Ronnie Fraser’s (Academic Friends of Israel) Speech to UCU Congress

I, a Jewish member of this union, am telling you, that I feel an antisemitic mood in this union and even in this room.

I would feel your refusal to engage with the EUMC definition of antisemitism, if you pass this motion, as a racist act.

Many Jews have resigned from this union citing their experience of antisemitsim.  

Only yesterday a delegate here said: “they are an expansionist people”. It is difficult to think that the people in question are anything other than the Jews.

You may disagree with me.  You may disagree with all the other Jewish members who have said similar things.

You may think we are mistaken.  But you have a duty to listen seriously.

Instead of being listened to, I am routinely told that anyone who raises the issue of antisemitism is doing so in bad faith.

Congress, Imagine how it feels when you say that you are experiencing racism, and your union responds: “Stop lying, stop trying to play the antisemitism card.”

You, a group of mainly white, non-Jewish trade unionists, do not have the right to tell me, a Jew, what feels like antisemitism and what does not.

Macpherson tells us that when somebody says they have been a victim of racism, then institutions should begin by believing them. This motion mandates the union to do the opposite.

Until this union takes complaints of antisemitsim seriously the UCU will continue to be labelled as an institutionally antisemitic organisation.

It’s true that anti-Zionist Jews may perceive things differently.  But the overwhelming majority of Jews feel that there is something wrong in this union. They understand that it is legitimate to criticise Israel in a way that is, quoting from the definition, “similar to that levelled to any other country” but they make a distinction between criticism and the kind of demonisation that is considered acceptable in this union.

Ronnie was met with stoney silence.

5 Responses to “Ronnie Fraser’s (Academic Friends of Israel) Speech to UCU Congress”

  1. Yael Says:

    Is anyone looking into legal challenges to this? Trevor Phillips, the Chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission has indicated that this runs afoul of the Human Rights and Equality law.

    • Gideon Swort Says:

      Apparently not Yael. But the issue will be debated, and then debated more, until the next slap in the face, which will leave the other cheek open for more debate…

      Engage is a debate site. It’s not backed up nor apparently supported by the the British Jewish community as far as funding and launching a legal challenge.

  2. The tipping point for UCU -David Hirsh « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism Says:

    […] Fraser, a Jewish UCU member who has been bullied, scorned, ridiculed and treated as though he was a supporter of racism and apartheid for ten years,  is […]

  3. Institutional Antisemitism Says:

    […] now calling a spade a spade. From Engage: Ronnie Fraser, a Jewish UCU member who has been bullied, scorned, ridiculed and treated as though he was a supporter of racism and apartheid for ten years,  is […]

  4. The Courage of Ronnie Fraser « Commentary Magazine Says:

    […] in America, combined. As “Engage,” another brave organization fighting the boycott, noted in its report of Ronnie’s remarkable speech to the UCU last year, his remarks to an audience filled with […]

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