A journalists’ meeting on the Gaza conflict featuring Jon Snow and Jeremy Bowen has been postponed after Jewish activists targeted its “Israel bashing” line-up.
The meeting, organised by the prestigious Frontline Club, was due to take place on Wednesday this week at the Shaw Theatre near Kings Cross St Pancras, but was delayed when members of the panel had to pull out due to work commitments.
Channel 4 news presenter Snow was due to be part of the event’s three-member panel alongside Bowen, the current BBC Middle East editor, and former war reporter Martin Bell.
Both Snow and Bowen have been criticised by supporters of Israel for their coverage of the recent Gaza conflict.
Snow in particular drew attention following an emotive six-minute depiction of Palestinian suffering at the height of the crisis. Bowen also drew criticism after he sought to discredit the argument that Hamas had used civilians as human shields.
“Given their failure to hold the terrorist group to account for the conflict, it seems unlikely that they would be able to identify anti-Israeli bias in the media,” said a spokesman for the Zionist Federation (ZF), which had planned to picket the event.
“This would have simply been another forum for Israel-bashing, and we hope a more balanced panel can be found if the event is re-scheduled.”
However Millicent Teasdale, Programme Manager at the Frontline Club, rebuked ZF suggestions that it was their planned protest that led to the event’s cancellation.
“The event was postponed due to the availability of the speakers, but the theatre did withdraw,” she said. “We’ve been discussing the protests with the police and we hope to find a new venue soon.”
The Shaw Theatre is understood to have withdrawn after being made aware by the Metropolitan Police of potential disruption. The theatre, which is part of the Pullman London St Pancras, a hotel in the ACCOR Group, declined to comment.