Universities

Union gets legal threat over boycott

By Simon Rocker, May 23, 2008

The University and College Union has been warned of legal repercussions if it passes a motion calling on members to review links with Israel at its congress in Manchester next week.

Lawyers advising the Stop the Boycott Campaign say that the resolution — backed by the union’s own executive — is tantamount to support for boycott action already deemed unlawful.

But Sally Hunt, the union’s general secretary, denied that there was any call for a boycott.

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MPs slam universities over race-hate

By Leon Symons, May 23, 2008

Antisemitism on campus and the internet were the main targets during a debate on antisemitism in the main chamber of the House of Commons last week.

MPs from all sides of the House took the chance to express their views and comment on the government’s performance in acting on the recommendations of the Parliamentary All-Party Antisemitism report.

An international conference on antisemitism, supported by the Foreign Office, is to be held in London in February next year.

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Lawyers help student avoid Shabbat exams

By Simon Rocker, May 23, 2008

A student has been allowed to take one of his final exam papers a day early to avoid sitting it on Shabbat, after lawyers intervened with his university.

Hertfordshire University had initially refused Joel Raivid, 21, a BSc psychology student from Edgware, Middlesex, permission to sit the exam on the Friday before its scheduled Saturday slot.

He was told he would have to wait until several weeks later and take it in the re-sit period in late June or early July.

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Meitar may pull £2m gift

May 23, 2008

A UK-based Israeli lawyer, Zvi Meitar, is reportedly considering cancelling £2m worth of donations to Oxford University after it rejected his initial offer of a £1m sculpture he bought from Sir Elton John. Mr Meitar appeared in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List.

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Sacks calls for action over campus hate

By Leon Symons, May 16, 2008

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has called on university vice-chancellors to take greater action to defend Jewish students who are made to feel like “pariahs” on campuses around the UK.

He told the JC this week that vice-chancellors “must defend freedom of speech on all sides and all arguments. It must never be students of this or that faith who feel vulnerable or at risk or like pariahs on a university campus.

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Dangoor’s gift for Bar-Ilan

May 9, 2008

Naim Dangoor, the London-based Iraqi Jewish philanthropist, has donated £336,000 to Israel’s Bar-Ilan University for a programme to further his ideas of universal monotheism.

The programme, under the auspices of the university’s faculties of humanities and Jewish studies, will include a think-tank on monotheism and a conference marking Israel’s 60th anniversary.

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Oxford, city of dreaming spires and perspiring camels as Israel drops in

By Candice Krieger, May 9, 2008

A little bit of Israel invaded Oxford this week — complete with hummus, pitta and camels. But this was no guerrilla tactic designed to preempt an academic boycott — merely the launch of the Oxford Israeli Cultural Society (OICS).

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Hoffman honorary degree

May 2, 2008

Writer Eva Hoffman will receive an honorary degree from Warwick University in July. The Krakow-born academic, whose parents survived the Holocaust hiding in Ukraine, is professor of literature and creative writing and an ex-New York Times writer and editor.

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New post for researcher

May 2, 2008

Francois Guesnet, research fellow in Russian-Jewish history at the Oxford Centre, is leaving to join University College London’s department of Hebrew and Jewish studies as the Elizabeth and Sidney Corob lecturer in modern Jewish history.

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College rejects Shoah denier

By Daniella Peled, April 25, 2008

Auschwitz inmates ‘enjoyed swimming pool and water polo’, UCL fellow claims

A university has withdrawn a researcher’s fellowship after he published an article claiming that the gas chambers of Auschwitz never existed.

Nicholas Kollerstrom, an academic specialising in astronomy, posted the article, The Auschwitz “Gas Chamber” Illusion, on the website of the revisionist Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust.

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