Avi Shlaim

Israel, free speech, and the Oxford Union

The Oxford Union is one of the world’s most illustrious debating chambers and a bastion of free speech. It was founded in the nineteenth century to uphold the principle of free speech and debate in England at a time when they were being severely curtailed. Recently, however, the Union failed to live up to its lofty ideals. Professor Avi Shlaim recounts how the Union crumbled under pressure from Israel’s kneejerk supporters. 

Why Zionism today is the real enemy of the Jews

Avi Shlaim Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people and the state of Israel is its political expression. Israel used to be a symbol of freedom and a source of pride for the Jews of the Diaspora. Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians, however, has turned it into a liability and a moral burden for the liberal segment of the Jewish community. Some Jews, especially on the left, would go even further by linking Israel’s behavior to the upsurge of the new anti-Semitism throughout the world.