Universities

Rallies against Israeli scientists fall flat

By Marcus Dysch, March 12, 2009

Anti-Israel protestors have failed to disrupt a series of lectures by academics and scientists promoting the country’s achievements to British students.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) had called for Thursday’s event, at the Science Museum, in west London, to be cancelled.

But its members were joined outside the museum by less than 50 demonstrators from other groups, including Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBIG) and students from the adjacent Imperial College.

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SOAS marks Israeli ‘apartheid’

By Simon Friend, March 5, 2009

SOAS Union marked its support for the fifth annual Israeli Apartheid week (IAW) with two motions strongly critical of Israel.

The first, entitled “Make Apartheid History”, declared that “Zionism promotes racism and xenophobia through acts of parliament, supported by a set of racist laws.”

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Harassment officer posts ‘racist’ cartoon

By Marcus Dysch, February 26, 2009

Student groups have condemned a university for failing to discipline a harassment officer who posted an antisemitic picture on the internet.

Andrew Collingwood, who works in the University of York’s biology department, added the image to a Palestine Solidarity Campaign group on social networking site Facebook.

The photograph was taken during a protest in the city against Israel’s actions in Gaza last month.

It shows a placard bearing an image of Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni wearing a witch’s hat and waving a Star of David-topped wand.

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Manchester students lose boycott motion

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 13, 2009

A motion to boycott Israeli goods and condemn Israel’s Gaza operation as an “atrocity” has been passed at Manchester University’s Student Union.

In an emergency general meeting on Wednesday afternoon, 550 students voted for the motion, defeating 200 voting against.

The motion will mean the union now resolves to boycott “all companies that support or benefit from the Israeli occupation” and will lobby the university to take similar action.

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Muslim peer in ‘student war’ slur

By Marcus Dysch, February 5, 2009

A Muslim peer has claimed that student societies are recruiting young British Jews to join the Israeli army. They fought, he said, in last month’s Gaza conflict and should be prosecuted for war crimes on their return to this country.

Lord Ahmed of Rotherham said student unions had been “actively recruiting young people in Britain to join the Israeli Defence Force”.

British citizens had, he claimed, “gone out to fight against the Palestinian people”.

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'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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