Universities

I debated with Norman Finkelstein at King's College. It was dire, and scary

By Alan Johnson, March 12, 2015

Debating Israel with Norman Finkelstein at King's College, London, was never going to be easy. He is a ferociously anti-Zionist Jew, a tough political street fighter forged in the ranks of American Maoism, and a hugely experienced and skilful debater who once gave Alan Dershowitz a hard time.

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I'm bringing Orthodox feminism to college

By Rebecca Filer, March 12, 2015

My batmitzvah was unconventional. Instead of just reading a dvar torah in shul, or having a big party, I leyned in a women's teffilah service on Rosh Chodesh Kislev. From a chumash.

I was extremely lucky to have been able to do so in my own community, making me, apparently, the first girl to leyn in a United Synagogue building.

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Former minister voices concerns over Southampton conference on Israel legitimacy

By Naomi Firsht, March 12, 2015

A university has been criticised over its plans to hold a conference on the legitimacy of Israel.

The three-day event will be hosted by the University of Southampton’s Law School and is due to take place next month. It will focus on “themes of legitimacy, responsibility and exceptionalism; all of which are posed by Israel’s very nature”.

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How Alan Johnson responded to Norman Finkelstein at King's College Israel debate

By Alan Johnson, March 11, 2015

Alan Johnson, Bicom's senior research fellow, was allowed five minutes to respond to anti-Zionist academic Norman Finkelstein at a debate at King's College, London. Here is what he said:

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Oxford students reject anti-boycott measure

By Josh Jackman, March 5, 2015

Oxford students have voted down a motion which would have ordered its National Union of Students delegates to reject a tie-up between NUS and the Israel boycott movement.

The motion, put forward by RSY Netzer member Ben Goldstein, alleged that the Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement “indiscriminately targets all Israelis”. It fell by 72 votes to 30, with 28 abstentions.

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Students meet SOAS head over campus intimidation

By Naomi Firsht, March 5, 2015

The director of SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London) has held an emergency meeting with Jewish students who say they are too scared to go to lectures following a campus vote to boycott Israel.

On Wednesday, Jewish students complained to Paul Webley about the intimidation they had experienced as they campaigned against the vote.

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Scared away as hate grows at SOAS

By Naomi Firsht, March 5, 2015

The text message arrived at 7:30am, just a few hours before my appointment with the Jewish students.

Could we meet away from the university, they asked, as they felt "uncomfortable" about being on campus.

This is the reality for a number of Jewish students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in central London.

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Activists backing for BDS in student union poll

By Naomi Firsht, March 5, 2015

Staff and students at SOAS voted to implement a full academic boycott of Israel in what was described as a "referendum".

Backed by the union's boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, last week's poll saw 1,283 students vote to break SOAS's ties with the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. That represented 75 per cent of the people who voted. There were 425 votes against a boycott.

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A challenging place for Jewish students but they are better for it

By Colin Shindler, March 5, 2015

The Qatari-owned website Al Araby proudly proclaimed that "SOAS becomes the first UK university to boycott Israel".

This was patently untrue. It was not "SOAS" the institution that voted - not the governing body, not the administration, not even formally the lecturers' union, but an invented "SOAS community".

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SOAS student union vote backs full Israel boycott

By Marcus Dysch, March 2, 2015

Staff and students at a London university have voted to implement a full academic boycott of Israel following a referendum.

The student union at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) had run a vote last week as part of its Israel Apartheid Week activity.

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