Support Group for Jews Experiencing Antisemitism

Follow this link for a flyer for an online support group of Jews experiencing antisemitism online or not.

Sheffield Hallam UCU says David Miller was a victim of “malicious and unfounded allegations” of antisemitism

UCUHallam on Twitter: "There are 8 student occupations in solidarity with  the UCU strikes - Nottingham, Cambridge, UAL, Royal College of Art,  Edinburgh, UCL, Exeter, and Brighton. 👏✊"

The following motion was passed today, by Sheffield Hallam University UCU, with 18 votes for, 16 against and 11 abstentions:

Lesley Klaff, a member of the branch, proposed an amendment, but the Chair, Camila Basi, a member of the Trotskyist group ‘Alliance for Workers’ Liberty’, said that it could not be put as an amendment because the branch is not used to amendments. She said that it should be put as a separate motion and the motions should be voted on separately at the end, after all the arguments had been heard. In fact Camila sent her apologies and gave the Chair of the meeting to a comrade who had signed the big open letter which had defended Miller’s work. The motion in defence of Miller was debated and passed, and only then did the branch go on to consider the motion that was critical of the first motion. Basi then circulated the motions, but she came back to Klaff saying that the motion was too long, and could she shorten it. It was then a shortened version of the motion that in the branch voted down.

The Klaff motion did not say that Bristol U was right to sack Miller. And it did not say that Miller or his work is antisemitic. It urged caution: the branch shouldn’t declare Miller’s work definitely not antisemitic, nor should it say that Miller was the victim of a deliberate Zionist smear. It condemned antisemitism and it supported academic freedom; and it stated that there may be difficult judgments to make.

This very tame, careful and moderate motion was rejected by Sheffield Hallam UCU: 5 votes for, 12 against and 14 abstentions. Here is the full motion, as it was originally submitted:

For a PDF of the amendment, follow this link:

Amendment to the motion: “Academic Freedom and the Sacking of Professor David Miller”

Delete all and insert:

This branch notes that:

  1. David Miller said that his aim is “to end Zionism as an ideology, as the functioning ideology of the world.  And that’s the thing that worries me most about the idea of freedom of speech, is that it diverts our attention from 
 the material realities of the jackboot on the neck of the Palestinians.”

    He said this on 15 February 2021 and a recording of his speech is here, on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrAlJl73NCQ.
  2. jackboots are military leather boots which extend above the knee. They were worn by the Sturmabteilung, the military wing of the National Socialist Party in Germany and by the TotenkopfverbĂ€nde (Death’s Head Units) of the Waffen-SS, which ran the extermination camps and the other infrastructure by which six million Jews were selected for their alleged racial impurity, and murdered. Jackboots were also worn by the forces of the USSR and the DDR, both of which enforced antisemitic policies in the name of socialism.
  3. Israeli forces have never worn Jackboots.
  4. the Supreme Court of Israel (Levi v. Southern District Police Commander [May 13, 1984]) ruled that freedom of speech is recognized as belonging to the freedoms that characterize Israel as a democratic state.
  5. Israel is about 415Km long by 15Km at its narrowest and 115Km at its widest. Its population is less than 7 million, which is about 0.09% of the world’s population.

This branch believes that:

  1. saying Zionism is ‘the functioning ideology of the world’ is to inflate the allegedly malevolent influence of Israel in a way that is reminiscent of the antisemitic practice of inflating the allegedly malevolent influence of Jews into a globally dominating force.
  2. because of the use of the word ‘jackboots’ in this context, David Miller’s audience may come away with the idea that Israel is comparable in its evil to the big twentieth century totalitarian movements.
  3. Israel is not comparable in its evil to the big twentieth century totalitarian movements.
  4. it is not a material reality that there is a jackboot on the neck of the Palestinians.
  5. refugees from the big twentieth century totalitarian movements and refugees from anti-Jewish movements across the Middle East and North Africa played a significant part in building Israel and defending it against attempts to invade it and to drive out its Jewish citizens.
  6. the idea of freedom of speech, as embedded in UK law and as articulated in the preamble to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is a material reality that UCU fights hard to extend, guarantee and preserve, and that freedom of speech does not divert attention from other material realities.

