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Anti-Israeli Activity at the School of Oriental and African Studies: How Jewish Students Started to Fight Back

Filed under: Anti-Semitism, Israel, World Jewry
Publication: Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism


The School of Oriental and African Studies, one of twenty self-governing colleges that make up the University of London, is better known by its acronym SOAS. It boasts of being “the leading centre in Europe for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East,” with an ethnically diverse student population of 3,700 representing 110 different countries.[1]  However, in recent years, SOAS has probably attracted greater attention for its history of radical, anti-Zionist student politics.

For this reason, the Anglo-Jewish community has long viewed SOAS as an unpleasant and unwelcoming place for Jewish students. Columnist and author Melanie Phillips branded it “The School of Orchestrated Anti-Semitism.”[2] Although the situation may appear deplorable to those outside, it is inaccurate to portray SOAS, its faculty and students, as institutionally anti-Jewish. However, a platform has routinely been provided for “extreme anti-Israel hostility which has spilled over into acts of anti-Jewish hatred.”[3]

A History of Anti-Zionist Student Activities

Radical student politics is a consistent feature of SOAS campus life, and a summary of incidents shows why the school is seen as an intimidating place for Jewish students. After the United Nations equated Zionism with racism in 1975, the SOAS Student Union banned the Jewish Society student organization; when one was subsequently formed in 1979, the Student Union withdrew its funding. By contrast, in 1994 the Student Union opposed the expulsion from British campuses of the radical Islamic group Hizb ut Tahrir. The expulsion was instituted by the National Union of Students, which accused the group of being anti-Hindu, anti-Semitic, and homophobic.

In May 2002, the SOAS Islamic Society and Students for Justice in Palestine held a discussion titled “Sharon: A New Hitler for a New Age.” Featuring British MP George Galloway, Dr. Azzam Tamimi of the Muslim Association of Britain, and a rabbi from the anti-Zionist sect Neturei Karta, the discussion compared Zionism to Nazism and Israel to Nazi Germany.[4]

Later that month, the SOAS Student Union and the Campaign for Palestinian Rights presented a talk by Leila Khaled, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacker jailed by the British in 1970 for attacking an El Al flight. Khaled was advertised as an “internationally acclaimed Palestinian activist” and told her packed SOAS audience that “there were no suicide bombers, only freedom fighters.”[5]

In November 2002, Jewish students were prevented by the SOAS Student Union from putting up posters bearing the logo of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), the national organization for Jewish students in Britain.  The SOAS Student Union’s black students’ officer told The Guardian that “any posters promoting Zionist organizations needed to be cleared by the student union to ensure they fit in with its [anti-Zionist] policy.”[6]

In February 2003, the head of the SOAS Jewish Society, Cassie Williams, was called a “fascist” and a “terrorist” when she identified herself as a Zionist and opposed an anti-Israeli motion at a Union meeting. The motion, opposing “the genocidal crimes faced by Palestinians,” passed by a clear majority.[7]

On 14 November 2003, students approved a motion, “Opposing All Forms of Racist Manifestations.” It equated Zionism with racism, called for the elimination of Zionism, and condemned the expression of Zionism on campus, stating:

This Union believes that peace requires the achievement of national liberation and independence, the elimination of colonialism and neo-colonialism, foreign occupation, apartheid, Zionism and racial discrimination in all its forms, as well as the recognition of the dignity of peoples and their right to self-determination…. This Union condemns any form of racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Zionism or other forms of discrimination on campus.[8]

This student policy, as will be seen below, was used to try to ban an Israeli official from speaking on campus. In addition, by championing the cause of self-determination for all peoples while simultaneously calling for the elimination of Zionism-the national movement for the self-determination of the Jewish people-the Union held that self-determination was applicable to everyone except Jews.

