'My essay was failed for not blaming Israel' says Leeds uni student

Danielle Greyman may sue Leeds for beaching the Equality Act


A Jewish student has claimed that academics failed her essay on crimes by Hamas against Palestinians because she did not attribute enough blame to Israel.

Danielle Greyman, who had never failed an assignment before, is now considering suing Leeds University for breaches of the Equality Act and negligence.

She claimed the topic of the essay was agreed in advance with her tutor — but when the essay was returned, the feedback comments were peppered with references to Israel’s actions in Gaza.

UK Lawyers for Israel, which has taken up her case, suggested anti-Israel bias may have influenced the marking.

The fail forced Ms Greyman to re-sit the module, which she passed. She then launched an appeal against Leeds University, which in turn cost her a place at another university.

She said: “It should not be a controversial statement to say that Hamas commit crimes against Palestinians as these facts are supported and well known. The criminal nature of Hamas has led Hamas to be designated a terrorist organisation.”

In the essay, Ms Greyman discussed Hamas’s use of human shields, saying it was viewed as “a betrayal of the Palestinian people by their government”.

However, the moderator’s note next to that part of the essay stated: “This ignores the fact that the Israeli state commits acts of violence ….”

The essay also covered the issue of Hamas storing and firing weapons against Israel from UN schools and hospitals in Gaza.

In the section where the essay dealt with the issue of Hamas using children as human shields, an academic wrote: “What about the war crime of killing them?”

Ms Greyman gave eight examples of antisemitism being taught to children in UNWRA schools in Gaza. These included a teacher who venerates Hitler and others who celebrate knife attacks, kidnapping and ransoming attacks against Israelis.

The markers wrote: “So seven teachers constitute a wave of antisemitism? This ‘evidence’ is also weakened by the admission that the transmission and acceptance of these ‘heinous ideas’ cannot be measured.”

Dr David Hirsh, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths University of London, reviewed the formal feedback and concluded the remarks were “inappropriate” because “they do not take the form of constructive feedback but of polemical engagement”.

He concluded: “It is not reasonable to fail this essay.”

Leeds University awarded Ms Greyman a class 2:1 honours degree. The university said it could not comment because of the ongoing appeal.

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