CAA complains to Charity Commission and Home Office after Cambridge Union lets Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad spew antisemitism, unchallenged

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism has made a formal complaint to Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Charity Commission after Cambridge Union failed to challenge outrageous anti-Semitic comments made by guest speaker Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, at an event on Sunday.

They have also contacted the University of Cambridge to comment.

Apart from the latest anti-Semitic viewpoints by the 93-year-old open anti-Semite, CAA want to understand from Mr Javid, who was campaigning to be Tory leader this week, why Mohamad was allowed into the country despite his ongoing spread of hatred against Jews.

The event may breach the Government’s counter extremism policy, Prevent.

CAA have called on the Jewish community to write to local MPs.

“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,” they noted in a statement. “Instead, the Union gingerly and respectfully provided a platform for a revolting bigot.

“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.”

A recording of the controversial leaders’ comments to a Union official was posted on YouTube.

Asked during questioning by a Union official about his past comments about Jews, Mohamad drew laughter from the Union gathering when he replied that he had “some Jewish friends, very good friends,” adding, “they are not like the other Jews, that’s why they are my friends.”

Questioned on his views about the Holocaust, he said, “The Israelis should know from the sufferings they went through in the war not to treat others like that.”

Mohamad denied saying only four million died in the Holocaust, but referring to the International Definition of Anti-Semitism, he noted that drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” was anti-Semitic.

On anti-Semitism, Mohamad claimed that is you say anything against the Jews, you are labelled anti-Semitic.

He added, “No other race in the world labels people like that, why is it forbidden to criticise the Jews when other people criticise us?” He continued, “The Jews do a lot of wrong things, which force us to pass comment.”

Retuning to past comments in calling Jews “hooked nosed”, Mohamad responded, “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? Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that pretty much every group of people objects to being casually racially stereotyped.”

CAA have described the decision by Cambridge Union to allow the meeting as “disgraceful and unforgivable”.

“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,” they noted.

The Union of Jewish Students have slated Cambridge Union for hosting the event.

“Freedom of speech is not a joke when it incites hatred against one people,” they noted, adding, “Having raised concerns about the speaker and his history of unrepentantly anti-Jewish rhetoric, UJS are dismayed, but not surprised, that the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was allowed to use the prestigious platform of the Cambridge Union to espouse hatred.

“It is chilling to see a crowd of students laugh off flagrantly antisemitic comments. Freedom of expression is not a joke when it incites hatred against one people.”

The Board of Deputies said Cambridge University had created a “hostile environment for Jews” by hosting the event.

The BoD added that giving a platform to a person who has repeatedly denied the scope of the Shoah, spread anti-Semitic tropes and made straightforward racist comments.

A handful of protesters waved Israeli flags outside the event, which took place despite Jewish student appeals.

A long-standing, outspoken anti-Semite and critic of Israel, Mohamad has previously blamed Jews for creating conflict in the Middle East.

Israel, who do not have diplomatic relations with Malaysia, accused Mohamad of “rabid anti-Semitism” after his government banned Israeli athletes from competing in a Tokyo 2020 Paralympics qualifying event in Malaysia earlier this year.

His actions over the World Para Swimming Championships in Kuching, originally scheduled for next month, were roundly slated.

BoD President Marie van der Zyl said the International Paralympic Committee had made a “principled” decision to strip Malaysia of the prestigious championships in July.

She added that Malaysia’s Prime Minister had heaped “shame upon his office” for overtly racist comments against Jews.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder welcomed IPC’s “honourable” decision.

“There is absolutely no place in sport for politics, anti-Semitism or bigotry and I sincerely hope the penalty will deter other countries from such discriminatory policies,” he said.

The Paralympics event takes place in London later this year.

Mohamad, also earlier this year, was controversially invited to speak at the Oxford Union.

And he drew applause from a section of the audience when defending past anti-Semitic comments as “freedom of speech”, to the disdain of observers,

“Why we can’t say anything against Israel, against the Jews?” he said. “We are free to say what we like, we can say something that can be regarded as anti-Semitic by the Jews. That is their right to hold such an opinion of me. It is my right to tell them they have been doing a lot of wrong things.”

Mohamad gained further applause for anti-Israeli government comments.

Prior to the event, Mark Gardner, CST, saiid that many Jews and Jewish students would be deeply concerned such an unrepentant anti-Semite is apparently very welcome at the Oxford Union.

In 2012, Mohamad wrote on his personal blog that “Jews rule this world by proxy.”

He further boasted that he was “glad to be labeled anti-Semitic”, explaining, ”How can I be otherwise, when the Jews who so often talk of the horrors they suffered during the Holocaust show the same Nazi cruelty and hard-heartedness towards not just their enemies but even towards their allies should any try to stop the senseless killing of their Palestinian enemies.”

By Adam Moses