A Conference on “Israeli Apartheid”

On 5 December 2004, the SOAS Palestine Society, joined by other organizations including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, held a one-day conference at SOAS called “Resisting Israeli Apartheid: Strategies and Principles.”[9] Session titles included “Settler Colonialism as Genocide” and “Organising the Academics: Our Duty to Expose Israel, the Extra-Judicial Pariah State.” Hilary Rose, a British sociology professor, announced the creation of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP),[10] saying: “We are here today…to set in train nothing less than an international boycott movement of historic significance,” the goal being an academic boycott of Israel.[11]

Many of the anti-Israeli speakers were Jewish or Israeli academics, including Steven Rose (Open University, UK), Lawrence Davidson (West Chester University, U.S.), John Docker (Australian National University), Ilan Pappe (University of Haifa), Ur Shlonsky (University of Geneva), and Haim Bresheeth (University of East London). This feature was not surprising and has been noted elsewhere.[12] The Jerusalem Post quoted Bresheeth as claiming that “the occupation started in 1948” and that “there is no valid comparison between South Africa and Israel; Israel is much worse. South Africa exploited its native population while Israel expelled and committed genocide against its native population.”

Palestinian academic Omar Barghouti was quoted as arguing that “IDF [Israel Defense Forces] actions are similar to, though certainly not on the same scale as, the Nazis.”[13] Mona Baker of the University of Manchester’s Institute of Science and Technology, known for having fired two Israeli scholars from academic journals she owns,[14] also addressed the conference and has listed many of the papers on her website.[15]

Although the event had the façade of an academic meeting, this author told The Guardian that it was instead “an out-and-out hate conference which is solely there to delegitimize Israel and its people.” But one of the conference organizers, Awad Joumaa of the Palestine Society, said: “We are promoting peace and equality for the Palestinian people. We are not the ones inciting hatred here.”[16]

Support for Anti-Jewish Racism on Campus

On 21 February 2005, an Islamist video called “Jerusalem, the Promise of Heaven” was shown in the SOAS Student Union’s lounge. A copy of this same video was found in the possession of Saajid Badat, a young British Muslim convicted of plotting to blow up an airliner, as shown in a photograph of Badat’s suitcase that appeared in The Times.[17]

The film, ostensibly about the struggle for Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians, shows bearded Orthodox Jews praying at the Western Wall and holding Torah scrolls in synagogue while the narrator states that “these people have no values or ethics”[18] and refers to Jewish prayers as “satanic rustles and whispers.” While the camera pans over the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, a voiceover claims that Jews “pay thousands of dollars to have the names of their false ancestors written on these graves.” A Jewish undergraduate, horrified and almost in tears, persuaded the Union’s manager to turn off the film.

On 4 March 2005, students held an Emergency Union General Meeting to elect London mayor Ken Livingstone as honorary president of the SOAS Student Union. This “emergency” meeting came less than a month after the mayor had asked Oliver Finegold, a Jewish reporter for London’s Evening Standard, whether he was a “German war criminal” and accused him of being “just like a concentration camp guard.”[19] Opposed to honoring Livingstone, this author nominated Nelson Mandela for the honor instead. This drew accusations against “apartheid Israel,” the “Zionist press,” and the “Mossad conspiracy” against the mayor, to the cheers of the audience.

Later, a Student Union officer sent the author an extremely abusive email.[20] When the email was shown to The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES), it ran a front-page story titled “Ministers Keep Eye on Bitter Soas Row” that claimed the Home Office was monitoring events amid concern about the mounting conflict. Yet a SOAS spokeswoman told THES: “Soas is rightly proud of its long tradition of vigorous debate, tolerance and openness.”[21]

Later in March 2005, an article by the student Nasser Amin appeared in the SOAS Student Union’s Spirit magazine. The article, titled “When Only Violence Will Do,” was a response to a previous story in Spirit by Islamic scholar Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, who called for “reflection by Muslims and non-Muslims on the moral status of violence, and its compatibility with religious teaching.”

