'Vital' new Chair for students

Veteran publisher, Lord Weidenfeld, has described a new chair in Israel studies at Sussex University as vital in the fight against anti-Zionism and antisemitism.

The Yossi Harel Chair in Modern Israel Studies, named after the renowned captain of the Exodus ship that transported Jews to Palestine in 1947, would, claimed Lord Weidenfeld, "provide a rallying point not only for teaching but general information and support of students. It is very important to have in some key universities, particularly those with an anti-Israel or antisemitic presence, a solid intellectual base with a good professor who will be able to support students through seminars or meetings."

Lord Weidenfeld hoped that the new chair, along with another that was established last year at Oxford University, would be the first in a network around the country.

He said: "We have appointed Professor Derek Penslar from Toronto to the chair at Oxford. He is an international authority and I believe he will work wonders. Now my endeavour is to establish something similar at a Scottish university and one in the north of England."

    Last updated: 3:25pm, March 1 2012