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March 26, 2017 6:02 am

UK Expert: Universities Must Be ‘Firm, Explicit’ in Condemning Antisemitism When Tackling Anti-Israel Activity on Campus

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Interview

Gideon Falter. Photo: Screenshot.

The head of a UK enforcement and education charity told The Algemeiner on Friday that universities must be firm and explicit about condemning antisemitism when confronted with anti-Israel activity on campus.

Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, said, “Numerous events during so-called ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’  [IAW] were cancelled this year because of concerns that they were a vehicle for antisemitic hatred. In almost all cases, though, the universities banning the events said that they were doing so on safety grounds, or because proper room-booking procedures had not been followed.”

He welcomed administrations refusing to allow IAW programming to go forward, but said they need to “disentangle antisemitism from political discourse” and use “franker language” (as he recently tweeted) when they take such action.

Falter said college administrations adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism — as the British government has done, and as Prime Minister Theresa May recently encouraged universities to do — would be a step in the right direction, because it includes demonization of Israel.

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“That would clearly set out the rules on antisemitism by which students and staff must abide, and it would also help Jewish students to understand exactly where the red lines are, and when they can avail themselves of the protection of their university,” he added.

A number of schools across Britain cancelled IAW events this year, including at the University of Exeter and University College London.

As The Algemeiner reported, attacks on Jewish university students and faculty in the UK nearly doubled in 2016, with anti-Israel groups being accused of antisemitic bullying.

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