Holocaust survivor Marika Sherwood was due to give a talk at the University of Manchester during Israel Apartheid Week 2017 with the title ‘A Holocaust survivor’s story and the Balfour declaration: You’re doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to me’. The University insisted the subtitle be removed and attendance limited to university students and staff only.
The University was reluctant to disclose what led up to this interference with free expression until the Information Commissioner’s Office forced the University to reveal the relevant correspondence. As the Guardian reported on 29 September, the documents revealed that Israeli Embassy pressured the University to insist on the change, alleging that antisemitism lay behind the Holocaust survivor’s choice of title.
I have written to Nancy Rothwell, the University Vice-Chancellor deploring the University’s action and calling for an apology to Ms Sherwood and the students who invited her for disparaging them as antisemites.
The response to my second letter still failed to explain or apologise, so I have tried again