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Cambridge Union debating society hosts Dr Mahathir, and infuriates the Lobby, from Peter Myers

(1) Cambridge Union debating society hosts Dr Mahathir, and infuriates the Lobby(2) Cambridge audience tickled pink by Dr M’s scintillating wit(3) Malaysian PM Mahathir sparks controversy over anti-Semitic remarks at Cambridge University(4) Cambridge Union slammed by ex-presidents after Dr M’s ‘anti-Semitic’ remarks(5) Cambridge’s generous platform to Malaysia’s PM was an abuse of free speech(6) Appreciative Laughter Greets Malaysian PM’s Antisemitic Barb at Cambridge University Appearance(1) Cambridge Union debating society hosts Dr Mahathir, and infuriates the LobbyFrom: bronek <>Subject: Amazingly Cambridge Lecture by Hater on Verboten Topic not CancelledGoodness. Malaysian PM tries to blame much of the world’s turmoil on what we have been educated to know is an element that has suffered more than all of mankind combined.No wonder cyber space is so monitored! Goodness he is so full of wrong thinking. Right? Does he not read the newspapers or watch TV?Enjoy. enables Malaysian Prime Minister to spread antisemitism uncheckedJune 18, 2019 by TPSThe Cambridge Union debating society hosted Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a vocal anti-Semite, at the academic venue on Sunday, during which he reiterated his anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denying views while going unchallenged by the audience.The Cambridge Union Society debating chamber during the 2011 Cambridge Festival of Ideas. Pic: Wikimedia CommonsThe Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), a London-based watchdog, has filed a complaint with the Charity Commission against Cambridge Union, a registered charity.In a recording of the event posted on YouTube, Mahathir is seen being asked by the moderator about his past anti-Semitic comments."I have some Jewish friends, very good friends. They are not like the other Jews. That’s why they are my friends," he replied. The audience responded with laughter.When questioned about his Holocaust denial, he said that "the Israelis should know from the sufferings they went through in the war not to treat others like that."CAA noted that under the International Definition of Antisemitism, "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis" is considered anti-Semitism.He also denied saying that only four million were murdered in the Holocaust, something that he has previously stated on the record.He defended anti-Semitism by saying that "of course if you say anything against the Jews, you are labeled anti-Semitic. No other race in the world labels people like that, why is it forbidden to criticize the Jews when other people criticize us?""The Jews do a lot of wrong things, which force us to pass comment," he added.He also defended his calling Jews "hooked nosed" by saying that "people do generalize, in describing certain people we take some general characteristics that they have, why is it that it’s the Jews who resent this when other people don’t resent being accused of some general characteristic that they have?"He justified his anti-Semitism by using an example that "the British Jews used to say the Malays are lazy.""It is disgraceful and unforgivable that Cambridge Union, a club affiliated to the University of Cambridge, one of Britain’s most prestigious educational institutions, rolled out the red carpet for this self-confessed and unrepentant anti-Semite, and presented him with a platform from which to share his dangerous views with students, unchallenged," CAA stated Tuesday.A Jewish student who attended the event told CAA that a Union staff member spoke to him during the event and told him that he had seen him earlier near a small group of protestors and that security would specifically be keeping an eye on him. A member of security was subsequently positioned near him."The way Jewish students were clearly targeted for extra surveillance by security personnel left them feeling extremely uncomfortable and in some cases, too intimidated to ask the speaker a question" he recounted."While the opportunity to challenge Mahathir Mohamad on his regressive views on homosexuals and Jews might have been prima facie valuable, in this instance the Union failed to adequately counter his unacceptable rhetoric," he told CAA."The questioner did manage to bring up controversial topics, but regularly let clearly racist and discriminatory comments go unchallenged. One horrific comment about Cambridge being colonized and renamed Israel was shockingly met with laughter from the floor. It seems the Union is conflicted between pampering its VIP guests, and truly holding them to account," he charged.CAA has complained to the University of Cambridge and the Charity Commission and wrote the home secretary that the decision to admit Mahathir into the UK could breach the government’s counter-extremism policy."If Cambridge Union wished to host Dr. Mohamad in the name of free speech, his longstanding Jew-hatred should have faced the harshest dissection and cross-examination that is the best of this country’s academic tradition. Instead, the Union gingerly and respectfully provided a platform for a revolting bigot," CAA charged. "The Union decided to allow Dr. Mohamad to spew his vitriol against Jews without challenge and we intend to ensure that it bears the consequences of that unforgivable choice."