UCU Conference votes down amendment to investigate antisemitism-related resignations

This year, the University and College Union‘s National Executive Committee submitted a welcome motion to Conference (EQ6) which opposed antisemitism.

Anti-boycotters in UCU have been encouraged to leave the union over the past few years of boycott campaigning against Israel. With each new revival of the campaign there has been disaffection, and a worrying number of resignations has accrued. So it seemed right to UCL branch to insert an amendment (7A1):

Add new first line:

‘Congress notes with concern the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK and resignations of UCU members apparently in connection with perceptions of institutional anti-Semitism.’

Add new final bullet point: ‘ To investigate the number of recent UCU resignations and the reasons for them, and to report its findings to next Congress.’

There are reports that this amendment was voted down today by a large majority estimated at 80-20.

It seems that UCU is only interested in fighting antisemitism when it can be identified with the political right. Antisemitism emanating from the left, and from UCU itself, is unrecognised.

14 Responses to “UCU Conference votes down amendment to investigate antisemitism-related resignations”

  1. Alex Says:

    Is this the age-old philosophical question: If a Jew leaves the union because of anti-semitism and there is no report to hear them…?

  2. 701 Says:

    Interestingly, much of the antisemitism on the UCU activist list is of the far-right variety but used in argument by the UCUleft/SWP hacks

    Jews get others to fight facism,
    Jews control US universities
    All Jews who oppose antisemitism are “really” Zionists.
    Antisemitism is a weapon in the hands of Zionists.
    Jews are responsible for antisemitism.

    Maybe if the anti-racists included the overlap links between antisemitism and some forms of anti-zionist rhetoric
    then I would have more respect for them. But, that would mean getting rid of how many on NEC, how many branch officers and “equality” officers?

    Do they really think that antisemitism is exhausted at “holocaust denial”??

  3. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Is there any way of making crude number comparisons between the total membership of Natfhe & AUT before 2005 and the joint membership numbers now? Then comparing these to the total number employed by the appropriate institutions then and now in the relevant categories? This might provide a sort of idea as to the effects on membership of this whole farrago.

    And Pastor Niemoller’s refrain comes to mind: what are Hickey et al going to do when they’ve driven everyone else out of the union, and there’s no-one left to speak up for _them_?

    They probably don’t care and think in their stupidity that they’ll be seen as the modern-day counterparts of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. They’re actually more likely to be seen as modern-day counterparts of those who carried out the “Sheffiled outrages” in the 1860s.

  4. Marianne Conley Says:

    Strikes me what Engage should be doing is finding out why a small group of fanatics have been allowed to completely alter the whole ethos of a trade union.

    My view is that members of UCU only have themselves to blame. When the critical decision-making branch meetings were being held, apathy reigned supreme with most of your members, as it does in most trade unions. All the loony leftists had to do was form the quorum in meetings, when other members couldn’t be bothered to attend, and that’s how they got the power.

    Can’t Engage take some sort of legal advice, or failing this get a statement from them as to why they would not allow such an investigation?

  5. zkharya Says:

    Marianne Conley, I think this article by Jon Pike somewhat answers your question:


  6. zkharya Says:

    The SWP, an utterly unelectable “democratic” party, as David observes, with a truly totalitarian Trotskiite core, seeks to acquire power by the short cut of exploiting procedure and hijacking a union of supposed academics and intellectuals.

    If I may, I’d like to quote an apposite observation by Conor Cruse O’Brien:

    “Edmund Burke believed that the vanity of intellectuals, especially the vanity of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, was among the main causes of the French Revolution. Had Burke been able to contemplate the processes which led to the revolutions of the twentieth century, I believe he would have concluded that the vanity of intellectuals has constituted the most destructive force in human history. ”


  7. Tutti Frutti Says:

    Dear fellow British Jews: Are you sure you’re not beating your heads against a brick wall? Anti-semitism in both the Right and Left, has been around for decades. In fact, some of the biggest and worst Nazis came from the Left. You’ll probably hate me for saying this, but maybe it’s time to return to where we came from….you know where I mean. We are not wanted in Britain today, any more than we ever were. We have the traditional Far Right which hates us. We have the traditional Far Left which hates us just as much as their hated rivals the Far Right. And last, but not least, we have the Fundamentalist Islamists who hate us as much as the above-mentioned. Even with a lot of brave and good British Philo-semites fighting by our side, there will never really be a place for us in Britain or Europe, and eventually in the Americas.

    • Mira Vogel Says:

      Put a sock in it Tutti Frutti. Not helpful.

      • Stephen Duke Says:


        I’m not sure your comment is helpful either. If tutti frutti is wrong in suggesting we consider returning to Israel then you should explain why.

        Personally I agree with tutti frutti; the boycott and the anti-zionist movement in general are following a pattern (although I very much doubt they are aware of it) consistent with previous expressions of anti-semitism.

        Jews have been pesecuted on account of holding the ‘wrong’ beliefs throughout history; we are simply watching (or participating in) a repeat. On this occasion the wrong belief is ‘Zionism’ (whatever that means). Can you really blame people for wondering if they would be better off in Israel?

        • Mira Vogel Says:

          Yeah I guess you’re right about the first bit, Stephen.

          “Can you really blame people for wondering if they would be better off in Israel?”

          No, I wouldn’t blame people at all. If Tutti Frutti had made only that point, then I wouldn’t have objected.

          To take Tutti Frutti at her word, Israel would then not be a home but a bolt-hole. Why dress up a perfectly legitimate reaction to fear as some strange nation state patriotism? There is way too much of that in Israel at the moment. I also think there’s a relationship between philosemites and antisemites to do with the essentialisation of Jews, and I would be very worried if I thought the only people on the side of Jews were philosemites. Hope that explains better.

  8. Malfunction in the University and College Union « Greens Engage Says:

    […] UCU Conference votes down amendment to investigate antisemitism-related resignations […]

  9. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    You’re far too polite, Mira, Tutti Frutti is indulging in the old “go back where you came from” taunt, and trying to disguise it by pretending to be Jewish. He(?) clearly wants Jews out of the UK and the US, indeed anywhere within 3000 miles of him. Better idea: you go away, Tutti, and we’ll get on with our lives in peace.

  10. UCU is actively alienating its Jewish members | Left Foot Forward Says:

    […] motion to look into the resignations was voted down by UCU’s Congress in 2009; this latest motion at UCU congress takes this a step further. The UCU […]

  11. UCU is actively alienating its Jewish members « Adam Langleben's musings on life Says:

    […] motion to look into the resignations was voted down by UCU’s Congress in 2009; this latest motion at UCU congress takes this a step further. The UCU […]

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