Jonathan Arkush condemns UCU motion on antisemitism

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has condemned a proposed motion due to be discussed by the University and Colleges Union (UCU) at its upcoming congress.

He said: “The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism is endorsed by the Jewish community in the UK and across Europe.

In the UK it is also supported by the Government, the Labour Party and the National Union of Students – amongst many other bodies.

In the light of this support, the motion to disassociate the UCU from the IHRA definition is deeply disappointing, not least because of similar motions in the UCU in the past.

Despite past form, it beggars belief that anyone in the UCU would want to dictate to Jews what constitutes antisemitic abuse against them.

This resolution seeks to deny victims of antisemitic abuse the right to call it out for what it is – particularly when it is dressed up as extremist and dangerous demonisation of Israel or when Jews are harassed or intimidated because of their connections with Israel.

Whatever the result of this vote, this disgraceful effort – on top of previous UCU efforts – will not prevail. The Jewish community will continue to fight hatred of Jews in all its forms and those that oppose such efforts will continue to discredit themselves.

We urge the UCU delegates to confront this pernicious affront to common decency, and stand with the victims of racist abuse, rather than the abusers.”

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