January 28, 2009
THE convener of a conference on justice for Palestine, to be held at State Parliament tomorrow, has apologised for making anti-Jewish comments despite having earlier defended them as "private conversation".
Maqsood Alshams, who formed a lobby group called the Asia Pacific Human Rights Institute, organised the conference with three universities to discuss the possibility of Israel being prosecuted by the International Court of Justice.
The Bangladesh-born asylum seeker, who was once nominated for the National Human Rights Award, wrote in private emails obtained by the Herald that Israel had overshadowed the Holocaust in its treatment of Palestine and that God hated Jews.
"The simple answer is that you the Jews are real motherf----- bastards," he wrote in an email to Richard Benkin, a human rights activist based in Chicago.
"You guys are simply assholes … Stop playing the bloody victim games."
In another email, to a Sydney management consultant, Anna Berger, Mr Maqsood said Israel's actions in Gaza were more serious than the Holocaust, comparing the conflict with Hitler's treatment of Jews.
Asked about the emails, Mr Maqsood initially defended his right to a private argument. "Is it anything wrong to have a private conversation? That is not my public view … I am not an anti-Semite at all. I have many Jewish friends."
But late yesterday Mr Maqsood apologised and withdrew the remarks. "I am ashamed to say they were made at a time when I was intoxicated and angry," he said. "Of course, there is no excuse for such remarks."
The universities participating in Mr Maqsood's conference have refused to withdraw support, despite calls from the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.
"It now seems the conference will also serve an anti-Semitic agenda," the board's chief executive, Vic Alhadeff, said yesterday. "The participating organisations - wittingly or unwittingly - have allowed themselves to be used as part of that racist agenda."
Larissa Behrendt, of the University of Technology, said monetary support would remain for the conference as the forum was part of legitimate debate.
"We saw this as being an opportunity for debate [but] there's no space in it for the comments that have been made. There's no excuse for them [but] it doesn't mean the debate we want to have take place should not take place."
Macquarie University and the University of Sydney have also maintained their positions.
The Edmund Rice Centre, a Christian social justice body where the Asia Pacific Human Rights Institute is based, said the remarks were derogatory and offensive.
Another parasitic bludger and pin up boy of the Left,from over the seas and far away, who upon arriving here demand that Australians adopt the failed cultural, social and Religious pratices that he claims to have run away from because he could no longer live under the oppression that they manifested.
Oh the joys of Multiculturalism aka colonization by stealth.
No surprises the various Universities are supporting this racist bigot,like minds working together for a common goal.
Update: Racist "MotherF*****g Bastard's" Jew Hate fest cancelled
Anti-Semitic remarks stop Palestine conference
January 28, 2009 - 7:59PM
A conference on justice for Palestine due to be held tomorrow at State Parliament has been called off after several high-profile speakers withdrew from the event, citing revelations the convener had made anti-Semitic remarks.
Maqsood Alshams, who had organised the conference 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere', made a series of derogatory remarks about Jewish people in several private emails, the Herald revealed on Wednesday.
Two of the conferences key speakers, Antony Loewenstein and Peter Manning, withdrew in a joint email to the convenor at lunchtime today [Wednesday].
"As a Jew who condemns anti-Semitism I though it would be inappropriate to engage in a debate in that kind of environment," said Mr Loewenstein, a blogger and author of My Israel Question. "That does not change the fact that I still feel very strongly about the situation in Gaza."
Professor Manning, who lectures in Journalism at UTS and is a critic of anti-Arab media bias, also said he felt the conference was no longer an appropriate forum for the issue.
"I don't want to confuse the Palestinian issues that I care about with any form of racism or anti-Semitism," said Professor Manning.
Mr Maqsood, a Bangladesh-born asylum seeker and founder of the small lobby group Asia Pacific Human Rights Institute, apologised for the emails on Tuesday and said he had been "intoxicated and angry" when he wrote them.
He was not available for comment tonight [Wednesday], but had notified people via email during the afternoon that the event had been cancelled.
The director of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Vic Alhadeff, who condemned Mr Maqsood's comments on Tuesday, said he was vindicated by the decision.
"Our community felt from the outset that if the conference went ahead, it would have been irredeemably tainted with bias, given the lack of balance and the anti-Semitic comments made by the principal organiser," he said in a statement.