December 14, 2009

Abused academic turns to the Community Security Trust

There's something slightly disturbing about this story of threats of financial and physical abuse being made against a professor at Ben Gurion University of the Negev by a leading zionist in the UK. Here's Ned Temko in yesterday's Observer:
A battle involving money and politics, academic freedom and threatening emails has hit an Israeli university after one of its academics took part in a Channel 4 documentary which has been accused of encouraging antisemitism.

At the centre of the dispute is Michael Gross, a prominent member of Britain's Jewish community, a long-time donor to Ben-Gurion University (BGU) and a member of its international board of governors.

After seeing the Dispatches programme last month, Gross emailed Professor David Newman – a British-born lecturer who has emigrated to Israel – and wrote: "I saw your disgusting contribution to the Dispatches programme. I will use whatever influence I have at BGU to have you thrown out… I hope you perish." In a second message, he said: "The sooner you are removed from BGU and the face of the earth, the better."

Ok, a zionist turns nasty, nu? Here it gets weird:
Newman revealed that he had lodged an official complaint against Gross with the Community Security Trust (CST), the body that monitors threats against British Jews. "If someone had written to any member of the Anglo-Jewish community with words like that, it would immediately have been reported to the police, and they would have wanted to know why it wasn't being dealt with," he said.
An official complaint? What's official about the CST? Another question is, will the CST record this as an antisemitic incident?

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