(2) Cambridge audience tickled pink by Dr M’s scintillating wit audience tickled pink by Dr M’s scintillating witTuesday, 18 Jun 2019CAMBRIDGE: The subject matter covered was not much different from the talk he delivered at Oxford Union in January, yet Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad kept the floor engaged with his wit and humour at the Cambridge Union.The rumblings of a small group of protesters outside were soon drowned by the Prime Minister’s off-the-cuff speech inside the Cambridge Union Society hall on Sunday which took the audience from the British rule narrative to the present-day woes faced by the country and the world.Some of the attendees noted that the talk was not much different from the one in Oxford Union because the nonagenarian was steadfast in his stand on many issues, such as the Israeli regime carving out its own state at the expense of Palestine, atrocities suffered by Palestinians, and Malaysia’s stand on LGBT.He also once again highlighted how Malaysia shifted its focus from the West to the East, and the fear of marginalisation of the smaller countries by the bigger nations.The crowd was amused when Dr Mahathir pointed out in jest that in the English language, people did not mean what they said."For example, in Parliament, the Speaker is not allowed to speak. Malaysia is a member of the Commonwealth but there is nothing much in common with the wealth dominated by certain countries."The British acknowledged the Malay Sultans as Rulers but the Sultans never ruled. Therefore, when they criticise us as dictators, I don’t think they really mean it," he said as the audience roared.After the speech, when host Adam Davies asked about his return to active politics, Dr Mahathir had this to say; "I came back because the very same Opposition that used to call me a dictator decided that I should be their leader, at their request and not mine".And the Prime Minister’s reply to the last question from the floor again drew laughter.When he was asked whether the Pakatan Harapan coalition would be returned in the next election, he replied: "It depends on you, if you vote for us, we will return".Also in attendance was Dr Mahathir’s wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.Among those in the audience were Malaysian students and Cambridge undergraduates as well as Malaysians based in the United Kingdom. – Bernama(3) Malaysian PM Mahathir sparks controversy over anti-Semitic remarks at Cambridge University Jun 2019 06:08PM (Updated: 18 Jun 2019 06:10PM)KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has once again sparked controversy over his anti-Semitic views while on a working visit to the United Kingdom, with his remarks drawing the ire of local Jewish students."I have some Jewish friends, very good friends, they are not like the other Jews, that’s why they are my friends," Dr Mahathir reportedly said at the Cambridge Union debating society on Sunday (Jun 16).His remarks were said to have been followed by laughter from the audience, prompting a sharp response from the Jewish student community.In a tweet, the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) stated: "Freedom of speech is not a joke when it incites hatred against one people."The UJS represents more than 8,000 Jewish students on UK campuses.Mr Adam Cannon, a lawyer and former UJS president added that allowing anti-Semitic and racist comments to go unchallenged while the audience laughed was unacceptable."It is shameful and humiliating for such a great institution to allow this to take place," he said.In a statement, the Cambridge Union noted that laughter had originated from the middle section of the room, where the prime minister’s delegation was seated."Our moderator repeatedly challenged the Prime Minister on his anti-Semitic comments, bringing the conversation to the topic continuously," it said.It added that the Cambridge Jewish Society was invited to attend the talk and ask questions, while questions submitted by UJS prior to the event were relayed to the Malaysian leader via the moderator.This is not the first time Dr Mahathir has made anti-Semitic remarks publicly.He has in the past questioned whether six million Jewish people died during the Holocaust and described Jewish people as "hook nosed".Speaking at the Oxford Union in January, he was repeatedly challenged by students over his anti-Semitic comments. In response, he then said: "I cannot understand this. We talk about freedom of speech and yet you cannot say anything against Israel, against the Jews. Why is that so?"Later that month, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) stripped Malaysia of the right to host the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships because the country had banned Israeli athletes.Malaysia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.Before Dr Mahathir’s speech on Sunday, UJS expressed disappointment that Cambridge Union decided to host the veteran politician."We expect Mahathir Mohamad to be robustly challenged on his anti-Jewish racism and to be shown that his views are not welcome on UK campuses," UJS said last week.On Sunday, Dr Mahathir reportedly defended his decision to call Jews "hooked nosed"."People do generalise, in describing certain people we take some general characteristics that