which comes with a chapter titled “Swindler’s List.”
Mark Gardner, an expert in anti-Semitic incidents in the UK, said
the book represents “utterly contemporary cultural racism.”
““Atzmon attacks what he calls ‘Jewishness’ because he claims that it is
‘supremacist’. He says that ‘the Jews who ultimately contributed to
humanity hated themselves’ and claims revisionists are the only proper
Holocaust researchers” Gardner said.
He added, "His new book is probably the most insidiously anti-Semitic
publication of recent years, and his presence on campus and elsewhere is