An audience of students were shocked when a former Professor at the University of London openly declared his support for the terrorist organisation Hamas while accusing Jewish students of colluding with the Israeli embassy in London.
Professor Moshe Machover, a former philosophy lecturer employed at the university since 1995, was recorded by a student at Queen Mary University openly stating his support for the terror group and denying the legitimacy of the state of Israel, whilst speaking as a guest lecturer at an event on 19 January encouraging students to boycott Israeli goods in the UK.
The event was hosted by the QMUL Friends of Palestine Society (FOPS) and sponsored by the British organisation Al-Aqsa – a group based in Leicester which has publicly declared its support for Hamas.
Speakers present included, Shamiul Joarder of Friends of al-Aqsa, Ben White, journalist for the ‘anti-Israel’ Electronic Intifada and Malaka Mohammed.
The event, which stated to be a ‘balanced discussion’ by FOPS committee members, drew criticism for its panel consisting in its entirety of all staunch pro-Palestinian panellists.
‘I’m not opposing their [Hamas] armed struggle – they have a perfect right to resist with arms. I don’t condemn them,” Professor Machover told a student attending the lecture last Thursday, entitled “Right to boycott: Should Queen Mary Endorse a Boycott on Israel’.
“Who is responsible for the rise of Hamas in the Gaza strip? Israel.”
He continued: “The most successful struggle was low level violence, popular mobilisation and kids throwing stones. In occupied Lebanon Hezbollah was using armed struggle very successfully, but in the case of Hamas their tactics aren’t very useful.”
One Jewish student at the event, concerned by Professor Machover responded, saying:
‘You’re a Jew, just as I’m a Jew and Hamas wants to kill Jews, so how can you be justifying a terrorist organisation?’
When challenged, Professor Machover then accused Jewish students in attendance of being part of an Israeli conspiracy.
“These are the kind of questions that the Israeli propaganda machine actually briefs its representatives to ask?” he said.
“I know what briefing you get. I have been in this game before you were born, and I know what briefing you get. You always use the same formulations because you are singing from the same sheet of briefing,” he said.
Students in attendance told The reporter that the event had begun with the organisers playing a clip that depicted Israeli tanks in 1948 ‘ethnically cleaning Palestinians’ something which is historically incorrect.
A first year student at Queen Mary told the reporter: “It resurrects much of the suspicion and antisemitism towards Jews, so tensions at the event were unsurprisingly high.”
‘There’s a difference between being biased and out-right lying, and that clip clearly crossed that line’
Commenting on the event, a spokesman for QMUL said: “Professor Machover is not employed by QMUL. We have a clear Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech within the law, and all events that take place on our premises are subject to security checks. Once these conditions are met, we believe that our students are able to judge for themselves the merits or otherwise of opinions put forward and views debated.”
A student present at the event, making reference to ‘Queen Mary’s appalling record on extremist speakers’ stated:
‘I think it is imperative that Queen Mary and other London universities start being more responsible about inviting speakers who refuse to condemn and therefore tolerate violence against innocent civilians.’
Following the event Queen Mary’s Friends of Palestine Society also issued an online apology for comments made during the talk.
“Resentful ideologies were expressed both ways that have no relation to the event or the society. We apologise to the members of the audience who these comments were aimed towards and we unequivocally condemn this sort of behaviour from anyone,” the statement read.