Student handed ‘blood libel’ course material on violent ‘Zionist’ tactics used by US police

Text stated that anti-riot measures in San Diego were ‘tested on Palestinians by Israel and deployed on black and brown bodies by the United States’


A distressed Jewish undergraduate at the University of London has said her tutor gave her reading material promoting the “antisemitic blood libel” that American police are using violent “Zionist” tactics against black people. 

Chloe Santaub, 20, showed the JC a text that she was handed on her politics course at London Institute in Paris (ULIP) – part of the University of London - which stated that “Zionist law enforcement tactics like tear gas and rubber bullets” were being used against activists in San Diego, having been “tested on Palestinians by Israel and deployed on black and brown bodies by the United States.”

Ms Santaub said that the material “promoted the antisemitic blood libel by directly implicating Israelis and Jews in American police violence.” 

Descriptions of Israel as a settler-colonial and apartheid state guilty of racism, violence and oppression often come up in class, she told the JC. 

“In the case of Israel an opposing perspective, a refutation, is never provided. These materials are given to students as fact. They’re not debated in class,” Ms Santaub said.

Another text assigned last year referred to the “gendered, racialized, capitalist colonial project of the Israeli state, ably supported by US economic and military aid.”

Ms Santaub - a former JFS pupil - is due to graduate next summer. ULIP forms part of the University of London - its board adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism in 2020 -  and works in partnership with Queen Mary University. 

The JC understands that UoL has not received a formal antisemitism complaint related to ULIP courses. 

Ms Santaub said she raised her concerns about the material with staff on several occasions since October last year but her explanations and experiences had "always been shut down." The problem intensified over the past year during which time she was “dismissed, discouraged, mocked and isolated.” 

Ms Santaub said she continues to receive support from two lawyers affiliated to the UK Lawyers for Israel group, though currently she is focused on speaking out.

She shared her testimony in Krakow earlier this month during a meeting of European parliamentary and Jewish leaders attended by cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi. Many of those attending were “shocked” by widespread reports of campus antisemitism from Jewish students across the continent, she recalled. 

“My case is really not unusual or even the worst one. I don’t want anyone to experience even what I have,” she added.

A spokesperson for UoL said course reading lists were “drawn from internationally recognised academic texts and peer-reviewed publications” and that students were expected “to engage critically in debates, drawing on evidence, in order to understand and analyse opposing arguments and to question the perspectives presented.”

UoL refused to comment on individual cases but said it was “wholly against antisemitism and discrimination in all forms” and “deeply saddened to learn of any distress among students and staff who are members of our community.”

“Enshrined in our policies is that we will not discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, religion, social background, or political belief. 

“We expect every member of our community to respect these values, to embrace the diversity of our international community and to show respect to everyone within it.”

“We treat all complaints seriously and always fully investigate any formal complaints made to us by our students or staff. We always act to protect all members of our community – and any such action will always be on the basis of clear and actionable evidence,” the spokesperson added.

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