The British Anne Frank Trust has been condemned for inviting a speaker who claimed that Israel is committing a „Holocaust” against the Palestinians, reports The Jewish Chronicle.
The British anti-prejudice organisation invited Nasima Begum, a poet who is currently working as a Youth Project Coordinator at the Manchester Bangladeshi Women’s Organisation.
The trust had announced on social media on Saturday, July 16, that Begum had been invited to lead a „Creative storytelling workshop” for young people on their Youth Empowerment Program. In a since-deleted tweet, they wrote: “We are excited to welcome performance poet, producer and creative practitioner, Nasima Begum, to our special workshop this evening.”
Begum was invited despite having made a number of comments in 2011 and 2012 claiming that Israel is committing “genocide” against Palestinians, justifying Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli cities, and even replying to a pro-Israel activist in a comment: “You will always remain an illegal state. Death to you, Zionist scum”.
Antisemitism and Holocaust denial watchdog GnasherJew pointed out that Begum compared Israel to Nazi Germany, which is is an example of contemporary antisemitism, according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.
In 2011, she said: “What’s sad is that the Jewish population faced genocide themselves in Hitler’s Germany but they’ve implemented the same on Palestine for years.”
Following the 2012 conflict with terrorist group Hamas, Begum tweeted a pro-Israel Twitter account, saying that Hamas rocket fire into Israel was legitimate, as “exiling a people from their own land justifies anything. It’s the Holocaust all over again except this time it’s innocent Palestinians and ironically the perpetrators are you Zionist scum.”
According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, „drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”.
After Begum’s tweets resurfaced and caused major condemnation, the Anne Frank Trust announced an internal investigation into how she became to be employed by them: “It has been brought to our attention that a freelance arts practitioner we employed in one of our educational workshops last week may have views that are not consistent with our values. We are launching an investigation into these concerns.”
The statement added: “We will publish a summary of the findings and any resulting action on our website as soon as possible. In the meantime, we are removing all promotion of the workshop from our social media.”
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