UK Universities Urged to Tackle Anti-Semitism on Campus

Israelis hold signs as they demonstrate against what they call an 'Apartheid Government' outside Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's offices during the weekly cabinet meeting following its decision a week ago to bar Arabs from acquiring land in Jewish communities built on state property July 14, 2002 in Jerusalem, Israel. Bowing …
David SIlverman/Getty

Universities across the UK have been told by Prime Minister Theresa May  to “investigate and swiftly address” anti-Semitism on their campuses as so-called Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) begins in higher education institutions around the world.

Mrs. May was speaking in the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions in response to a question from Conservative MP Bob Blackman, who asked: “This week, Jewish students are being subjected to intimidation, fear and antisemitism as a result of so-called Israel Apartheid Week. What action can my Right Honorable friend make sure [sic] that chancellors and principals ensure that antisemitism is not allowed to prosper on campuses?”

The prime minister’s reply contained both a warning and a call for support for Jewish students. She said:

“First, I want to assure my hon. Friend that higher education institutions have a responsibility to ensure that they provide a safe and inclusive environment for all students. We expect them to have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law, and to investigate and swiftly address hate crime, including any anti-Semitic incidents that are reported.

“I know that my hon. Friend the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation has recently written to remind institutions of these expectations, and he has also urged them to follow the Government’s lead in adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism.”

See the question below:

Mrs. May’s call follows the release of a video by former UK Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks explaining what lies beneath the ongoing anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign and why it is so dangerous.

As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, the six-minute video, created in partnership with Israeli company White Animation, outlines why “Jews, humanitarians of all faiths and of none, and all those who value a free society,” must stand up against BDS activists who use Israel Apartheid Week as a means of spreading their message of anti-Semitism.

The video includes graphics of a tree’s roots wrapping around Israel and smothering it, as Lord Sacks argues that the BDS campaign “looks less like a campaign for human rights, and more like a campaign against Israel’s very right to be”.

Lord Sacks pointed to Israel Apartheid Week by warning of its consequences: “Over the coming weeks, Jewish students around the world will face the prospect of vicious Israel Apartheid Weeks on their campuses. The Jewish people’s fight against BDS is a serious challenge.

“We need to utilise every resource possible in defence of the State of Israel, making our arguments in increasingly innovative and creative ways in order to capture the widest attention.This includes battling the vicious hatred of Israel that occurs online.”

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