MECO (Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford) has been under intense pressure to cancel an event exposing the difference between Zionism and Judiasm. MECO has been inundated with hate calls, emails and threats and the venue at Wolfston College, Oxford have also been lobbied to withdraw their support. MECO, however, are laudably standing their ground and standing up to this unworthy and low attempt to silence free speech.
If this event goes ahead, Zionists will undoubtedly try to gatecrash and to spoil the talk. If you’re in Oxford, please go and play 'spot the Zionist'. They’re easy to spot - look for the ones who will be interrupting and disrupting the event. You never know, if MECO are lucky they will walk out early, preferably straight into an oncoming bus.
MPACUK welcomes MECO's stand and asks why more Islamic institutions are not taking on the Zionists on their racist and vile ideology. Why aren’t more Muslim organisations forcing their congregation to confront the active Zionist Lobby who are trying to prevent free speech?
By standing up and exposing the Zionists Lobby’s hardball tactics to close down free speech, we are doing a service to Jews, gentiles, Muslims, Britain and civil society. MPACUK welcomes MECO's brave stand.
Meco's press release as follows.
MECO BOLDLY INVITES LEADING ANTI-ZIONIST JEW TO REFUTE ISRAELI PROPANGANDA
Thursday, 30th April 2009 @ 6pm at Wolfson College, Oxford University.
In view of Israel’s indiscriminate slaughter of Gaza’s civilian population a few months ago and given the pre-meditated walkout last week by guilt-ridden Western nations (including the UK) at the intrepid speech of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attacking Zionism at the UN conference on Racism in Geneva, MECO hosts one of the most influential British-based Jews and anti-Zionist religious leaders to give a public lecture in Oxford.
Rabbi Ahron Cohen, Jewish theologian and peace activist from Manchester will deliver a pertinent and provocative presentation entitled: ZIONIST IS NOT JUDAISM – ANTI-ISRAELISM IS NOT ANTI-SEMITISM
Rabbi Cohen is the most prominent and fearless figure in the British chapter of Neturei Karta (Guardians of the City), an international Jewish organization. This orthodox Hasidic Jewish community bluntly condemns Zionism (the political movement created by secular European Jews in the late 19th century to establish the state of Israel on confiscated Palestinian lands) as a an ‘abomination and poison’ threatening all ‘true Jews’. Rabbi Cohen insists ‘that the underlying cause of strife and bloodshed in the Middle East is the state calling itself Israel. It should be totally and peacefully dissolved’. In its place, he declares, ‘there should be a country fully in accordance with the aspirations of all Palestinians when both Arabs and Jews will be able to live harmoniously together as they did for centuries before the shameful advent of Zionism’. In fact, Neturei Karta boldly believes that the very notion of an Israeli political entity is contrary to the authentic tenets of Judaism.
Since this contrary view by devout Jews conflicts directly with conventional Zionist narratives and effervescent Israeli propaganda in the West’s media, Rabbi Cohen’s presentation will set the record straight from the perspective of orthodox Jewry. This extraordinary and brave man of peace compellingly argues that most Western nations have eagerly embraced Zionism as a form of ‘atonement’ for their collective guilt complex for 2000 years of Christian-inspired anti-Semitism and their complicity in or incapacity to halt the Nazi Holocaust of European Jewry. Rabbi Cohen’s topical lecture will provide a thorough theological, historical and political demolition of nefarious Zionist ideology and provide a legitimate alternative solution to the current impasse in the Holy Land.
Once publicity for Rabbi’s Cohen lecture was circulated a fortnight ago, MECO has been bombarded by emails, letters and phone calls from furious Zionists and irate Israelis calling for the lecture to be called off and even questioning the religious credentials of the Rabbi himself. Joy Wolfe, a self-confessed Zionist wrote: “Firstly he is not a Rabbi, secondly he is an isolated individual who is shunned by all except his fellow anti-Zionists and he most certainly is not a man of peace. I am somewhat shocked that an organisation such as yours which has a reputation for moderation and not extremism should give a platform to this inciter of hatred, and laud him in such glowing terms”.
MECO has been inundated with similar protests, all designed to stop Rabbi Cohen from speaking at our Monthly Forum. A nameless but rabid supporter of Israel retorted: “Those who support Aharon Cohen's extreme view, calling Zionism a cancer and challenging the legitimacy of the Jewish state and inciting hatred against Israel with their behaviour are not the true face of the anti-Israel lobby, they are only disguised anti-Semites”.
When MECO refuted the false allegations leveled against Rabbi Cohen and demanded that his detractors prove that he is not a recognized Rabbi, their response was particularly reflective of a rather perverse mentality: “One way to end this would be to ask Aharon Cohen to show the certificate of proof that he IS indeed a rabbi”. Another uncritical Israeli partisan lamely justified his opposition to a fellow Jew: “All I do know is that he was a very prominent figure in last year's Holocaust denial conference in Iran and he is a trophy ‘celebrity’ at all high profile anti Zionist gatherings with his offensive and inciting posters”.
Despite persistent intimidation and threats, MECO is determined to welcome Rabbi Cohen and afford a public platform to this honest proponent of justice for the Palestinians. MECO is the only Muslim organisation in Oxford (with no mosques following suit) to issue public calls for a comprehensive boycott of all Israeli products (http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/search/4..._support_Gaza/)
and for the indictment of Tony Blair as a war-criminal for launching the illegal war against Iraq. (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion...r-430596.html). Such high-profile activity is in conformity with MECO’s original charter to promote theological rationalism as well as political activism within the Muslim community.