This letter was sent by Recorded Delivery on 24th October 2002.

                         [Sue's home address - no I'm not putting it on the web!!]
24th October 2002
The Editor,
The Jewish Chronicle,
25 Furnival Street,

Dear Editor,


Gaby Wine's article ("Anger at lecturer's website", 18th Oct) contained several factual inaccuracies and could be construed as implying that I am anti-semitic and support terrorism. I trust that you will grant me the right of reply in order to set the record straight.

Firstly, it is untrue that the website "comes under the crest of the university": the site is a personal one which has never borne the name or logo of the University of Birmingham; nor has there ever been a direct link to it from any official University page.

Secondly, while I support the right of my colleagues to help at the Palestine Society stall and wear "Victory to the Intifada" badges if they wish to, for the record I was not present at the Freshers' Fair this year.

Thirdly, I have several links to sites run by Moslem organizations but if "radical Islamic organizations" is meant to imply terrorist groups like Hamas or Islamic Jihad, this is entirely untrue.

Fourthly, I unreservedly condemn racism and terrorism of all kinds and would never knowingly provide a link to any site which promotes anti-semitism or terrorism. I have repeatedly challenged my detractors to provide me with the precise URLs of the sites supporting suicide bombers which they allege I am linking to: to date they have failed to come up with the evidence.

Yes, the website reflects my support for the human rights of the Palestinian people. No doubt some of your readers will argue that any support for the Palestinian cause amounts to support for terrorism and anti-semitism. I beg to differ on that point.

In my ten years of teaching at the University of Birmingham I have never had a complaint against me by any student or colleague on the grounds of discrimination of any kind. I take pride in treating all my students with equal respect whatever their ethnicity or religion, and I find the allegations of anti- semitism I am receiving as offensive as they are ridiculous. I have been an active anti-racist all my adult life and whenever the BNP stand for election in Birmingham you will find me campaigning against them on the streets and reminding voters of the horrors of the Holocaust.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those of your readers who have sent me messages of support over the last week, and look forward to continuing an open and constructive debate about how peace in the Middle East can be brought about.

Yours faithfully,

Susan Blackwell (Ms.)

P.S. Note to editor: For obvious reasons, please do not print the name of my street and give my address as "Moseley, Birmingham".

This site is owned and maintained by Sue Blackwell.
Its contents are in no way endorsed by the University of Birmingham.
It was last updated on 24th October 2002.