The Jewish Chronicle has reported Searchlight’s campaign to ban the visit of Jacques Vergès to London, where he has been invited to take part in a debate at the School of Oriental and African Studies.
The paper reports that Mike Freer MP, vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, hopes to raise the visit of French-Vietnamese lawyer Jacques Vergès with Home Secretary Theresa May.
Others are adding their voices to the campaign. A spokesperson for the Community Security Trust, which represents and advises the Jewish community on security and antisemitism, said: “It is hard to see how Jacques Vergès’ record of defending Nazis, Holocaust Deniers, mass murderers and terrorists can contribute anything worthwhile to a debate on international justice. This invitation smacks of the kind of attention-seeking sensationalism that can only damage the reputation of an institution like SOAS.”
And Karen Pollock, Chief Executive, Holocaust Educational Trust told Searchlight: “It seems perverse that any prestigious institution would welcome Jacques Vergès, a notorious figure, who over the decades has defended Nazi war criminals and Holocaust deniers with apparent relish – and whose extremely controversial views would surely undermine any serious academic debate.”
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