This branch notes further that:

  1. on the same occasion as David Miller said the words quoted above, he also said that we will be faced with a “Zionist case for suggesting that there is a serious problem of antisemitism or Judeophobia in this country when there isn’t a serious problem of antisemitism or Judeophobia.”
  2. the Union of Jewish Students, the Jewish Labour Movement, the Chief Rabbi, the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Community Security Trust have all said that there is a serious problem of antisemitism in this country, and that David Miller’s work and teaching practice is an example of it.
  3. a principle was established by the Macpherson Inquiry that if members of a racialized group report that they have experienced racism then any investigation should begin with the assumption that the report of what has been experienced is made in good faith.
  4. David Miller says that the organisations named in (2) above should not be recognised as representative Jewish communal organisations but as “Zionist” and therefore racist institutions; that they should be regarded as “Israel’s assets in the UK”[1] whose job is to promote Islamophobia and racism at Israel’s behest.[2]
  5. in its report on Labour antisemitism, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission described the following as “types of antisemitic conduct that amounted to unlawful harassment:

    “Labour Party agents denied antisemitism in the Party and made comments dismissing complaints as ‘smears’ and ‘fake’. This conduct may target Jewish members as deliberately making up antisemitism complaints to undermine the Labour Party, and ignores legitimate and genuine complaints of antisemitism in the party.”
  6. David Miller, in the same speech in February claims that the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs is “behind the whole antisemitism crisis”.
  7. The Ministry of Strategic Affairs was closed down this summer by the new Israeli Government.

This branch believes further that:

  1. the organisations listed in (2) above are pluralist, inclusive, Jewish, cross communal institutions.
  2. it is a violation of the Macpherson principle to assume that when Jews say they have experienced antisemitism that they are really lying because they are secretly assets of Israel, in Britain to silence criticism of Israel and secretly to promote racism and Islamophobia.
  3. the way in which David Miller talks about Jewish communal organisations, including the Jewish Society at his own university, of which some of his own students are members, is similar to the conduct described as ‘unlawful harassment’ by the EHRC, quoted in (5) above.
  4. usually, when Jews say they have experienced antisemitism, the reason they’re saying it is that they genuinely believe that they have experienced antisemitism.

This branch notes further that:

  1. in the same video referred to above, David Miller said that there is an “all-out onslaught by the Israeli government
 on the left globally” adding “it’s not something to do with the Labour party really, the Labour Party is a mere detail of this attempt by the Israelis to impose their will all over the world.”

This branch believes further that:

  1. no Israeli Government has ever had the power or the political and organisational talent to successfully organise an all-out onslaught on the left globally.
  2. Labour’s failure to win the 2017 and the 2019 General Elections was not engineered by Israel.
  3. the quotes by David Miller in this motion are a tiny but genuinely representative sample of Miller’s discourse about Jews in Britain and about Israel.

This branch notes further that:

  1. the Organisation for Propaganda Studies, of which David Miller is a leadership figure, has repeated conspiracy fantasies as though they are true, about the September 11 terrorist attacks, the shooting down of the airliner over Ukraine in 2014, the White Helmets humanitarian rescue group in Syria, the antivax movement and the origins of the coronavirus.
  2. Syrian refugee and journalist Oz Katerji has said that David Miller is part of campaigns to support President Assad of Syria and his backers in Russia and Iran. Katerji and many other refugees from Assad’s human rights abuses in Syria have spoken out against David Miller’s demonization of the ‘White Helmets’ as al-Qaeda affiliates.

This branch believes further that:

  1. antisemitism is a conspiracy fantasy that it is based on false information and it is often embraced by those who are also attracted to other conspiracy fantasies that are based on false information.
  2. to blame the sacking of David Miller on “external political pressure”, to say that it is based on “malicious and unfounded allegations”, or to claim that Miller’s criticisms of Israel and of Zionism have been portrayed in bad faith as antisemitic, would not be an accurate description of what has happened or why.
  3. it would be unwise for a UCU branch to assert unequivocally that none of David Miller’s “professional judgments”  constitute antisemitism or other hate speech.
  4. there is no reason to believe that report of the QC who investigated the David Miller case for Bristol University, which has not been published, says that Miller has not written or said antisemitic things. The university has said that the QC reported that “Professor Miller’s comments did not constitute unlawful speech.”
  5. there is agreement between supporters of the IHRA definition of antisemitism and many of its opponents that Miller’s work is antisemitic. In the video above, Miller denounces the “Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism” as itself a “liberal Zionist” plot to pretend that criticism of Israel is antisemitic.

