UJS have been privileged to host Dr Einat Wilf this week. Dr Wilf spoke in London, Leeds, and Exeter to around 120 students.
Dr. Einat Wilf is a leading intellectual and original thinker on matters of foreign policy, economics, education, and Israel and the Jewish people. She is considered one of Israel’s most articulate representatives on the international stage; her opinion articles are regularly published in international publications and she is frequently interviewed for television and radio programs around the world.
On her week-long trip to the UK, Dr Wilf met with students from across the UK and provided an in-depth exploration of Zionism. Speaking in London, she said: ‘Zionism is a progressive movement since it insists on the fundamental progressive idea that even if you are different you have the right to be treated as an equal. Zionism insists on nothing more and nothing less that that the Jewish people, as a people and a nation, possess the universal and equal right to self-determination in their homeland and to be masters of their own fate.’
She also spoke about the Red Carpet syndrome, a timely topic for students of this generation, and visiting the week after International Women’s Day, Dr Wilf discussed feminism, comparing the progressive nature of this ideology with the Zionist ideology.
Students asked an impressive range of questions, from the impact of history on the ever-evolving nature of modern Zionism to how Dr Wilf’s personal identity is formed as an intellectual who primarily speaks to Disapora communities.
Dr Wilf praised the students that she met, saying: ‘It was moving to experience the commitment and courage of Jewish and Zionist students across university campuses in standing up for fairness and equality against persistent backlash. It was especially encouraging to experience the solidarity demonstrated by the students and the UJS in defending their cause nationwide. I was honoured to meet with them.’
The feeling was mutual: Jordan Jacobs, an alumnus of Warwick J-Soc now studying in London, said that he thoroughly enjoyed hearing from ‘an engaging speaker who drew on her impressive experience to provide a challenging analysis of two much-discussed ideologies.’
Emanuele Boccia, Programmes Manager at UJS, said: ‘We are really grateful to Dr Wilf for taking the time to address our members. It was great to see not only a range of new and familiar faces at the events we hosted, but also community members from the local areas.’