Oxford University adopts IHRA definition of antisemitism

Vast majority of Russell Group universities have now adopted definition


Oxford University  has become the latest educational institution to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

It means the vast majority of Russell Group universities have now adopted the definition following pressure from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and a separate campaign headed by Lord John Mann and Jonathan Goldstein of the Jewish Leadership Council.

Samuel Benjamin, president of Oxford University JSoc, said: “Oxford University Jewish Society is pleased that the University has officially adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

“In doing so, it joins the growing number of universities across the country in adopting a definition that is crucial in combatting prejudice and discrimination against Jews.

“This marks a milestone in the university’s efforts to combat antisemitism, and serves as a significant step in safeguarding Jews on campus. We look forward to working with the university to implement further provisions for its Jewish students.”

The Union of Jewish Students added: “We are delighted that the University of Oxford has joined the growing list of UK universities adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism. We want to thank Jewish students for their hard work, determination and for pressuring the university on this matter.

 “Both the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge have taken this step to support their Jewish students. This should be an example to all other higher education institutes of the importance of adopting this definition.”

The adoption of the IHRA definition comes after a recent report by the Community Security Trust  showed a rise in reported student antisemitism and a call universities to adopt the international definition of antisemitism.

The Education Secretary had earlier warned that universities could face cuts if they refused to adopt the working definition of antisemitism before the end of the year.

Earlier this month the Premier League and 18 clubs in the top football division confirmed they had adopted IHRA.

The JC also revealed how 18 out of 24 Russell Group universities had adopted the definition - a figure that has now increased.

Criticism by individual academics of the definition - usually on claims that free speech has been affected - has proven to be largely ineffective.



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