Sheffield Hallam UCU:

  1. reaffirms its commitment to the principles of academic freedom as outlined in the 1997 UNESCO recommendations here: https://en.unesco.org/news/protecting-academic-freedom-relevant-ever
  2. reaffirms its commitment to the principles of academic freedom as outlined by UCU in January 2009 here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/academicfreedom
  3. reaffirms UCU’s commitments to opposing antisemitism as well as all other forms of racism. This helpful advice from our union reminds us that: “UCU members should:
  • avoid language that might be well meaning but could actually be patronising; respect a person’s religious, non religious or belief structure but do not treat people as ambassadors for their religion or ethnic group
  • not make assumptions about an individual’s beliefs, religious practices or belonging based purely on their nationality or background
  • make sure you think about the balance between the right to freedom of expression and sensitivity to individuals’ religion or belief
  • acknowledge the diversity among people who identify as Jewish – a wide range of cultures, experiences, religious (and non-religious) beliefs and practices, traditions and lifestyles

    Antisemitism, whether it is intentional or not:
  • undermines confidence and self-esteem
  • is offensive
  • makes work an unsafe place
  • means treating someone differently and unfairly
  • can be viewed as a potential or actual hate-related offence
  • is unlawful and contrary to the rules of UCU.

    Employers have a duty to prevent harassment and provide remedies if it occurs

    Managing freedom of speech within the law: the right to freedom of expression must be balanced with sensitivity to an individual’s religion or belief”

    This Branch reaffirms that two key UCU principles may sometimes require some difficult balancing and negotiation:
    • we must remain vigilant to ensure that campuses never become hostile environments for groups of students or staff on the basis of any protected characteristic

      and also
    •  we must defend and protect freedom of speech and academic freedom on campus and we will defend members of the scholarly community if they are harassed or fired on the basis of their scholarly or scientific work or research, or their political opinions.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/oct/01/bristol-university-sacks-professor-accused-of-antisemitic-comments

[2] https://electronicintifada.net/content/we-must-resist-israels-war-british-universities/32391

NB. There was disagreement about one David Miller quote in the *amendment that was taken after the motion it sought to amend was already passed*. The quote was this: ‘David Miller said that his aim is “to end Zionism as an ideology, as the functioning ideology of the world…”‘

In fact the video recording of David Miller is indistinct, and it actually says: “…to end Zionism… as functioning ideology of the world.”. Miller’s defenders in this debate insisted that he had said “…to end Zionism… as a functioning ideology of the world.” But the only meaning that is coherent is that he said he wanted to “end Zionism…as the functioning ideology of the world.” The former makes no sense, what is “a functioning ideology of the world”? What are the other “functioning ideologies of the world”? But of course a standard antisemitic meaning would be conveyed by the wish to “end Zionism as the functioning ideology of the world”. The proposer of the motion allowed them to change to “a”, for fear of having to sit through a long and bizarre argument about it.

Statement by David Hirsh to the new ‘SOAS Charter on Racism, Antisemitism and All Forms of Cultural, Ethnic and Religious Chauvinism’ which appears to have been published in response to questions about institutional antisemitism at SOAS

This statement is available on a pdf, please follow this link to download.

SOAS received a complaint from a Jewish student that it had a toxic antisemitic environment. SOAS did not investigate the claim, and when the student appealed, SOAS was told to investigate it by its own appeals panel. SOAS paid the student ÂŁ15,000 in compensation apparently for the harms that he had alleged, but it still refused to investigate whether his claim was true or not, and therefore whether he had in fact suffered those harms, or not.

Now SOAS has been asked whether it has a toxic antisemitic culture but it cannot answer that question because it has not carried out an inquiry. The specifics of the inquiry that it should have carried out were detailed and agreed unanimously by its own appeals panel. [See below]*

Instead of finding out whether it has an antisemitic culture, SOAS has now published a new policy which states that it abhors ‘all forms of chauvinism and discrimination’ and that it stands ‘against antisemitism and all other forms of cultural, ethnic and religious chauvinism’.