Amin disagreed with Sheikh Yusuf, asserting:

The oft repeated view that Israeli victims of Palestinian violence are mainly “innocents,” as Sheikh Yusuf implies, faces the easy objection that those who benefit from the immoral actions of a colonial state in which they have chosen to reside cannot be considered as innocent. They are personally complicit in national wrongdoing, exacerbated by the fact that all Israeli adults, including the women, serve in what is indubitably an imperialist-terrorist organisation, the IDF.[22]

Amin is currently involved with Islamic organizations in a harsh campaign against critics of his article.[23]

On 23 March 2005, the SOAS Palestine Society invited Gilad Atzmon, a UK-based jazz musician and writer who was born a Jew and raised in Israel, to address students.[24] Atzmon has been quoted as making statements such as referring to the “Jewnited state of Jewmerica” as part of his assertion that America is controlled by Jews, a phrase he also used in an April 2005 interview.[25] Similarly, Atzmon had earlier written of the “new Jewmerica dominated world.”[26]

Atzmon regularly offers his thoughts about Jews on his website, one example being: “The J’s are the ultimate chameleons, they can be whatever they like as long as it serves as some expedient…when it was right to be a Socialist they were right there in the forefront of the Bolshevik revolution, now when it is hard capitalism that sets the tone, you read about them in the Wall Street Journal….[27]

The steady stream of such incidents at SOAS led The Times to publish an article on 12 March 2005 titled “Tide of Extremism Is Rising against Us, Say Jewish Students,” which included comments from an Israeli student.  The article noted how Jews and Israelis were being “targeted by radical Muslim students in an increasingly isolating and intimidating atmosphere,” and claimed that a government minister had ordered her department to prepare a report on SOAS.[28]

Over the course of these incidents, the SOAS administration generally argued that they were primarily student matters, since the university’s Governing Body and the campus Student Union are two separate legal entities, with the Union operating under its own constitution and not under SOAS management. This setup is the norm in England. The university does have oversight responsibilities but is generally reluctant to intervene in Student Union affairs, though it did in certain instances.

Anti-Israeli Sentiments in the Faculty

The above incidents involved the Student Union and its student societies, which are distinct from the faculty itself. Generally, SOAS academics refrain from taking part in fiercely partisan student activities, instead concentrating on their academic work, and in courses taken by this author the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was addressed in a fair and scholarly manner.

However, several SOAS academics have publicly associated themselves with anti-Israeli activities, and they are involved in Middle Eastern studies. Dr. Graham Dyer, lecturer in Middle East economics,[29] spoke harshly in 1999 at a lunch given by SOAS’s Centre for Near and Middle East Studies for Uri Lubrani, Israel’s then coordinator for Lebanese affairs. Dyer accused Lubrani of being “politically responsible for ethnic cleansing, and the ‘concentration camp’ at Al-Khiam”-a detention camp in south Lebanon. After his comments, Dyer resigned from the Centre and left the building. Student groups joined him in protesting Lubrani’s appearance, holding placards stating: “Lubrani is a war criminal and is not welcome at Soas.”[30]

Recently Dr. Laleh Khalili, lecturer in Middle East politics,[31] decided to chair a SOAS Palestine Society meeting in November 2005 featuring controversial Columbia University academic Joseph Massad, who was praised in the publicity flyer as “academic enemy #1 of Israel and its U.S. lobby.” In his lecture, Massad branded Israel as a white European colonial entity, asserted that it was created via terrorism and ethnic cleansing, and claimed that certain post-1948 laws show it to be an entirely racist endeavor. Khalili, who received her PhD at Columbia, had referred to Massad in her introduction as one of the most brilliant academic minds of his generation.

Both Dyer and Khalili supported the Association of University Teachers’ (AUT) boycott motion in 2005 against Israeli universities, and were the only two SOAS academics to sign a pro-boycott public letter dated 1 June 2005, which accused Israeli academic bodies of “collusion (even if passive, at times) with the state’s oppression of the Palestinian people.”[32]

Dyer has served as head of the AUT branch at SOAS.

In addition, an academic centre at SOAS, the Sir Joseph Hotung Programme in Law, Human Rights and Peace Building in the Middle East,[33] appears to lack balance in its coverage of Israeli-Palestinian issues. In October 2004, they cosponsored, along with the SOAS Palestine Society and others, a memorial conference for the Palestinian intellectual Edward Said titled “A Continuing Legacy.” In November 2004, they invited the Palestinian advocate Dr. Hanan Ashrawi to present the annual Hotung Lecture.

