The lecturer at Birmingham University who has come under attack for running a pro-Palestinian website is vigorously refuting allegations of anti-semitism and support for terrorism.
Sue Blackwell, who teaches in the English Department, has received a number of abusive e-mails and phone messages after the Jewish Chronicle published an article about one of her websites. "Fortunately", she says, "the messages of support I am getting outnumber the abusive ones by a factor of ten to one".
The website, which is a personal one not an official University page, contains numerous links to sites supporting Palestinian human rights, including some run by Jewish peace groups.
In a letter to the Chronicle demanding the right to reply, Ms. Blackwell says, "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 (web addresses) of the sites supporting suicide bombers which they allege I am linking to: to date they have failed to come up with the evidence."
She adds, "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."
Some of the messages of support Ms. Blackwell has received are from prominent Jewish academics. One of them, Michael Cohen of Swansea University, is a founding member of the Council for Academic Freedom and Academic Standards. He has written to the Vice-Chancellor: "I have visited Ms Blackwell's page; I am a Jew; and I have not been in the slightest offended by anything I saw. Nor have the students making the complaints: what they are doing is using a pretext to silence any criticism of Israel."
Ms. Blackwell has now added many of the messages of support to her website, which can be found at:
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.