On the day after the worst mass slaughter of Jews since World War Two, Lancaster University professor Simon Mabon, a man regularly called as an “impartial expert” by the BBC to comment on the evils of Israel, tweeted out his praise for those vermin of Hamas who had carried out the attacks, the rapes, the beheadings, the kidnaps, the roasting of a baby in an oven. Mabon is a disgrace but so too is Lancaster University which, I can now reveal, has exonerated him, covered up his crime and so made it clear that Jewish students at Lancaster can now be taunted and menaced without repercussion.
Mabon has now locked his twitter account, presumably for a spot of “spring cleaning”. That means that fans of his such as Jeremy Bowen can see what he thinks but the wider world cannot. Unfortunately for Mabon some “pesky Jews” grabbed screenshots of his crimes.
Tweeting on 8th October 2023, the day after the pogrom, when almost all news coverage was devoted to what had happened and the civilized world was united in expressing its disgust, Mabon described, what a recognised terrorist organisation did, as “an act of resistance.” That, on its own, should be a sacking offence. But it got worse as he retweeted the image below.
The graphic was created by Jordanian-Palestinian virtual artist Beesan Arafat AFTER the pogrom. It is called “the Bulldozer” and in an interview with the Jordan Times she described celebrating the sense of freedom unleashed once the bulldozer destroyed a section of the Israel-Gaza border fence. I suppose that is one way of putting it. As the Hamas fighters poured through the resultant breach the Jews they butchered felt no such freedom.
The graphic entered the twittersphere thanks to another academic, Lisa Hajjar, a sociologist (natch) from the University College Santa Barbara in California on 8 October. She too has now locked her account but not before she was called out by campaigners against anti-semitism.
Mabon retweeted her tweet on 8 October as the whole world discussed the Hamas attack. He was celebrating that attack. If Lancaster University wanted to protect its Jewish students it would have at least disciplined, if not sacked, Mabon. I asked the University what it was doing on 21 October. After 4 days I got the response below.
We acknowledge that the current context brings with it heightened sensitivities and we will reflect on this with those academic colleagues whose research focuses on the peaceful resolution of the long-running tensions at the heart of current events.
The news of the horrific escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine is deeply distressing to our community and we have urged any of our staff and students affected to reach out and access help and support.
We have been unambiguous that Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organisation for which it is illegal to garner support.
Professor Mabon intended his retweeting of the image to be a reference to the historic blockade of Gaza. He is deeply upset that some have interpreted it otherwise and as soon as that was evident he removed the post.
This is a wretched cover up from a University which talks of the “escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine.” Of course ot means Gaza. Any body which equates a attack targetting civilians with a response targetting combatants to pprotect its civilians as morally equivalent is puttng its bias out there for all to see.
Moreover, as Mabon knowns full well, Bulldozers have broken the fence only once. On October 7. The image created was a celebration of this act. And he endorsed that act on 8 October as the whole world was talking about that act. He described the act as “an act of resistance” – it was an act of genocide. His discourse on twitter in those days following ther pogrom was all about that pogrom and he is cheering on the bad guys, the terrorists, the rapists, the baby bakers and beheaders.
I suggested that his excuse simply does not hold water and that the University which might not have been aware of the context, the creation of the image, the historic use of bulldozers or have thought through why Mabon’s excuse does not wash given the timeline and so might want to thing again. Press Officer Vicky Tyrell said it would not revisit this, it would not hold an independent enquiry or comment further.
Mabon’s intent is clear to all. But Vicky Tyrell and the Lancaster University establishment seem happy to accept a patently untrue excuse and to cover up the whole affair. If Lancaster University thinks that will make Jewish students on its campus or Jewish staff feel less threatened it is either fooling itself or is itself institutionally anti-semitic. Given the way it equates the actions of Hamas on October 7 and the Israeli response I fear that I know which I think it is.