Writing a new policy on antisemitism does not tell SOAS whether it is, or is not, a hostile environment for Jews. First it must determine what the situation actually is, only then can it write policy to address the problem, if there is a problem.

It is not appropriate to respond to a specific claim about institutional antisemitism, with policy referring to ‘all forms of’ chauvinism, discrimination, and other forms of cultural, ethnic and religious chauvinism. SOAS needs to address the specifics of the claim relating to antisemitism.

SOAS ought to have understood that the ‘antisemitism and all other forms of racism’ formula, which is familiar from its routine deployment by the Corbyn led Labour Party, would ring alarm bells in the Jewish community. It was a formulation which always accompanied angry but meaningless denials of the specific charges of antisemitism.

Antisemitism is not a form of ‘cultural, ethnic and religious chauvinism’.

The new policy says:

Political advocacy may use the legitimate demands of
 calls against antisemitism
 to deflect from critical academic and political scrutiny
. Religious fundamentalists may equate religion and state, and demand not only acquiescence from all those within their nations who oppose their agendas but also silence others including scholars and journalists who subject their actions and words to critical reflection and scrutiny. Ethnic and racial chauvinists across the world act in a similar manner to shield themselves from criticism.

Insofar as this new policy is a response to the claim that there is a toxic antisemitic environment at SOAS, this part of it could all too easily be read as the standard antisemitic denial and counter-accusation that I have name the Livingstone Formulation. This is a standard response specifically at SOAS, frequently deployed both by staff and by students there. In the context of this specific claim, that there is a toxic antisemitic environment at SOAS, this response could all too easily be interpreted as an accusation made against the student who made the claim, that he did so dishonestly, in the course of pro-Israel political advocacy, in the hope of shielding Israel from criticism, and not because he believed it to be true. If the policy is interpreted in this way it could constitute a serious violation of the Macpherson principle. It could also be a violation of the Principle’s re-statement specifically relating to antisemitism, in the EHRC report on Labour antisemitism. The EHRC report singled out this kind of treatment of people who say they have experienced antisemitism as one of the key ‘types of antisemitic conduct that amounted to unlawful harassment’:

Labour Party agents denied antisemitism in the Party and made comments dismissing complaints as ‘smears’ and ‘fake’. This conduct may target Jewish members as deliberately making up antisemitism complaints to undermine the Labour Party, and ignores legitimate and genuine complaints of antisemitism in the party.

While it is possible that an inquiry might, in the end, have determined that the claim of antisemitism was indeed made in bad faith and for political reasons, this is not possible in this case, since there was no inquiry.

* The appeals panel unanimously agreed to specify that SOAS should carry out its investigation into the claim that it has a toxic antisemitic environment in the following ways:

4. This Stage 2 Appeals Panel understands the term ‘toxic, antisemitic environment’ to refer to ‘institutional antisemitism’. The Macpherson Report gives the following definition of ‘institutional racism’ which should function as a model for ‘Institutional Antisemitism’:

6.34 ‘Institutional Racism’ consists of the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness, and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people.

The new Stage 1 Investigation should also draw upon the Equality Act (2010) and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Definition of Antisemitism for its understanding of ‘toxic, antisemitic environment’ and ‘institutional antisemitism’. [If the appeals panel had sat after the EHRC report into Labour antisemitism, it might have included that document also in this list.]

5 This Stage 2 Appeals Panel recommends that the new Stage 1 Investigation should be carried out by a panel of three people.

6 To decide whether there was a ‘toxic, antisemitic environment’ at SOAS and/or its Student Union, an external process is required because it would not be appropriate for SOAS or its Student Union to investigate their own cultures. The members of the new Stage 1 Panel should not be associated with SOAS or with its Student Union.

7 Following the Macpherson principle, the members of the new Stage 1 Panel should all be people who can command the confidence of the Jewish community and its leading institutions. They should be selected in consultation with the Union of Jewish Students and with the Government’s Independent Antisemitism Advisor.

8 This Stage 2 Appeals Panel recommends that the new Stage 1 Panel should include an academic who is familiar with the academic research and debates on contemporary antisemitism and it should include somebody of stature and experience in public life who would add to the public confidence in the process.