In January 2005, following the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) ruling against Israel’s security barrier, Prof. Iain Scobbie, head of the Hotung Programme, spoke at three different events at SOAS regarding the alleged illegality of the barrier. One of these events at which Scobbie lectured, along with Arab Member of Knesset and fierce critic of Israeli policy Dr. Azmi Bishara and others, was held at the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, the largest venue on the SOAS campus. The overall event was titled “Sealing Their Fate: The Wall’s Implications for Palestinian life” and was presented by the Friends of Birzeit University, the SOAS Palestine Society, and the London Middle East Institute at SOAS.

In a talk attended by this author on 18 January 2005 at SOAS, titled “The Wall: Material Facts, Legal Arguments and International Court,” Scobbie and Hotung research fellow Stephanie Koury gave lengthy presentations detailing the barrier’s route, the hardship it causes Palestinians, and the illegality of its construction according to the ICJ. However, they made no mention in their prepared remarks of the nine hundred Israelis killed over four years in suicide bombings.

To date, there have been no law seminars about the illegality of suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians. Later in January 2005, though, the Hotung Programme advertised a meeting with the SOAS Palestine Society titled “The Peace Process and Palestinian Refugee Property Claims.” In November 2005, Dr. Menachem Klein, a board member of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, was brought in to speak about Jerusalem. He considers Israeli policy in the city to be one of apartheid.[34]

In March 2006, the Hotung Programme presented a seminar with Israeli-British lawyer Daniel Machover titled “Practical Problems Prosecuting War Crimes in the English Courts.”[35] Machover attempted to have retired Israeli general Doron Almog arrested in Britain for alleged war crimes.[36]  He is also the lawyer for Ahmed Saadat, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader captured by the Israelis from a Palestinian jail.[37] The European Union considers the PFLP a terrorist organization.[38]

Response by the SOAS Jewish Society

In the 2003-2004 academic year, no Jewish society existed at SOAS, whether due to apathy, fear, or opposition. No Israel society had existed there for almost thirty years since the United Nations’ “Zionism is racism” vote, as the Student Union prevented its formation. This meant that the Palestine Society, the largest and most active such group on campus, held a monopoly on student events concerning Israelis and Palestinians.

This all changed beginning in 2004-2005 when this author led the reconstitution of the SOAS Jewish Society and served as one of its leaders, and a SOAS Israel Society was created following pressure on the administration and its intervention with the Student Union. Both societies were committed to correcting the imbalance on campus by presenting an active program of Israeli and Jewish events and giving students a different viewpoint on the Middle Eastern situation.

In response to the Palestine Society’s “Resisting Israeli Apartheid” conference described above, the SOAS Jewish Society invited Roey Gilad, minister-counsellor for political affairs at the Israeli embassy in London, to address students on 22 February 2005. This was to be the first time an Israeli diplomat had ever addressed a student event at SOAS. Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas had held a summit meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh earlier that month, and thus the talk was titled “New Opportunities for Middle East Peace.”

However, the Student Union decided that the invitation must be withdrawn because an appearance by an Israeli government official would breach the Union’s anti-Zionist policy. This author received an email stating: “The students voted for the Students’ Union to instruct the Jewish Society that allowing a speaker from the Israeli embassy would be against union policy, and as a result a representative from the society should un-invite the respective speaker.”

This was a double standard in the wake of the “Resisting Israeli Apartheid” conference, and this attempted censorship was made known to SOAS director Prof. Colin Bundy. The administration intervened and forced the Student Union to reverse their decision. The Union insisted that it would refuse to include the event in its listings, and would take down any publicity flyers found in the Union or student bar. The episode received national attention when The Guardian reported that: “College Tells Students to Reverse Israeli Ban.”[39]

The Jewish Society publicized the event via email using the tag “The Talk They Tried to Ban,” and the controversy and media coverage ensured heightened anticipation and a large turnout. On the night, the sizable crowd was joined by pro-Palestinian protesters with anti-Israeli placards.

