Lecturer Denies Web Anti-Semitism Claims

The Birmingham Post (England), October 26, 2002 | Go to article overview
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Lecturer Denies Web Anti-Semitism Claims

Byline: Paul Dale Chief Reporter

A Birmingham University lecturer who runs a website supporting Palestinian human rights has denied allegations of anti-Semitism and support for terrorism.

Sue Blackwell hit back after being severely criticised by the Jewish Board of Deputies, which accused her of acting as a 'mouthpiece' for anti-Israel groups.

The allegation was reported in the Jewish Chronicle, which claimed Ms Blackwell's site contained links to radical Islamic organisations.

The article also criticised organisers of Birmingham University's Freshers' Fair for allegedly permitting anti-Jewish sentiments to be expressed.

Jewish student Adam Golding said: 'Some lecturers were standing with the Friends of Palestine Society wearing badges saying 'Victory to the Intifada'. It doesn't give Jewish students encouragement.'

Ms Blackwell is Birmingham branch vice-president of the Association of University Teachers. She teaches in the English department.

Ms Blackwell said she had received abusive e-mails and phone messages as a result of the story.

She added: 'I unreservedly condemn racism and terrorism of all kinds and would never knowingly provide a link to any site which promotes anti-semitism or terrorism.

'I have repeatedly challenged my detractors to provide me with the precise web addresses of the sites supporting suicide bombers to which they allege I am linking. They have failed to come up with the evidence.'

Ms Blackwell said the website represented her personal work. She had removed a link to official Birmingham University websites.

She added: 'It contains numerous links to sites supporting Palestinian human rights, including some run by Jewish peace groups.

'I have been an active anti-racist all my adult life and whenever the BNP stand for election in Birmingham you will find me campaigning against them on the streets and reminding voters of the horrors of the Holocaust.

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