An 86-year-old Holocaust survivor was heckled by pro-Israelis while giving a controversial talk on Wednesday night at Goldsmiths University in Lewisham.
Dr. Hajo Meyer delivered his talk, ‘The Misuse of the Holocaust for Political Purposes’, on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day .His criticisms of the Israeli government were met with aggression by two audience members, who shouted interruptions during talks by both Dr. Meyer and fellow speaker, Palestinian Journalist, Haidar Eid. They also held up signs with the word ‘lies’ written on them.
In 1944 Dr. Meyer spent 10 months in Auschwitz; the largest of the World War II concentration camps. He is now a published essayist based in the Netherlands, and is involved in campaigning for ending, what he views as, the occupation of Palestine. He is delivering a series of talks as part of a tour organised by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.
The Network’s Founder, Sarah Kershnar, claimed they had not been allowed to list any of the talks on the official Holocaust Memorial Trust website due to their position on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Ms.Kershnar said: “We tried three times and it wouldn’t go through.”
She has launched a petition in response to the banning, but when EastLondonLines approached The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, they denied having received the submission from IJAN.
James Haywood, the Goldsmiths College student who organized the hosting of the talk for IJAN, said he believed it contributed an important perspective to the Memorial Day; “The talk we’re holding tonight is not conventional but its important to remember that racism in all its forms is bad.”
Other East London line boroughs, Croydon and Hackney, hosted more traditional ‘Candle Lighting Events’ yesterday to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.