Campus respect

The JC Leader, 17 December 2020

December 17, 2020 09:31

Campus antisemitism has been a worrying issue for some years. Anecdotally, some universities have long been regarded as — to put it mildly — inhospitable to Jewish students.

Problems on campus are especially concerning, and not just because the victims tend to be young. What happens on campus is often a precursor to the rest of society, whether because today’s student politicians are tomorrow’s MP or because intellectual trends formed in academia tend to move into the wider world.

That is one reason why this week’s CST investigation is so important. Not only does it quantify the extent of antisemitic incidents, it shows the scope and breadth of the problem, with significant incidents in 34 different towns and cities across the UK during the past two academic years. Notably, CST highlights the role of some university authorities in making the situation worse.

There are many lessons to be learned from this report but an obvious one is the need for a widely accepted definition of antisemitism.

We do, of course, have just that in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition — which is now being recognised by many universities.

The prevalence of campus antisemitism and the growing success in securing the adoption of IHRA in response makes it all the more shocking that the director of Britain’s only academic centre devoted to the study of antisemitism seems to be doing his best to stop this.

Given his role in the shameful Chakrabarti report into Labour antisemitism, his views deserve little respect. But they will give succour to those who seek not to eliminate but to propagate antisemitism.

December 17, 2020 09:31

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive