Last Thursday, members of the University of Leeds Palestine Solidarity Group (PSG) held a vigil to “commemorate the Palestinians who have been killed in the recent wave of violence”.
A banner created by Leeds PSG for the event listed the names of Palestinian “victims” who had been “murdered” since the beginning of October.
However, an examination into the list of names by students at Leeds revealed that a number of those commemorated had in fact been responsible for terrorist attacks.
The 21st name listed was that of Alaa Abu Jamaal,who drove his car into a bus stop, hitting three pedestrians.
He then exited his vehicle and hacked a 60 year old Rabbi to death before being shot by a responding officer.
Number 47 on the list, Thaer Abu Gazala,was shot by an Israeli Defence Forces officer after he stabbed four Israelis, including a soldier, with a screwdriver in Tel Aviv.
Muhannad Halabi, the 49th name on the banner, stabbed and killed two men and injured a women and her child in Jerusalem on 3rd October.
According to the same report, Halabi then “took a gun from one of the wounded and fired at tourists and police officers” before he was shot dead.
Also listed on the banner were Bahaa Alian,who killed three during a gun and knife attack on a bus in Talpiyot, and Hassan Khaled Manasra,who embarked on a stabbing spree with his cousin in order “to stab Jews”.
Daniel Levy, a member of the University of Leeds Jewish Society, said:
“No act of terrorism should ever be commemorated on campus, regardless of religion…How can it be that it is allowed for a LUU society to publicly commemorate terrorists on campus?”
Leeds PSG claims to support “peaceful and progressive means”, yet has labelled as “victims” those responsible for stabbing and shooting innocent civilians.
Here at Student Rights, we find this deeply worrying, and hope that the university and student union will make clear to the society that excusing terrorism in this way is simply unacceptable.