Quarter of Top UK Universities Breached IHRA Guidelines in Recent Gaza Conflict: Report
i24 News – In a damning report, a UK think tank claims that up to a quarter of Britain’s leading universities released statements that veered into antisemitism at the height of the recent violence between the Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas and Israel.
The Pinsker Centre claimed that student unions or faculty bodies at 12 of the country’s top 40 universities — including Oxford and Cambridge — published “highly partisan” anti-Israel statements that might have breached the widely agreed-upon working definition of antisemitism, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Faculty bodies and student unions at a quarter of the UK's top 40 universities published potentially #antisemitic comments during the recent conflict in #Gaza, according to a @PinskerCentre study reported in today's Sunday @Telegraph.https://t.co/XQAQyurSRb
— The Pinsker Centre (@PinskerCentre) May 30, 2021
The center maintained that two highly partisan tropes were leveled against the Jewish state: namely that it was guilty of being both an “apartheid” state and a “settler colonialist” entity.
Its report supplied two main recommendations; the Charity Commission should update its guidance to student unions to give wider and better protection to Jewish students on campus, universities should adopt disciplinary frameworks to enforce the IHRA definition with sanctions, and government should cut funds to universities that fail to do this.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition on antisemitism, adopted by the UK government, lists calling Israel a “racist endeavor” or “applying double standards” as examples of what could be antisemitic, depending on the context.
All but three of the 12 universities criticized in the report have adopted the IHRA definition.
The Pinsker Centre drew a direct causal link between incendiary statements about the Gaza-Israel situation and the massive spike in anti-Jewish attacks on campuses across the UK.
Antisemitic incidents during the 11-day conflict between Islamists in the Gaza Strip and Israel in general saw a five-fold increase during and in the immediate aftermath of the fighting, according to the UK’s Community Security Trust.