Jewish professor Alderman ‘outraged’ by Queen's University snub
A Jewish academic said he is “outraged and saddened” after he was snubbed by Queen’s University as a speaker at a Belfast Festival event on the Middle East.
The group Northern Ireland Friends of Israel had complained that the original speakers - Beverly Milton-Edwards and Avi Shlaim - were both critics of Israel and that the event would be unbalanced.
Professor Geoffrey Alderman, from the University of Buckingham, was then invited by the organisers to join the panel of speakers to discuss the Middle East conflict last night — only to be disinvited.
Last Friday, Professor Alderman received an email from the Director of the Belfast Festival, Graeme Farrow, saying that “a mistake” had been made in inviting him and that he was not required to speak.
The furious professor flew to Belfast yesterday where he met Mr Farrow in person to discuss the situation.
Professor Alderman, who is the lead columnist on the Jewish Chronicle, intended to join the audience but changed his mind after his meeting with the festival director.
“I decided not to go because I feel personally insulted,” he said. “I’m outraged and saddened.
“I have never been treated like this by a university before. I would like the university to explain formally to me why I was invited and then disinvited.”
"I am frankly appalled at the way I have been treated, for which I hold Queen’s University, Belfast, responsible."
Queen’s University were contacted last night but did not provide a response.