OXFORD UNION ‘MOB’
As both a Jew and a recent Oxford graduate, I have been appalled by the scenes outside the Union in the past week. Jews, so often the defenders of liberty, so prominent in the US civilrights movement and the campaign against apartheid, were marching in favour of curbing free speech.
These campaigners respond to criticism with the well-rehearsed mantra that invitations to Irving and Griffin “legitimise” their odious points of view, yet the invitees are the true victors of the recent protests; they can rightly claim that they were muzzled by a mob. Instead of attempting to arbitrate on who should or should not have access to free speech, we should take every opportunity to engage men like these in debate and defeat them with truth and reason, rather than making them martyrs to the cause of free speech. Simon Kantor Sandy Lodge Way, Northwood, Middlesex HA6
Those in the UK community who rightly opposed the president of the Oxford Union for giving a free platform to Messrs Irving and Griffin and legitimising their message of hatred and Holocaust-denial should not get too complacent. Rather, they should be looking at Limmud, which is giving a free platform to the former Speaker of the Knesset Avraham Burg to spread his message that Israel should no longer exist as the Jewish state — thereby furthering the objective of those de-legitimising Israel’s existence. Peter Simpson Itamar Ben Avi St, Jerusalem, Israel