With the lecture hall full five minutes before the talk was to start, a fire alarm sounded that many sensed was deliberately set and fire marshals later said was likely malicious. Everyone in the building was forced to evacuate and to step over a huge pile of broken glass, as the front glass revolving door to SOAS had been smashed to pieces-it being later claimed that this was an accident. After a forty-minute delay, the talk finally began with the 150-seat Khalili Lecture Theatre packed with a standing-room- only crowd, and SOAS security guards turning away another one hundred people who could not fit in.

The mood inside was electric, and Trevor Phillips, chairman of Britain’s Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), made a surprise appearance to show his support for the Jewish Society. Roey Gilad offered the Israeli viewpoint in his remarks, which were followed by an extremely open and emphatic discussion that was unusual for a lecture by a diplomat. Gilad answered questions from both friendly and critical members of the audience, including several Arab students from Israel’s neighboring countries.

The event was seen as a great success for the Jewish Society. Subsequently Melanie Phillips posted an online account called “A Candle for Freedom,” with a contributor writing: “this positive outcome may well have significant impact at SOAS itself, and possibly beyond.” Phillips herself asserted: “This small but significant victory showed what can be achieved by a courageous and principled refusal to be cowed by the forces of prejudice and suppression.”[40]

The anti-Israeli protesters that evening were clearly unhappy that the event took place. One, Liam Grange, told the Jewish Chronicle: “We feel Zionism is implicitly racist. If you want to learn about the BNP [far-Right British National Party], you don’t invite them to your home.”[41]

To cement the point that Israeli officials have the same right to speak at SOAS as those of other governments, who often visit, the Jewish Society decided to reinvite Gilad to SOAS. On 15 November 2005, he gave a talk on “After Gaza Disengagement: What Happens Next?” Once again the hall was packed, but unlike the previous year there was no attempted ban, intimidation, protests, fire alarm, broken glass, or disruptions. The event was advertised by the Student Union like all other society events.  Whereas the year before the idea of an Israeli diplomat addressing students was so abhorrent to some that it led to the contentious incidents described above, the second visit passed off as a rational, intellectual discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Legitimizing Israel

Since Gilad’s initial appearance, the SOAS Jewish Society has held a number of Israel-related events over the last two academic years. These were well attended not only by Jews but also by European, Asian, Arab, and other students from the wider Muslim world, as well as lecturers.

The Jewish Society’s email list grew to over eight hundred people, students and nonstudents, the majority of them non-Jews who were merely interested in the society’s activities. Lectures presented by the SOAS Jewish Society included those given by Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi (St. Antony’s College, Oxford), Prof. David Cesarani (Royal Holloway, University of London), Moty Cristal (ex-Israeli negotiator), Tzvi Yehezkeli (Israel’s Channel 10 news), Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post), Dr. Jonathan Spyer (GLORIA, Interdisciplinary Center), and Natan Sharansky, who spoke at nearby University College London.

In addition to academic events, the Jewish Society and the Israel Society screened popular Israeli films, plus documentaries covering the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and writer Amos Oz’s memoirs A Tale of Love and Darkness. There was also an Israeli Independence Day party and an Israeli music night.

The Jewish Society also held two well-received events about Sephardi Jewish history. One of them, about the Iraqi Jews of Shanghai, was jointly run with the SOAS Chinese Society and attracted Arab, Indian, and Chinese students, many of whom did not know Jews had lived in those countries.

Finally, on 8 March 2006, the SOAS Jewish Society, with the help of the European Center for Jewish Students in Brussels,[42] held the largest event on campus for many years when it presented Prof. Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School. The talk, titled “Zionism Is Not Racism: The Case for Israel,” took place in the three-hundred-seat Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, the largest venue on campus. This, however, was hardly adequate as students packed the hall and another two hundred people were turned away, some of whom waited in the foyer and strained to listen through the open doors.