they have, why is it that it’s the Jews who resent this when other people don’t resent being accused of some general characteristic that they have?" he said.Source: CNA/aw(tx) Cambridge Union slammed by ex-presidents after Dr M’s ‘anti-Semitic’ remarksPublished 2 days ago on 20 June 2019BY BOO SU-LYNKUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Eight former presidents of the Cambridge Union have criticised Cambridge University’s debating society for not challenging Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s allegedly anti-Semitic remarks.The ex-Cambridge Union presidents noted in a letter published on Jewish News yesterday that those present at the event hosting Dr Mahathir last Sunday had laughed at the Malaysian prime minister’s remarks: "I have some Jewish friends, very good friends. They are not like other Jews, that’s why they are my friends.""This level of febrile Jew hatred must be confronted — and that is what the Cambridge Union has traditionally done. Encouraging robust debate while not allowing minority groups to be subjected to hatred is one of the reasons why the Union has long enjoyed its prestigious reputation."We are disappointed that The Union representative running the event did not challenge the shameful views he allowed Dr Mohamad to share by asking him the question in the first place," said the eight ex-Cambridge Union presidents.They also expressed disappointment that the students present casually laughed at "racist remarks" and warned that such views legitimised hatred.The eight who wrote the letter are Adam Cannon, Lauren Davidson, Lance Foreman, Jeremy Brier, Nick Chatrath, Gareth Weetman, George Bevis, and Joel Fenster.The Cambridge Union said in a statement yesterday that the laughter depicted in a video being circulated on social media came from Dr Mahathir’s delegation, not from its members."Although we deeply appreciate the concerns that have been raised, we urge all commentators to wait until watching the complete video on our YouTube," said the Cambridge Union.The Cambridge Union also said its event moderator repeatedly challenged Dr Mahathir’s anti-Semitic comments, such as scrutinising the prime minister’s decision to ban Israeli swimmers from entering Malaysia for the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships that were later moved to London because of the ban."Additionally, given the open Q and A at the end of the speech, audience members were able to challenge the Prime Minister’s use of generalisations concerning Jews, asking why he so condemned Western generalisations of Malaysians if he himself made anti-Semitic generalisations about the Jewish community." Cambridge’s generous platform to Malaysia’s PM was an abuse of free speechJUN 18, 2019, 2:44 PMWhat exactly was the Cambridge Union thinking when it invited Mahathir Mohamad to speak last week? Mohamad, Malaysia’s Prime Minister, has been one of the world’s most outspoken and notorious antisemites in recent decades. He has stereotyped Jews as ‘hook nosed’ people who ‘understand money instinctively’, questioned the scale of the Holocaust and accused the Jews of ruling the world ‘by proxy.’He has also tapped into a rich vein of conspiratorial antisemitism by accusing Israel of being behind all the woes of the Middle East. Indeed, he has not even hidden his prejudice, declaring that he is ‘glad to be labelled antisemitic’. In essence, this foul racist is imbued with a level of hatred that would have endeared him to the Nazi regime.To understand why Mohamad was invited, one need only listen to the comments made by the Union afterwards when they stated that ‘free speech and student welfare are equally important to us.’ The union has long opposed the ‘no platform’ policy of the National Union of Students. It argues that students should freely listen to all those who have made a decisive impact on national politics and that is why they have invited such ‘luminaries’ as Marine Le Pen and Abu Hamza to address them.Freedom of speech is indeed a vital component of a civilised society and, with only a few exceptions, students should be able to judge for themselves who they can and cannot listen to. But free speech fundamentally requires accountability, the ability to hold people’s words and actions to serious public scrutiny. This is especially true for those who espouse deeply controversial and irrational views that violate standards of decency. If they are simply allowed to spew yet more venom, their freedom of speech becomes a licence to hate, mock and demonise others.And that is indeed what happened. When challenged about some of the anti-Jewish comments he had made, Mohamad replied: ‘I have some Jewish friends, very good friends. They are not like the other Jews, that’s why they are my friends." This spiteful reference to ‘good versus bad’ Jews invited laughter from the audience, reportedly from the Malaysian delegation that were present, while the rest were shamefully silent.Where was the Douglas Murray or Melanie Phillips or John Mann to counter such a vicious remark? Where was the fearless interlocutor to remind those watching that this man was a calculating, nasty racist? When the BBC made the decision to invite Nick Griffin on BBC Question Time in 2009, it generated understandable controversy. But at least the corporation ensured that he faced an array of political and