Across the Great Divide..
29 April '17..
On 27/4/2017, Mark Regev, the current Israeli Ambassador to London, came to speak at SOAS. Ever since the news of this event became public knowledge, several groups of students on SOAS have been actively trying to have the talk cancelled. SOAS academics also issued a public plea, the student union issued a statement, and eventually, when it became clear it would go ahead, student groups organised a public protest to coincide with the meeting. This event was promoted off campus as well, with external anti-Israel organisations such as the the Palestine Solidarity Campaign calling for support.
A large turn out was expected. Hundreds of people who wanted to silence opposing voices on campus would turn up. People who do not believe in a world where their ideologies and their political positions can be examined. Instead, they seek to close down the argument and silence opposition voices. Working to a drumbeat demanding that all critical thinking on central themes surrounding their own political preferences must be expelled from the university campus. This includes Mark Regev. What kind of university behaviour is that?
But the story of the visit by Mark Regev to SOAS, is far bigger than a few bigoted student activists. The day itself started with a sickening attempt at balance by the BBC.
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