12 SOAS and its Student Union may, at this stage, decide to come to a settlement with Noah but if they do, they should still go ahead with an independent investigation, as defined in this finding, of the key issues at stake in this case.

The appeals panel were also specific about the following:

11 SOAS, in consultation with the new Stage 1 Investigation, may decide that this new investigation into an alleged ‘toxic, antisemitic environment’ at SOAS and/or the Student Union should not limit itself to the precise time frame of Xxxxxxx’s attendance but should come to a judgement about the issue to the present day.

Video of the Daniel Chernilo event about “Chile’s Corbyn”, Daniel Jadue

The morning after the day before: Antisemitic candidate Daniel Jadue is defeated in Chile’s primaries

This report is written by Daniel Chernilo, who is speaking in an online event on Wednesday 21 July in English about Jadue’s candidature and the left wing antisemitism that he embodies. Please follow this link to register for a free ticket: Chile’s Corbyn? Daniel Jadue and left antisemitism.

Jews in Chile have been worried over the past few months. For the first time ever, there was an openly antisemitic candidate positioning himself as a serious contender in this year’s Presidential election.

Communist party member Daniel Jadue, who was running as part of a braoder left wing coalition, has made a career out of making antisemitic remarks. The rhetoric is poisonous and familiar: Jews are Zionists, right-wing and dishonest. In this narrative, Zionism is a particularly perfidious ideology, Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state and accusations of antisemitism against Jadue are made in bad faith in an effort to de-legitimise his radicalism and his ‘criticism of Israel’.

One of his special favourite defences against the charge of antisemitism is that he is a grandson of Palestinians, and so is himself a ‘Semite’. This defence takes away from Jews even the ability to name the hatred which would exclude them from membership the community of decent people.

Jadue was widely expected to win the primary, but he lost it against his only rival. Gabriel Boric, a 35-year-old MP from the southern region of Magallanes, beat Jadue 60-40 and will now compete in November, hopefully as the only presidential candidate of a united left. Boric’s gentle manners, self-critical attitude and positive vision for the future contrasted heavily with Jadue’s bad temper and authoritarianism.

Boric’s victory has produced a huge sigh of relief for most Jews. They may or may not vote for him, but a much greater danger has been averted for the moment. Many hope that because Jadue’s antisemitism was so mainstream and so clear, people will have learnt to recognise it and to avert the danger in the future. Chile, and in particular the Chilean left, may have learnt from the experience, and from the discussions and debates which they have been through, to eradicate the insidious presence of antisemitic rhetoric.

This report is written by Daniel Chernilo, who is speaking in an online event on Wednesday 21 July in English about Jadue’s candidature and the left wing antisemitism that he embodies. Please follow this link to register for a free ticket: Chile’s Corbyn? Daniel Jadue and left antisemitism.

Event Wed 21 July: Chile’s Corbyn? Daniel Jadue and left antisemitism – Daniel Chernilo

Chile’s Corbyn?

It’s a free online event, but we ask people to register: For details and to register, follow this link

Chile is experiencing its own Corbyn moment. Daniel Jadue, the leader of the Chilean Communist Party, is a serious candidate for President.

Progressive Chileans who oppose antisemitism are warning of the danger of Daniel Jadue. The leader of the Chilean Communist Party embraces a similar left antisemitism to that of the Jeremy Corbyn movement, which rose, and then fell, on the British left.

In a radio interview, Jadue said that some of the “alternative media in the country are being bought by the Zionist community of Chile.”

And, as we have come to expect, he has supporters who are ready to accuse the Jewish Community in Chile of inventing antisemitism in a bad faith attempt to silence his ‘criticism of Israel’ and to sabotage him:

Daniel Chernilo will tell the story of Jadue’s campaign for President, and of the antisemitic support that he is galvanizing.

Daniel is Professor of Sociology at Universidad Adolfo Ibåñez in Chile and of Social and Political Thought at Loughborough University. He writes on nationalism, cosmopolitanism and social and political theory. His latest book, ‘Debating Humanity: Towards a Philosophical Sociology’ was published by CUP in 2017. He has just finished, together with another former student of Robert Fine, translating Robert’s ‘Political Investigations’ into Spanish.

