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March 4, 2016 5:10 pm

British Jewish Groups Attack New Oxford University Antisemitism Inquiry as a ‘Cover-Up’

avatar by Andrew Pessin

Alex Chalmers, who resigned from the OULC over allegations of antisemitism. Photo: Facebook.

Alex Chalmers, who resigned from the OULC over allegations of antisemitism. Photo: Facebook.

Several British Jewish groups have already criticized a newly launched investigation into antisemitism at Oxford University, The Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday, with the newspaper noting that there have been “accusations of a cover-up.”

According to the report, the investigation has been limited to focus on the alleged antisemitic actions of two particular members of the “hard-left” student group Momentum.

But the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a long-established group that calls itself the “voice of British Jewry,” said that the new investigation should address the allegations of widespread antisemitism throughout the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC), the student club of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party, rather than just the two particular students.

Similarly, the Union of Jewish Students, constituted by 64 Jewish societies on campuses across the United Kingdom, said, “It is important that among all the internal Labour politics we do not lose sight of the original issue of alleged antisemitism in one of the most prestigious Labour clubs in the country.”

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The new investigation was ordered by the Labour Party, considered a center-left political party, after an earlier investigation by its student group, the OULC, was completed. The results of that earlier investigation were not published, prompting the accusations of a cover-up.

Allegations of widespread antisemitism in the OULC became public last month when one of its student leaders, Alex Chalmers, announced his resignation in protest over the group’s endorsement of “Israeli Apartheid Week,” as reported by The Algemeiner. In his resignation Chalmers gave numerous examples of antisemitic speech by members of his party. Shortly afterward, the Oxford Jewish Society announced that it too had been receiving many reports reflecting a longstanding pattern of antisemitism within the OULC.

When asked about how the new investigation would work, Baroness Royall, who has been appointed to lead the investigation, stated merely, according to the Chronicle: “I have only just been appointed and I too need to better understand the mechanisms.”


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