From Melanie Phillips in The Spectator:
The 2010 Belfast Festival, held under the auspices of Queen’s University Belfast, convened a panel discussion last night on the topic ‘Conflict in the Middle East’. Last September, the Festival’s director, Graeme Farrow, invited Professor Geoffrey Alderman, a British Jewish commentator and defender of Israel, to take part in this panel, an invitation he accepted. To Alderman’s astonishment, last Friday afternoon he received an email from Farrow informing him that ‘a mistake’ had been made in inviting him, and that although he could join the audience the event was to go ahead without his panel participation.
The other members of this panel were Professors Avi Shlaim of St Anthony’s College, Oxford and Beverley Milton Edwards, of Queens University, Belfast. Shlaim, an Israeli by birth who hasn’t lived in Israel for years, has made a career out of demonising Israel. Milton Edwards is a founder of Conflicts Forum, which shills for Hamas under the pretext of ‘dialogue’. It would appear that one or both of them objected to Alderman’s presence.
Thus the delegitimisation, bullying and ostracism of the Jewish state morphs seamlessly into the delegitimisation, bullying and ostracism of Jews anywhere who support it. The Jewish state alone is not to be allowed to defend its existence; its Jewish supporters alone are not to be allowed to speak in defence of its right to do so.