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February 16, 2016 1:28 pm

Oxford Student Resigns From Labour Club Over Colleagues’ Antisemitism, Endorsement of Israel Apartheid Week

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Oxford University. Photo: Remi Mathis.

Oxford University. Photo: Remi Mathis.

The co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club announced on Facebook on Monday that he was resigning over both rampant antisemitism and the group’s endorsement of Israel Apartheid Week on campus.

“The club I had invested an extraordinary amount of time, energy, and emotion in during my first two terms at Oxford, which had given me a network of close friends, was becoming increasingly riven by factional splits, and despite its avowed committment [sic] to liberation, the attitudes of certain members of the club towards certain disadvantaged groups was becoming posionous [sic],” wrote Alex Chalmers on his personal Facebook page.

“Whether it be members of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon, senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explitictly [sic] defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians, or a former Co-Chair claiming that ‘most accusations of antisemitism are just the Zionists crying wolf’, a large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews,” he wrote. “The decision of the club to endorse a movement with a history of targetting [sic] and harassing Jewish students and inviting antisemitic speakers to campuses, despite the concerns of Jewish students, illustrates how uneven and insincere much of the active membership is when it comes to liberation.”

“I had hoped during my tenure as Co-Chair to move the club away from some of its more intolerant tendencies: sadly, it only continued to move away from me, to a place I could no longer hope to retrieve it from,” he said.

The 12th annual Israel Apartheid Week is scheduled to kick off across UK campuses on February 22. According to its website, the program said it was: “Inspired by the ongoing popular resistance across historic Palestine.” Hundreds of random terrorist attacks have been carried out against Israeli civilians and security personnel over the last five months in what many Palestinian activists call the “Al-Quds Intifada” because it was launched in part because of rumors Israel sought to change the status quo at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Outside the UK, events will be held across campuses in the US, Canada, western and northern European countries, South Africa, countries in the Middle East and the Palestinian territories.

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