Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that UK universities have been tolerant of antisemitism for to long as he replied to a question in the House of Commons this week.
The question was asked by Conservative MP Andrew Percy who said: “We have recently heard from Jewish students who are suffering record antisemitic attacks on university campuses, including allegations of their work being marked down by their own professors. This is completely outrageous, and one would expect the National Union of Students to be on their side, but instead of helping the students it has been inviting somebody who is engaged in antisemitic conspiracy theories—a rapper—to a conference. Will the Prime Minister do everything in his power to ensure that campuses are a safe place for British Jewish students?”
The Prime Minister responded: “Our universities have, for far too long, been tolerant of casual or indeed systematic antisemitism. I hope that everybody understands the need for change—for rapid and irreversible change—but it is also important that we have an antisemitism taskforce devoted to rooting out antisemitism in education at all levels.”
NUS’s problem with antisemitism
The question was raised after anti-Israel activist and rapper Lowkey was invited to attend an event by the National Union of Students (NUS).
The controversial rapper who in one of his songs calls for global jihad, was cancelled not because of his extremism on Israel, but instead because of his controversial views on NATO, Russia and Ukraine.
Unfortunately, the NUS has long been dominated by anti-Israel viewpoints. This is likely because of the influence of the far-left over the younger generation.
This week the current frontrunner in the election for the leader of the NUS was forced to apologise for an antisemitic comment she made on Twitter a number of years ago.
It should be noted this was not “alleged” antisemitism or something anti-Israel that could be interpreted as antisemitism. This was calling for the deaths of Jews.
In 2010, Dallali posted an inflammatory tweet stating: “Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud.”
In Islamic tradition, the chant – which means, “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning” – is used as a battle cry when attacking Jews or Israelis.
It refers to the Muslim massacre of the Jews of the town of Khaybar in northwestern Arabia in 628 CE.
The Community Security Trust describes the chant as “effectively a call for Jews to be killed.”
She was a teenager when she wrote this antisemitic tweet. However, the chant is popular amongst extremist Islamic views and is too often chanted in anti-Israel protests. So inflammatory is the chant that the Metropolitan Police have been educated on it and are on the lookout for it, to stop it being chanted.
Despite her past antisemitism, Dallali is still running for NUS leader and has been endorsed by the current leader, Larissa Kennedy. She herself, it seems, has a problem with the definition of anti-Semitism.
Last November, Kennedy openly backed a move by a top university to “revoke its adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism.”
Furthermore, this week the Jewish News revealed that the NUS have quietly dropped their commitment to the IHRA definition of antisemitism.
The source, who is Jewish and asked not to be named, said:
“I strongly suspect NUS has abandoned the IHRA definition without telling anyone and is hoping nobody notices.
“If you search the NUS website, almost every reference to it has disappeared except one or two from the first half of 2020. It’s not in the National or Liberation Conference policy documents, it doesn’t seem to be a requirement to sign up to for election any more and isn’t discussed anywhere.”
The NUS has a clear problem with antisemitism and antisemitic views are being more widely spread at universities around the country. The Prime Minister is right to call this out, but more has to be done.
As Universities around the country mark “Israel Apartheid Week”, a false allegation against Israel, please get involved by clicking the link to the campaign below – Israel is NOT Apartheid!