Saturday, January 27, 2007


Bonsoir Akram becomes the best site on the Web! (plus commentary by Gilad Atzmon)

Bonsoir, one of my favourite blogs, has become the best site on the web. Akram has completely refurbished the site, and now, along with his insightful posts and observations, there is the most complete archive of films, documentaries and clips about Palestine. It is a treasure trove, a place to view and reflect.

Merci, Akram!!!!! (from Mary)

and now, what Gilad Atzmon had to say about Akram

Turning a UK University into a Yeshiva

A few days ago I learned about
Bonsoir. It is a web site maintained by a young Palestinian post-graduate student in Leeds. The site is a must see, it is an on-line Palestinian film library archive, a sort of ‘Palestinian You Tube’. The person who created the site is Akram Awad, who has gathered in a section called Palorama, an impressive collection of live stream audiovisual materials concerning Palestine, the Middle East and documents that present the ever-growing Zionist crime in sound and movement. I’ve also learned that he has occasionally collaborated on initiatives with Umkahlil, peacepalestine and Annie's Letters and is active in a very humble way, not seeming to be one who craves attention, but who cares about what he is doing.

Three days ago I wrote to Mr. Awad to tell him how impressed I was with his site. Last night he wrote back. Apparently, without drawing attention to his case, the young exiled Palestinian student is under fire. The Zionist lobby in Britain has utilised its heavy cannons against him and especially against his message.

Just like in North America where external funds help Zionist lobbies to dictate the academic discourse, Leeds University, a respected UK academic institute, is coming now under very similar heavy pressure.

I learned form the Yorkshire Post today that “Marilyn Stowe, an expert in divorce law and member of the legal advisory group to the Law Commission, said she could no longer offer a proposed five-figure sum after learning (that) a post-graduate student, who also works for the university, was running a website containing anti-Semitic material.”

Yet, Mr. Awad, clearly states on his site and in the UK press that he is an anti-Zionist rather than anti Semite. He shouldn’t have even gone through the trouble, because it is apparent that the site is dedicated to diffusing information on Palestine and the people of Palestine. He is not criticising Jews as an ethnic or racial group, but any mention of Jews is connected in a concrete way to the political action that Israel undertakes and is solely concerned with Zionism as an ideology and in practice. Moreover, Mr. Awad’s site contains some original articles, but much of it is set as an on-line archive. It is a collection of films that expresses a wide variety of ideas and expression, assuming that in a free world people are entitled to listen to other views and can make up their own minds.

Mrs. Stowe said, "I have enormous concerns that Leeds University has been publicly linked with a website which is publishing anti-Semitic material and with the greatest regret I cannot be associated with Leeds University until this matter is resolved. I expect they will now take steps to deal with this situation and not be perceived as pursuing a policy hostile to a particular group of students."

Mrs. Stowe is obviously entitled to decide what she wants to do with her money. Yet, a quick search reveals that it is not Leeds University that hosts Mr. Awad’s site. It is actually hosted by an American firm. Seemingly, Mrs. Stowe is misinformed, misinforming or even both. However, it is rather obvious that Mrs. Stowe sets the conditions of her support for the university by raising a clear demand for conformity of thoughts. In broad daylight, Mrs. Stowe offers economic contributions to Leeds University as long as the academic institute starts to operate as a Yeshiva (an institution specialised solely in Torah studies and Talmud in particular).

May I remind Mrs. Stowe that the word university is derived from the Latinuniversitas magistrorum et scholarium’, (community of masters and scholars). Mr. Awad’s web site is exactly what Universitas stands for. It provides the world community with direct access into the Palestinian discourse. It makes knowledge available. It is there to share the notion of Zionist brutality with every Internet enthusiast on this planet. Mrs. Stowe is rather unhappy with it. She somehow prefers to silence the opponents of Israel. She prefers the restricting discourse. Mrs. Stowe, herself a graduate from Leeds University, may have forgotten what academic freedom is all about. But far more worryingly, being a lawyer, she is actually acting against freedom of speech.

May I remind Mrs. Stowe that it is the openness that made the West into something we can occasionally take pride in. If Mrs. Stowe does believe in the true notion of Universitas rather than in the silencing dynamic of the Yeshiva, she should regret her choice to withdraw funding and rush back to support a university that is lucky enough to have Akram Awad amongst its students.

However, Mrs. Stowe’s behavior is just another red light warning for the UK academic world. Seemingly, Zionist lobbies are there to exploit the diminishing governmental financial support for higher education.

Zionist lobbies will do whatever they can to interfere with academic freedom. Zionists know that ‘freedom of thought’ and ethical awareness are the gravest threats to Israeli politics and the Zio-centric discourse. Beware!

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