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April 20, 2018 10:03 am

University of Winchester Academic Who Defended Corbyn Now Being Investigated for Antisemitism

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The University of Winchester’s West Downs campus. Photo: Logomachy.

An academic at the University of Winchester in the United Kingdom is being investigated after making disparaging comments on Jews and Israel on social media.

Jane Dipple, a lecturer in media and communication, was found to have shared an article by the neo-Nazi website “The Daily Stormer,” with the headline, “BBC to Replace Male Jew Political Editor with Female Jew,” HuffPost UK reported on Tuesday.

“As [conspiracy theorist David] Icke said… it’s the rampant zionism across the media that is actually damaging the Jews,” she wrote under the article.

Dipple also accused Zionists of attempting to create a “pure race” and questioned the need for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, an intergovernmental Holocaust education group. “How about a Palestinian f***ing wall alliance and a being starved and bombed alliance and having our country stolen form [sic] us alliance.. for f***’s sake,” she exclaimed.

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A supporter of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, Dipple was also a member of the controversial Facebook group Palestine Live, which included posts featuring Holocaust denial and peddling conspiracy theories about Israel’s alleged involvement with the Islamic State and in the 9/11 and 7/7 terrorist attacks.

The group has recently come under scrutiny after researcher David Collier revealed that it once included UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who left the group shortly after being elected to his post, and other Labour members. Corbyn has denied ever seeing any antisemitic posts, and his party has suspended several members who were active in the group.

Dipple is herself a member of both Labour and the Momentum campaign group that supports Corbyn. She was among forty senior academics who signed a letter published in The Guardian earlier this month defending Corbyn’s much-criticized response to instances of antisemitism in his party.

“These comments have been made in a personal capacity and were not made on behalf of the university nor do they reflect the university’s views at all,” a University of Winchester spokesperson said. “We were shocked by the content in these posts and we are investigating further as a matter of urgency.”

As of Thursday, Dipple’s faculty page on the school was taken down.

Both Labour and Momentum committed to taking disciplinary action following an investigation into Dipple’s online activities.

“The Labour Party is committed to challenging and campaigning against antisemitism in all its forms,” a spokesperson said. “All complaints of antisemitism are taken extremely seriously. These are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”

On Tuesday, the House of Commons engaged in a general debate on antisemitism that increased pressure on Corbyn to tackle long-running accusations of anti-Jewish discrimination within the party.

Earlier in the day, the two leading British Jewish representative organizations confirmed that they would not attend an upcoming roundtable on antisemitism convened by Corbyn after learning that a fringe anti-Zionist group would also be participating.

A joint statement from the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council said they were already attending a meeting with Corbyn on Tuesday next week and saw “no need” to attend the roundtable the day after.

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