Jewish students appear to disagree over the threat posed by Israel Apartheid Week at UK universities.
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said it was “cautiously optimistic” over this year’s event, noting a “decline” in the number of activities planned.
The annual programme of anti-Israel activism on campus began on Monday. Despite being marketed as a “week”, events actually take place over a two-month period.
Liron Velleman, campaigns manager at UJS, said: “We’re cautiously optimistic that Israel Apartheid Week seems to be very quiet this year, with a small handful of scattered events.
“This is testament to the dedicated work of Jewish student activists, who’ve worked hard to promote productive, informed discussions on their campuses in place of the divisive, alienating and intimidating tactics of IAW.”
UJS said there were no specific campus events it was concerned about, adding: “Our guidance to Jewish students is, as always, to be alert but not alarmed.”
Tamara Berens, UK campus associate for the pro-Israel CAMERA group, said that Palestinian Societies were “still hosting events with hundreds of students in attendance, where slander and demonisation of Israel is the norm.
“While such anti-Israel events still occur, we must treat the issue as a pressing one.”
Apartheid Week activities are being held on university campuses in London (Soas), Exeter, Sheffield, Sussex, Leeds and Bristol, with further events taking place in Cheltenham, Coventry, Brighton and Derry-Londonderry.
Tamir Oren, executive director of the StandWithUs UK organisation, said it was running a nationwide Peace Week to counter anti-Israel activitism.