This week’s decision by the University of Central Lancashire to cancel its Friends of Palestine group’s “Israel Apartheid Week” panel, and the active consideration being given by other university authorities to similar bans, is heartening.
Most obviously, it shows the power that government has to do good. By adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, it has given universities a further tool for stamping out bigotry on campus — or, perhaps more accurately, has forced some of those which have previously failed to act to realise that it is no longer acceptable to do nothing.
Too often in the past, the bigots have been able to use the lack of an accepted definition to argue that their antisemitism is simply anti-Zionism. Now, however, it is much easier to show when a line is being crossed. The government deserves much credit for this.
But for all the good news on campus, it is salutary to be reminded by David Collier’s investigation into the PSC of just how often anti-Israel activism is a cover for antisemitism.
His findings may be entirely predictable but are no less shocking for highlighting the blatant Jew hate. However, the real issue is not that the PSC has so many antisemites in its ranks.
It is why, despite that, it continues to be treated as a respectable body by the likes of the TUC and others on the left — such as, of course, the leader of the Labour Party.