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June 27, 2016 2:58 pm

British University to Pay Jewish Student Compensation for Years of Antisemitic Abuse

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The University of York campus. The school's  student union will pay $1,370 to a York law student who experienced antisemitic abuse. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The University of York campus. The school’s student union will pay $1,370 to a York law student who experienced antisemitic abuse. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – The student union at University of York in the United Kingdom will pay £1,000 ($1,370) in compensation and issue a public apology to a York law student who experienced antisemitic abuse.

Zachary Confino accused the university of failing to deal with two years of antisemitic attacks, including 20 incidents in his second and third years at York. Confino said he was called a “Jewish prick” and an “Israeli twat.”

“The experience has been so depressing,” Confino told The Sunday Times. “It ruined my experience at university. I can never get that time back.”

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The compensation for Confino is reportedly the first time a British university has ever made a payment of this kind. A university spokesman said the “token payment” and apology came as a result of mediation between Confino and the student union.

“The university is committed to preserving the right to freedom of expression while also combating antisemitism, Islamophobia, and any other form of race hate. To this end, we have signed joint statements with both the Jewish Society and the Islamic Society on campus. We welcome students from all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities in our diverse community,” the spokesman said.

Former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams intervened in the Confino matter by writing to UK Minister of State for Universities and Science Jo Johnson about his concerns over the British government’s “muted” response to complaints of rising antisemitism at British universities. Williams also wrote to Confino, calling antisemitism “one of the most ancient and poisonous” forms of hate speech.

“It (antisemitism) is truly appalling stuff, but sadly seems not to be that unusual at the moment,” Williams wrote.

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  • Deanna Johnston Clark

    Formal apology and cash isn’t the answer, though nice. The culture must change.
    Here in the deep south of the US an ugly racist remark in public, about any race, would get the cold stare and correction. The offender might be told never to come back to the store or place.
    My little post war street has Orthodox Jews, Catholics, a Serb, blacks…that’s just my block. We are friendly and protective. Britain is not a race…it’s a way of life with fair play, culture, and freedom of religion and speech, etc.
    I’m wondering who is behind the casual acceptance of such insults in daily life…who benefits from this?

  • Mazel Tov, now ruin it for them by keeping the pressure on and get their funding removed

    Mazel Tov, now ruin it for them by keeping the pressure on and get their funding removed

  • were these abuses to have occurred at an American campus and the matter brought to public attention, one can be certain that the school would not have skated out with a “token” penalty.

    any decent person (obviously that does not include university of york administrators) would have to wonder how a sustained period of abuse could have been ignored, tolerated, and minimized.

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