cultural figures, people of considerable experience and calibre, to hold his past words and actions to scrutiny.Yet there was no such heavyweight to challenge the Malaysian Prime Minister on his record of bigotry and offensiveness. He had an easy ride when he should have been made to squirm. Under those circumstances, the generous platform that Mohamad was given allowed him to incite hatred against a minority without any fear of recrimination, a clear abuse of freedom of speech.Worse, this has happened at the very same time that antisemitism continues to be a problem on our university campuses. Jewish student societies have been forced to use security for fear of racist attacks and some keep the locations of their events secret for the same reason.In 2018, vicious name calling was reported at Oxford University’s Labour club with Jews labelled pejoratively as ‘Zios’. Earlier this year, more than 200 students tried to block the creation of a Jewish society at the University of Essex while one of the university’s academics, Dr Maaruf Ali, was dismissed for antisemitism. The Cambridge Union has contributed to this cacophony of prejudice by giving a free platform to an unrepentant Jew hater. Shame on them.(6) Appreciative Laughter Greets Malaysian PM’s Antisemitic Barb at Cambridge University Appearance 17, 2019 10:16 AM 42by Ben CohenMalaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad — infamous for his antisemitic views across several decades — delivered an anti-Jewish barb that was greeted with laughter during an appearance at the Cambridge University Union in the UK on Sunday night.The 93-year-old was responding to a respectfully-posed question from the event moderator who asked him, "Why do you say that the Jewish people in general are inclined towards money? There are lots of Jews who care about human rights, care about social justice, care about democracy."Mahathir answered: "I have some Jewish friends, very good friends. They are not like the other Jews, that’s why they are my friends."This comment was met with an appreciative peal of laughter that rippled across the audience. This was immediately followed by an awkward silence, during which Mahathir grinned at the moderator and then the audience.At no point was Mahathir challenged or reprimanded by the moderator. There were no audible protests from the audience.Embedded videoUnion of Jewish Students @UJS_UK "I have some Jewish friends, very good friends. They are not like the other Jews, that’s why they are my friends"- Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad at the Cambridge Union last night.The audience laughs.Freedom of speech is not a joke when it incites hatred against one people.Mahathir also found an opportunity at the event to demonize the LGBTQ+ community with a rant against gay marriage that was approvingly reported in the Malaysian media."I don’t understand gay marriage. Marriage is about producing children. Do you get children in a gay marriage? What do they do? They adopt children and things like that," said Mahathir, who was re-elected as Malaysia’s prime minister in 2018.Mahathir’s long-held beliefs about Jewish domination of global politics and finance have become one of his defining characteristics as a world leader. Career highlights have included invoking the Nazi stereotype of Jews as "hooknosed" financiers, questioning the extent of the Holocaust during an interview with the BBC, and telling a Muslim solidarity conference with the Palestinians that the September 11, 2001 Al Qaeda terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC, "were staged…as an excuse to mount attacks against the Muslim world."In that same speech, in 2010, Mahathir added pointedly: "[Y]ou know, there are forces in the United States which prevent the president from doing some things. One of the forces is the Jewish lobby, AIPAC."Several protests were made to the Cambridge Union  — Britain’s oldest debating society — in the lead-up to Mahathir’s appearance on Sunday.Adam Cannon, a former Union president, took to Twitter last week to express his discontent regarding the invitation. "As a former President of the [Cambridge Union]", he wrote, "I’m appalled that they have invited […] an overt antisemite to speak.""Free speech does not mean the Union should be giving him a platform to spout his vile views."Peter Sugarman, who was a Cambridge Union president in 1981, told The Jewish Chronicle newspaper: "Just because the Union has the right to invite someone, doesn’t mean that it’s sensible to do so."I endorse free speech. However, given Mr. Mohamad’s known antisemitic views, it is sad that the Cambridge Union gave him a platform to express such sentiments. Sadly, it appears that he lived down to expectations."Among the student organizations condemning Mahathir’s appearance was the Labour Party’s student branch at Cambridge University. In a tweet, the Cambridge University Labour Club denounced the Malaysian leader as a "vicious antisemite" and declared its "solidarity with British Jews."Cambridge Uni Labour Club @CULC Mahathir Mohamad is a vicious antisemite and the current prime minister of Malaysia. He has been invited to the Cambridge Union today. We stand in solidarity with British Jews against the threat to the community posed by the normalisation of this hatred. @CambridgeUnion why?80 10:15 PM - Jun 16, 2019 · Cambridge, England