LSE students win antisemitism vote

March 19, 2009

Jewish students at the London School of Economics (LSE) celebrated a victory in their fight against antisemitism.

Around 350 students voted in favour of the motion ‘Stop Anti-Semitism Now’ at a student union general meeting.

The motion will now be implemented by the LSE Students’ Union.

Ben Grabiner, who proposed the motion on behalf of the university’s Jewish students said:

“It’s a great relief to have finally got this through. Over half the people who voted were from the Jewish Society or Israel Society.

“This is a fantastic victory for LSE’s Jewish students and shows that our Students’ Union takes this issue seriously.”

It ended a week of controversy which saw the motion filibustered last Thursday by Palestine Society, who claimed a clause banning rhetoric equating Jews or Israel with the Nazi regime curtailed their right to free speech.

Israel Society General Secretary Patrick Jones, said: “This finally draws a line between what is legitimate criticism of Israel and what is antisemitic demonisation of Israel and Jews in general.”

Mr Jones was involved in controversy last Friday after being accused of breach of confidence by Palestine Society for revealing that one of their members had said Holocaust denial wasn’t necessarily antisemitic, during a private meeting.

Yair Zivan, the Union of Jewish Students’ campaigns organiser, described it as “a victory for common sense, which shows the majority of British students are behind wiping out antisemitism”.

Dan Sheldon, communications officer of the LSE students’ union, said: “This raises awareness on what antisemitism is and gives us a mandate in the future. Most importantly it lets people know what is acceptable language to use when debating the Middle-East.”

Last updated: 1:17pm, May 6 2009