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Investigation into 'antisemitic' attack on students at Cambridge University

    Professor Jane Stapleton is said to have investigated the incident
    Professor Jane Stapleton is said to have investigated the incident

    A group of Jewish students were allegedly subjected to antisemitic abuse and attacked by members of a leading university’s drinking club, it has been claimed.

    The Jewish academics were reportedly pushed, shoved and threatened after being targeted at a student union building at Cambridge University.

    According to the Telegraph, the incident took place last month and has resulted in two students being disciplined.

    But the newspaper claimed the university had refused to make public its findings following an investigation, and had reportedly cleared the society members of antisemitism.

    Christ's said it had "no corroborating evidence" that an antisemitic incident had taken place.

    Cambridge University did not respond directly to the accusations when contacted by the JC today, but a spokeswoman said: “The collegiate University is committed to the welfare and safety of all its students, and expects all members of its community to treat each other with respect and consideration at all times, and to act within the law.

    “Where behaviour falls short of this expectation, there are well-established reporting procedures for students. Any criminal behaviour should be reported to the police.”

    The Telegraph reported students had complained to Professor Jane Stapleton, master of Christ’s College, about the incident, with one telling her “vicious” antisemitic slurs had been heard, including “f***ing Jew, you don’t belong here” and “dirty Jew”.

    Shlomo Roitner-Jesner, one of the students who was attacked, wrote on Facebook last night: “When antisemitism on campus isn’t addressed, it is our responsibility to raise awareness and let everyone know that we will never stand for Jew-hate.”

    In a message to staff, students and alumni of the college, seen by the JC, Prof Stapleton responded to the allegations.

    She said: "You may have seen stories in the press today alleging that the College has covered up an incident of alleged antisemitism.

    "I want to assure you that the college and I personally condemn in the strongest possible terms antisemitic, racist or any other form of discriminatory abuse, and that uncompromising disciplinary action would be taken if any substantiated evidence comes to light that a Member of Christ’s engaged in such conduct.

    "At this point the college has no corroborating evidence that any of its students has been involved in such behaviour.

    "I also want to assure you personally that I would not tolerate any covering up of such behaviour and I have strongly rejected that allegation.

    "I cannot comment in detail on the incident, but can let you know that the Tutors have already investigated it and taken action. I am, of course, available to discuss this or other matters of concern to Members of the Christ’s community."

    In a statement, the Union of Jewish Students said: "No Jewish student should have to experience what these students have described, and the fact that this disgraceful incident happened at the University of Cambridge only proves that antisemitism can rear its ugly head on any campus.

    "There should be zero tolerance towards the vile abuse that these three Jewish students received, but once again this is another example of antisemitism not being taken as seriously as it should be.

    "Although we welcome Christ College's decision to discipline two of the perpetrators, it is vital that the college is transparent in its processes.

    "The college should take antisemitism as seriously as they would any other form of discrimination, and we hope that further action will be taken to ensure this.

    "Universities have a duty to the safety and welfare of their students, but in this instance both have been compromised. More must be done by these institutions to tackle the issue of antisemitism on our campuses."

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