The evening was dramatic and confrontational. Dershowitz, limiting himself to a brief thirty-minute speech, took student questions for the next one and a half hours, it having been decided that only critics of Israel were permitted to ask questions. Hence, the most common arguments against Israel were brought into the open, leaving Dershowitz to address them one-by-one.[43]

Numerous students and faculty members have thanked the SOAS Jewish Society for bringing Israeli diplomats, academics, and journalists as well as other speakers supportive of Israel to campus, and have credited it with providing a healthier balance of views. Many say it was their first opportunity to hear such a speaker in person, or the first time they had heard particular arguments in favor of Israel.

How to Go Forward?

It is a basic right that Jewish students are able to attend any university or college in Britain and express their religious or political beliefs, such as support for Israel, without fear of discrimination, harassment, and intimidation. In addition, anti-Israeli activities on campus must be conducted within the limits set by university codes of behavior, and cannot be allowed to become platforms for anti-Jewish hatred. However, reactive and defensive work alone is not sufficient. Jewish students must also offer their own events illustrating the complexity of Israeli history, society, and politics, and giving students another point of view to consider.

Despite huge media coverage and campus activity concerning Israel, there is still a lack of basic understanding of the realities of the country.  For instance, many students have trouble differentiating between the Arab citizens of Israel who make up 20 percent of Israel’s population and the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. If supporters of Israel do not address the entire student body and offer Israel’s side of the story, it is not surprising that students who continuously hear only the Palestinian viewpoint hold anti-Israeli opinions.

Samuel G. Freedman, professor of journalism at Columbia University, remarked that the response to the prevailing bias against Israel on campus must be to ensure that “the dialogue on campuses will be as wide-ranging as the dialogue in the Middle East itself.” He further asserted:

We should be encouraging Jewish students to see college as a time and place for vigorous debate and intellectual warfare…It is their job…to fight advocacy with advocacy, argument with argument.[44]

The English journalist and author Linda Grant remarked that it appears as if there are two countries of Israel. One is a “virtual” Israel that is routinely portrayed as a “criminal” and “illegitimate” state, and a “cancer” to be eradicated; the other is a “real” country inhabited by “real people, real streets, real houses, real dogs, real cats, real dead tree newspapers.” Grant wonders which one will “win the war of reality.”[45]

It is essential that Jewish students on university campuses all over the world be prepared to fight with advocacy and argument to ensure that the “real” Israel is presented, acknowledged, and understood by other students.  In the past two years, the SOAS Jewish Society has effectively demonstrated how this can be done.

Gavin Gross was a postgraduate student from 2004-2006 and chair of the Jewish Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. In September 2006 he completed his MA degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies and now serves as Director of Public Affairs for the Zionist Federation of Britain and Ireland.

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[1] SOAS website, “Information for Prospective Students,”

[2] Melanie Phillips, “The School of Orchestrated Anti-Semitism,” 7 March 2005,

[3] Jamie Glazov, “UK Student Warned to Stop Protesting Jew-Hatred,” interview with Gavin Gross,, 27 June 2005,

[4] Bernard Josephs, “MP in Clash over Soas Remarks,” Jewish Chronicle, 24 May 2002.


[5] Theodore Dalrymple, “A Terrorist Returns,” City Journal, 31 May 2002,

[6] Polly Curtis, “Anti-Israel Motion Upsets Jewish Group,” 18 November 2002,,,842766,00.html.

[7] Gaby Wine, “SOAS Apology to J-Soc Head over Debate Insults,” Jewish Chronicle, 21 February 2003.

[8] SOAS Union website, “UGM Motion Opposing All Forms of Racist Manifestations,”

[9] Conference flyer, “Resisting Israeli Apartheid: Strategies and Principles,” held on 5 December 2004 at SOAS,

[10] British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) website,

[11] Ronnie Fraser, “The Academic Boycott of Israel: Why Britain?,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, No. 36, 1 September 2005,

[12] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Jews against Israel,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, No. 30, 1 March 2005,

[13] Atarah Haber, “‘Genocide’ Big Word at London Anti-Israel Academic Conference,” Jerusalem Post, 7 December 2004.

[14] Donald MacLeod, “Israelis under Fire: Double Sacking Fuels Arguments over Academic Boycott of Israel,” The Guardian, 25 June 2002,,,743096,00.html.

