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February 17, 2016 4:32 pm

Student Leader’s Resignation From Oxford U Club Unleashes Torrent of Antisemitism Claims

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Alex Chalmers, who just resigned from the OULC. Photo: Facebook.

Alex Chalmers, who just resigned from the OULC. Photo: Facebook.

In the wake of the sudden resignation of a student leader at Oxford University in protest over rampant antisemitism, reports have emerged indicating that the prejudice against Jews was not a new phenomenon, The Algemeiner has learned.

On Monday, Alex Chalmers, co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC), quit his position when the group decided to endorse Israel Apartheid Week. Shortly afterwards, the Oxford Jewish Society (Oxford JSoc) announced that it had been receiving many reports reflecting a longstanding pattern of antisemitism within the OULC. The matter is now to be investigated on the national level, with Labour MP John Mann calling on his party to sever its relations with the Oxford student club, and sending a letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to this effect.

Chalmers explained on Facebook that the endorsement of Israel Apartheid Week was merely the tipping point, noting several previous incidents that contributed to his decision to leave club as follows:

[M]embers of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan), senior members of the [OULC] expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and … 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.

In response, the Oxford JSoc immediately wrote a post of its own on Facebook: “We are… unsurprised… It is not the first time that Oxford JSoc has had to deal with antisemitic incidents within the student left and it will not be the last.”

A few hours later, the Jewish student organization posted a more detailed message, describing the many reports it had been receiving of long-term antisemitic behavior at the OULC, including comments made by senior members, such as: “Filthy Zionist,” “All Jews are legitimate targets of Hamas” and “We should not associate with any Jew who fails to denounce the state of Israel.”

These reports then triggered a wave of subsequent responses. The Israeli Embassy in London released a sharp statement, noting,

The Embassy of Israel is appalled by reports of antisemitism, intimidation of Jewish students, and support for terrorism against Israel at the Oxford Labour Club. We would not expect such disgraceful activity from any morally upright person — let alone students at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Antisemitism masquerading as politics is abhorrent. It must be recognized as such and condemned by all.

Jonathan Arkush, chairman of the UK’s Jewish umbrella organization, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and an Oxford University alumnus demanded that Oxford “take rigorous and credible measures to rid themselves of all antisemitic and racist elements,” the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Arkush added that the phenomenon “is in part a direct result of the anti-Israel bigotry, prevalent in the far left, and in part from the fact that Israel is used as a pretext for racism directed against Jews.”

The OULC’s Executive Committee also released a statement, reading,

We are horrified at and whole-heartedly condemn anti-Semitic behaviour in all its forms. The comments detailed in JSoc’s statement last night indicate a shocking pattern of hateful and racist behaviour by some Club members, and it’s of the highest priority that this be dealt with swiftly and lastingly. Labour Students is launching an investigation; we will fully co-operate with this and encourage any of our members to come forward with any information that will assist the process.

The Oxford University Labour Club, the largest in Britain, was founded in 1919.

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  • nat cheiman

    These acts are most likely perpetrated by muslim/arab/black students. The problem arises when these students have no more Jews to threaten. They will then start with the Christians.
    Britain has itself to blame as indeed does the whole of Europe.
    Being politically correct is not appreciated by these students who in fact do not deserve to be at an institution like Oxford.

  • So what else is new? The 1939 British White paper restricted Jewish immigration into Palestine to 15,000 PER YEAR and maintained that quota right up to 1948 when her mandate ended. During the period of the Holocaust 15,000 was the approximate DAILY JEWISH DEATH TOLL in the combined 42,000 Nazi labour, concentration and death camps.

    By June 1945, at the age of 14, I was on my way to rejoin family in England after having been incarcerated in four Nazi concentration camps and made to join a death march. My father and 40 close family members had been murdered.
    I had participated and witnessed things that no child should ever see.

    Sitting next to me on the plane was a kindly gentleman who was most interested in my story and horrified to what had befallen a child who had been sent to such camps at the age of 12. At the age of 85 I am still under treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    I, in turn was interested in him. He was one of the adult leaders of the Boys Brigade, a Christianity orientated organisation similar to the Boy Scouts. His description of the Brigade and its objects and activities sounded most attractive to me and I eagerly inquired as to the possibility of my joining them. After all, I was only 14 years old.

    He looked embarrassed and hesitated. Then he informed me that the Boys Brigade was not for Jews.

    Deja vu!