Student concern over spate of antisemitic graffiti at London university

By Naomi Firsht, March 24, 2016
Graffiti: “Goldsmiths it’s the symbol of world Jewry!”

Graffiti: “Goldsmiths it’s the symbol of world Jewry!”

A student union has reported “recurring incidents” of antisemitic graffiti after a new daubing was spotted by a Jewish student.

Aaron Isaac noticed the graffiti in a building at Goldsmiths University in south-east London.

It read: “Goldsmiths it’s the symbol of world Jewry!”

Mr Isaac, a former president of the university’s Jewish Society, alerted the students union and university security staff.

He said: “I saw it in front of me and got the fright of my life.”

The graffiti was removed from the university’s Richard Hoggart building within a few hours of it being reported.

In a statement, the students union said that similar anti-Semitic daubings had been reported earlier in the year.

It said: “Goldsmith Student Union has been made aware of recurring incidents of antisemitic graffiti. We did not make a public statement so as to not give spotlight to the perpetrators. However we cannot allow instances such as these to continue and to become a stain on the student culture of this campus.

“We are taking this case extremely seriously and have raised it with university senior management.”

Board of Deputies vice president Marie van der Zyl said: “The graffiti is unambiguously antisemitic. We commend Goldsmiths for having it quickly removed but call on Goldsmiths to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation and severe disciplinary repercussions for any culprits. Racism has no place on our campuses or in our society and we should show antisemitism zero tolerance.”

A spokesperson for Goldsmiths, University of London said that the University "treats any incidents of racism and hate crimes with the utmost seriousness.

"We have zero tolerance of such behaviour and will take the strongest possible action against those who carry out these acts. There is great pride in the wide variety of faith and belief groups on campus which help make this university such a diverse and rigorous space.

"We are conducting an investigation into this incident and as part of this will meet with the Jewish Society and Goldsmiths Students' Union to discuss these issues.

"We would like to reassure our students and staff that we simply will not stand for these actions. We will take every possible step to identify those responsible - and take appropriate action against them."

Last updated: 6:32pm, March 27 2016