Over the past few days, there have been a number of new reports about the levels of radical anti-Israel activity on British university campuses.
This week, the Evening Standard reported on the fears of Jewish students at SOAS, the School of African and Oriental Studies. The student body is committed to fighting “racism and discrimination” of all types, yet do not have anything in their manifesto about fighting anti-Semitism. It is almost comical that students can be dedicated to fighting hatred, yet ignore the world’s oldest hatred. Conspiracy theorists go unchallenged at lectures, and there are also often attempts to tell Jews what things they can and can’t be offended by. This toxic climate has lead many Jews to fear wearing Jewish symbols openly, such as the Star of David, and to fear speaking in Hebrew.
To get a feeling for what goes on at some campuses, it is worth reading this first hand account of an anti-Israel event at Queen Mary’s, another London university. The event opened with a video, claiming to describe the events of 1948; it showed Jewish tanks invading Palestine, which has no relationship with what actually happened. Jewish students who asked questions were accused of being part of a Zionist conspiracy, and their questions went unanswered. As the author, David Collier, writes: “Anti-Israel feeling was never tempered, only fueled.”
CAMERA is active in the UK, with CAMERA-supported groups and CAMERA Fellows at University College London, Cambridge, Kings College and Glasgow University fighting back against the lies and intimidation that face those who stand up for Israel on campus.