Universities

'Toxic atmosphere' at Oxford University

By Simon Rocker, February 5, 2009

Jewish students at Oxford University have accused it of appearing to “appease” organisers of a sit-in at the university library last month in protest at Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The incident is also said to have disturbed some Jewish academics. One University Reader reportedly told a meeting that “within five years, Oxford will be a Jew-free zone”.

In an official reaction to the protest, the Senior Proctor of the university, Professor Donald Fraser, who oversees disciplinary matters, recommended “a relatively lenient course of action” against the demonstrators.

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Anti-Israel protests spread to 17 campuses

By Marcus Dysch, February 5, 2009

University campuses across England have been the scenes of furious anti-Israel demonstrations as students staged co-ordinated “occupation” sit-ins and caused lectures to be cancelled.

The disruption began at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies on January 13. By this week, at least 17 universities had been targeted.

A number of university authorities took a hard line, saying the occupations constituted trespass, but others allowed the actions to continue unhindered.

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Cash crisis threatens chaplaincy provision

By Stephanie Brickman, February 5, 2009

Student chaplaincy around the country is under threat because of the economic downturn, the annual meeting of Northern Region Chaplaincy was told at Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation on Sunday.

Meeting chair Nicola Livingston stressed the importance of stepping up efforts to find funding for a new regional chaplaincy couple following the departure of Rabbi Dovid and Sora Cohen in July after 14 years of service.

Without the £25,000 that is to be sought in Scotland, recruitment would be problematic, she said. The region also incorporates North-East England.

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Roads closed after student protest

By Marcus Dysch, January 30, 2009

An anti-Israel protestor was arrested after scaling a student centre on Thursday evening.

The incident came as around 50 protestors gathered outside the London Student Centre, in Euston Road, central London, where Colonel Geva Rapp, a retired IDF officer, was due to speak.

Police closed roads and sealed off the area outside Euston Station shortly after the incident began at 6pm.

The man, carrying a “Free Palestine” placard, climbed a wall and walked across a ledge before sitting outside the first floor windows of the student centre.

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NUS sit-in disrupts congress

By Simon Friend, January 22, 2009

A meeting held this week to ratify the latest National Union of Students’ governance and reform structures was disrupted by a sit-in from 20 members of the student National Executive Council as a protest against Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

The interruption followed a week of “Stop the War” rallying on many university campuses around the country. The meeting, held at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, was attended by 500 students. Up to 100 walked out following the protest and many of those remaining turned their backs on the demonstrators.

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Students fear for safety as rallies grow

By Marcus Dysch and Simon Friend, January 22, 2009

The fallout from the Gaza conflict has been felt at universities around the country as Jewish students returned to their campuses.

At the London School of Economics, a students’ union anti-racism officer was responsible for an anti-Israel motion and involved in a similar rally.

Joseph Brown was pictured wearing a keffiyeh [traditional Arab head-dress] and “Free Palestine” T-shirt during a protest at the central London campus last week.

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Students resolve to fight campus antisemitism

January 15, 2009

The National Executive of the National Union of Students has passed a complex resolution on the Gaza conflict which has been warmly welcomed by the leadership of the Union of Jewish Students.

As students all over Britain began the new winter term with the fighting in Gaza still heading the news, the NUS was well aware that its membership covers both sides of the divide.

The NUS President, Wes Streeting, made it clear that “we shouldn’t pretend that NUS can speak with one voice on the complexities of this conflict.”

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SOAS Palestinians fail to ban Israel lectures

By Jonny Paul, January 15, 2009

The University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies has refused to cancel a series of lectures marking the centenary of Tel Aviv.

A Palestinian pressure group demanded that the series, organised by the Centre for Jewish Studies, did not go ahead, claiming it was “morally repulsive” to be celebrating Tel Aviv “while Gaza burns”.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) called on the university to cancel the “ill-conceived propaganda exercise.”

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Student rescue boat arrives in Gaza

By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, December 9, 2008

Two British academics have arrived in Gaza to collect Palestinian students who would otherwise be unable to take up university places abroad.

Prof Jonathan Rosenhead and Research Fellow Mike Cusham went by boat from Cyprus to collect the 16 students, some of whom have scholarships at colleges in Europe and North America.

They docked on Tuesday afternoon and hope to leave within the next few days.

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Come to our party, and bring a ‘fit’ Jew

By Marcus Dysch, November 20, 2008

Student party organisers have caused a major row by asking guests to come in fancy dress - and be accompanied by "a fit Jew".

Guests were told to find female students as dates and dress up, complete with money-bags and wear fake peyot (sidelocks).

The event was cancelled following complaints from Jewish students and Oxford University's student union is now carrying out an investigation.

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