It is very troubling that the CST 2018 report demonstrates a rise in antisemitism on UK campuses, following two years of declining reported and recorded antisemitic incidents on campus by the CST in 2017 and 2016. However, due to continued under-reporting, as with most types of hate crime, we are aware that the scale of the problem is not fully revealed.
Throughout 2018 we have seen Swastikas on campuses, the trivialisation of the Holocaust, antisemitism on the far left in student politics, and toxic debate on Israel-Palestine descending into antisemitism. It is the duty of universities and students’ unions to protect Jewish students and make sure we feel welcome on campus. When J-Socs raise concerns about antisemitism we expect institutions to listen and take decisive action on our concerns.
We’re proud to support Jewish students in combating antisemitism. UJS partnered with the Holocaust Educational Trust to take 125 students’ union (SU) sabbatical officers and senior university staff to Auschwitz last November, and we expect over 5,0000 students to be reached during a period featuring over 30 Holocaust Memorial Day events across the country. We’ve delivered training to understand and combat antisemitism to over 700 members of university Labour clubs across the country, and are here for any student union, student society or university staff team who wish to access this vital training.
After nearly 200 people joined UJS at our fringe event at NUS National Conference 2018 featuring Marlon Solomon’s provocative and humorous one person show exposing antisemitic conspiracy theories, York, Sheffield and Warwick have hosted this creative way to counter the spread of hatred.
Just as we can use humour to fight hate we should remember that whilst there are challenges for Jewish students, they continue to proudly and passionately express their varied and vibrant Jewish identities and play a positive role in creating cohesive campus communities.
Any Jewish student concerned about antisemitism on their campus should contact UJS and can report incidents to CST here. Please be assured that UJS and CST continue to work diligently to protect Jewish students. We work with campus security, local police and university and SU teams to prevent incidents and respond swiftly to those that take place.
If you would like to get involved with UJS campaigns work leading and defending Jewish life, please be in touch.