London, England (Sunday, February 26th) — The King’s College London (KCL) Israel Society is considering legal action after the KCL Student Union (KCLSU) promoted ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ (IAW) in a newsletter emailed to all KCL students on February 23rd.
There is no precedent for the KCLSU to promote student society events in their newsletter.
“This is the only student society event of the entire year that KCLSU has advertised and endorsed, with absolutely no right to do so,” said Tamara Berens, President of KCL Israel Society and Campus Associate for educational organisation CAMERA on Campus UK.
According to KCL CAMERA Fellow and member of KCL Israel Society Hadar Langerman, it is unheard of to have ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ publicised in an email signed by student officers. “There are procedures in place where students can ask for their events to be advertised, but this is unprecedented,” she said.
KCL Israel Society has responded by alerting KCLSU’s president and the president of KCL that the contents of the newsletter are unlawful and antisemitic.
“Promoting ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ is not within KCLSU’s usual charitable objects, and is therefore unlawful. It also contravenes the commitment of KCLSU as a charity not to run a political campaign,” Berens said.
“The slogan ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ itself is antisemitic and contrary to the IHRA definition of antisemitism adopted by the British government and the National Union of Students. To see our union, which is supposed to be representing all students, take a deliberate jab at Jewish students and those supportive of Israel is appalling and frightening,” said Langerman.
“KCLSU should represent students of all nationalities on campus. Instead, it has publicised a series of events which specifically defame and demonise Israeli students,” said Aviva Slomich, International Campus Director for CAMERA.
Berens criticized the union for not fulfilling its mandate. “KCLSU is showing they have no respect for the rights and welfare of the students they claim to represent. I demand that KCLSU apologise for contravening their own procedures to advertise such a discriminatory event. Jewish and Israeli students are shocked and confused.”
This is not the only instance of KCLSU or its student officers expressing political bias on campus.
Contributed by CAMERA on Campus UK staff.