Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why Do They Want To Silence Professor Geoffrey Alderman?

Who is Professor Geoffrey Alderman?

Check out his website:
Geoffrey Alderman is an academic and journalist specialising in modern British and European history and British and American politics. He is an internationally acknowledged authority on voting behaviour, pressure groups and the impact of religious and ethnic groups on political life. He has also written extensively on problems of quality and standards in university education.
And he is also being targeted by groups that are nominally interested in the protection of free speech.

Take for example the Comment is Free section of the Guardian--which is named after a famous quote of C P Scott, the owner and editor of the Manchester Guardian, who in 1921 said:
Comment is free, but facts are sacred.
Well, so much for that idea.

Professor Alderman wrote back in February:
Last August, “CiF Watch” was launched. Its primary aim is to monitor anti-Jewish content appearing on CiF.

In November, I accepted an invitation to write for CiF Watch a piece on Peter Oborne’s Channel 4 documentary Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby and on Tony Lerman’s defence of it on CiF.

I can now reveal that, within days of the publication of my critique, I received an email from the Guardian telling me that, if I dared to continue writing for CiF Watch, I would no longer be able to contribute to CiF. It was, I was summarily warned, “an either/or choice”.

I can further reveal that I have now been placed on a special list of persons whose CiF comments will be reviewed in advance of their online publication.
This from the Guardian, the same paper that has had no problem providing a forum for Khalid Mish'al, a leader of Hamas.

Now, this week, free speech has suffered another blow. Professor Alderman has issued a press release:



The following statement is issued by Professor Geoffrey Alderman:

On 20 September 2010 I received an email from the Director of the Belfast Festival, Mr. Graeme Farrow, inviting me to join a panel convened to discuss “Conflict in the Middle East” as part of the 2010 Belfast Festival, held under the auspices of Queen’s University Belfast. Mr. Farrow’s exact words were: “I would be delighted if you would join our panel.”

I was naturally pleased to accept this invitation.

The panel discussion is due to take place on Monday evening, 18 October 2010, in Belfast.

On Friday afternoon, 15 October 2010 I was shocked to receive an email from Mr. Farrow informing me that “a mistake” had been made in extending the invitation to me and that although I could join the audience the event was to go ahead without my panel participation.

In effect, I was being “disinvited.”

In a series of email exchanges with Mr. Farrow I refused to accept this situation, and I have made it clear to him that I intend to travel to Belfast tomorrow and shall expect to participate fully as a member of the panel.

I am frankly appalled at the way I have been treated, for which I hold Queen’s University, Belfast, responsible.
I suppose this is a bit more civil than those anti-Israel groups who shout down Israeli or pro-Israeli speakers and attempt to prevent presentations of contrary views. But it is still an attemmpt to prevent free speech.

And claiming that Professor Alderman was invited by 'mistake' and was being 'disinvited' is especially craven.

Technorati Tag: and and .

No comments: