This afternoon I reported that the leader of Oxford University’s Labour Club (OULC) had resigned over the club’s endorsement of Israel Apartheid Week, with the explosive claim that:“a large proportion of the student Left in Oxford has some kind of problem with Jews.”
Tonight, further explosive allegations have arisen casting light on the extent of the Oxford student Left’s “Jewish Problem”. According to the Oxford University Jewish Society, several members of the OULC have come forth to report further disturbing incidents, including:
- One club member was formally disciplined by their college for organising a group of students to harass a Jewish student and shout ‘filthy Zionist’ whenever they saw her.
- Several committee members have been known to sing a song called “Rockets over Tel Aviv” and have expressed support for Hamas’s use of indiscriminate attacks against Israelis;
- Another has argued that it is not anti-Semitic to allege the existence of an “international Jewish conspiracy” or “New York-Tel Aviv axis” that allegedly rigs elections. Others have alleged that US foreign policy is under the control of a “Zionist Lobby”; when asked whether by “Zionist” they meant “Jewish,” these students are reported to have gone “very silent”;
- One committee member has stated that all Jews should be expected to publicly denounce Zionism and Israel, and that one should not associate with those who fail to do so;
- In a discussion on the OULC Facebook group, one member argued in favour of Hamas’s policy of killing Jewish civilians and even claimed that all Jews constituted legitimate targets. Two former co-chairs, among others, defended the member as making “a legitimate point clumsily expressed”.
The revelations are galling, but not surprising. Those who followed the similar scandal that erupted in Oberlin College, Ohio — including reports that the Holocaust was dismissed as “white on white crime” — will not be surprised to learn of deep anti-Jewish prejudice infecting elements of the far-Left on university campuses. Such is the inevitable consequence of the incessant demonisation of Israel, through movements such as Israel Apartheid Week and BDS, the effect of which is to ostracise and bully Jews who refuse to unreservedly denounce Israel and sever ties with it.
Neither the University of Oxford nor the British Labour Party has yet responded to these allegations. As a British Jew and an alumnus of Oxford, I can only hope that both institutions order prompt and thorough investigations and take all necessary steps to tackle the increasingly intimidating atmosphere for Jews created by these demonisation efforts.