A student society at the University of Cambridge has been slammed for its decision to invite notorious far-right Israeli minister Naftali Bennett for an event on campus next week.
According to the report in student paper Varsity, Cambridge’s Middle East and North Africa Forum (MENAF) will host the Jewish Home party leader on November 19, an event condemned by Cambridge University Palestine Society (PalSoc).
Bennett, a millionaire software entrepreneur and former army commander, has consistently supported the creation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank
A spokesperson for PalSoc, which has urged MENAF to cancel the event, said:
“There is no place for Naftali Bennett and his violent, colonial politics of hate in Cambridge.”
Bennett is a vocal opponent of Palestinian self-determination and statehood, and his party calls for Israel to unilaterally and illegally annex the majority of the occupied West Bank.
Bennett: Its very simple- Israel belongs to the Jews. Period. Israel is the Jewish state like France is the French state #GFCA2013
— Jonathan (@jj34) May 28, 2013
The minister, who has previously declared that “Israel belongs to the Jews. Period”, is also a vocal proponent of internationally-condemned policies of collective punishment, and in 2013, declared:
“I have killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there is no problem with that.”
"I have killed lots of Arabs in my life—and there is no problem with that" -Israel's new Finance Minister http://t.co/Z5ceEO7wZ8
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) May 7, 2015
A spokesperson for PalSoc told Varsity:
“Bennett’s response to the white supremacist massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh included a disgraceful defense of Donald Trump. Given their track record, we are not surprised MENAF invited Bennett, but we nonetheless urge them to cancel the event.”
“The far-right extremism and violent colonial racism Bennett represents are antithetical to the values of freedom, tolerance, and equality held to by most in Cambridge.”
— Sarah Wilkinson (@swilkinsonbc) June 13, 2018
MENAF defended the event on the grounds that Bennett “is a rising star in Israeli politics and represents the views of a sizable portion of the Israeli population and its government”.
MENAF also claimed that Bennett had reached out to them to host the event.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)