[15] Mona Baker’s website containing “Resisting Israeli Apartheid” conference papers,

[16] Polly Curtis, “Israel Boycott Row Hits College: University Attacked for ‘Anti-Israel’ Conference,” The Guardian, 4 December 2004,,,1366190,00.html.

[17] Stewart Tendler, “Police Success Leaves Muslim Leaders in Shock,” The Times, 1 March 2005,,,2-1505694,00.html.

[18] Jamie Doward and Nico Hines, “Boycott Threat to Israeli Colleges: Campus Anti-Semitism Fears Inflamed by British Tutors’ Move over Palestinian land,” The Observer, 17 April 2005,,6903,1461699,00.html.

[19] Hugh Muir, “Livingstone Faces Inquiry over Nazi Guard Jibe at Jewish Reporter,” The Guardian, 12 February 2005,,9061,1411433,00.html.

[20] Melanie Phillips, “The School of Orchestrated Anti-Semitism,”

[21] Phil Baty, “Ministers Keep Eye on Bitter Soas Row,” The Times Higher Education Supplement, 1 April 2005,

[22] Nasser Amin, “When Only Violence Will Do,” SOAS Spirit, No. 3, March 2005, 20-21.


[23] Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK, “Exclusive Interview: Nasser Amin, the Lone Mujahid,” Part 1, 23 January 2006,,

Part 2, 29 January 2006,

[24] Doward and Hines, “Boycott Threat.”

[25]  Gilad Atzmon, interview with Mary Rizzo of Peacepalestine, April 2005,

[26] Gilad Atzmon, “Israeli People’s Most Common Mistakes,” 22 August 2003,

[27] Gilad Atzmon, “The J word, the J people and the J spot,”

[28] Sean O’Neill and Yaakov Lappin, “Tide of Extremism Is Rising against Us, Say Jewish Students,” The Times, 12 March 2005,,,1-4646-1522379,00.html.

[29] SOAS Staff Profile, Dr. Graham Dyer,

[30] Lee Levitt and Simon Rocker, “Soas Demo over Israeli Speaker,” Jewish Chronicle, 12 November 1999.

[31] SOAS Staff Profile, Dr. Laleh Khalili,

[32] Socialist Teachers Alliance website, “UK Academics Explain why They Support AUT Boycott,” 1 June 2005,

[33] Sir Joseph Hotung Programme in Law, Human Rights and Peace Building in the Middle East, website,

[34] Dr. Menachem Klein, “Apartheid’ in Jerusalem,”

[35] “Practical Problems Prosecuting War Crimes in the English Courts,” lecture presented by Daniel Machover,

[36] Vikram Dodd, “UK Considers Curbing Citizens’ Right to Arrest Alleged War Criminals,” The Guardian, 3 February 2006,,,1701277,00.html.

[37] “British Office in Gaza Set Alight,”

[38] Official Journal of the European Union, Council decision of 21 December 2005,

[39] Polly Curtis, “College Tells Students to Reverse Israeli Ban,” The Guardian, 5 February 2005,,,1406348,00.html.

[40] Melanie Phillips, “A Candle for Freedom,” 24 February 2005,

[41] “SOAS Protests over Israel Embassy Speaker,” Jewish Chronicle, 25 February 2005.

[42] European Center for Jewish Students website,

[43] A short video of Prof. Dershowitz’s trip to Europe, including his SOAS visit, was made by those in charge of his tour. See:

[44] Samuel G. Freedman, “Keeping Things in Perspective,” in American Jewry and the College Campus: Best of Times or Worst of Times? American Jewish Committee, November 2005, 30-31,

[45] Linda Grant, “Israel versus the Blogosphere,” The Guardian’s “Comment Is Free” blog, 20 March 2006,

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Gavin Gross was a postgraduate student from 2004-2006 and chair of the Jewish Society at the school of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. In September 2006 he completed his MA in Near and Middle Eastern studies and now serves as director of public affairs for the Zionist Federation of Britain and Ireland.