		Chile's Corbyn? Daniel Jadue and left antisemitism - Daniel Chernilo image
Daniel Chernilo

It’s a free online event, but we ask people to register: For details and to register, follow this link

For Daniel’s piece about Daniel Jadue’s candidacy, follow this link

The New Chile Deserves Better Than the Antisemitic Daniel Jadue

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Uot42_46
Chile is experiencing its own Corbyn moment. Daniel Jadue, the leader of the Chilean Communist Party, is a serious candidate for President. In a radio interview, he said some of the “alternative media in the country are being bought by the Zionist community of Chile.”

This piece, by Tammy Benquis, Marcelo Carvallo, Daniel Chernilo, Mijal Fliman and Jonathan Nowogrodski, is from Ha’aretz

Despite the bad faith insinuations, progressive Chilean Jews like us can’t support Daniel Jadue’s presidential bid. Not because he is a communist, but because he is an unrepentant antisemite

These are exciting times in Chile. For the first time in our history, a new constitution will be drafted by a convention

that is not only fully democratic, but has gender parity and representation for indigenous peoples. 

A further boost to Chilean democracy is the presidential election due to be held in November. As in any election, debate is fierce. So much so that it has reached Haaretz, a newspaper based 15,000 kms away from Chile. As politically engaged Jews, we would like to contribute to that debate about the left in Chile, and about the suitability of the Communist Party’s candidate for the presidency, Daniel Jadue.

Let us start with simple facts. As we write, there are at least three left-wing candidates. Many Chilean Jews, like us, support the candidacies not only of Daniel Jadue but also of Gabriel Boric and Paula NarvĂĄez. The reasons behind supporting one or another candidacy are those of normal everyday national politics. 

The argument that Jadue is the only genuine left-wing candidate, the assumption of a recent Haaretz op-ed, flies in the face of the concrete evidence of policy proposals by the other two candidates. More gravely, it neglects the views of a huge group of Chileans who want change, but are doing so by supporting other movements, parties and candidates.

It has also been argued that when people raise criticisms against Jadue, they do so because he is a member of the Communist Party (Chile’s Jewish Leaders Are Using Antisemitism to Bash a pro-Palestinian Leftist. Again).

We are under no illusions that in this country there is still a significant anti-communist culture, originating in the opposition to and brutal repression of left-wing parties during the Pinochet era and before, and that they will try any trick in the book to derail Jadue’s candidacy. 

But there are also those who have long respected and, indeed, admired the contribution that Communist parties have made to Chile and Latin America more broadly. They are able to critically assess Communist candidates, based on their virtues and flaws, achievements and failures. 

This piece, by Tammy Benquis, Marcelo Carvallo, Daniel Chernilo, Mijal Fliman and Jonathan Nowogrodski, is from Ha’aretz

Antisemite Richard Falk spearheads a global effort for ‘academics, artists and intellectuals’ to denounce Israel as apartheid

Richard Falk, who has for years now embraced an explicitly antisemitic worldview, who pushes 9/11 conspiracy fantasy and endorses Gilad Atzmon’s antisemitic book, is the public face of this campaign. He has referred to a ‘Palestinian Holocaust’ and he has published an antisemitic cartoon on his blog.

The text that he is asking ‘academics, artists and intellectuals’ (as if other people weren’t important) to sign:

  • constructs Israel as an apartheid state
  • constructs Israel as a criminal enterprise
  • constructs Israel as a ‘system of ethnic cleansing’
  • constructs the Nakba as ongoing
  • claims that Israel explicitly claims ‘Jewish supremacy’
  • claims that Israel has a system of ‘racial segregation’
  • finds Israel guilty of crimes against humanity
  • calls for the ‘dismantling’ of Israel
  • urges governments to cease ‘complicity’ with Israel
  • calls for an ICC investigation into Israeli leaders and security personnel

This text opposes self-determination for both Palestinians and Israelis, and opposes the Palestinian aspiration to statehood.

The whole text is as follows:


1- Israel has subjected the Palestinian people for 73 years to an ongoing catastrophe, known as the Nakba, a process that included massive displacement, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity;

2- Israel has established an apartheid regime on the entire territory of historic Palestine and directed toward the whole of the deliberately fragmented Palestinian people; Israel itself no longer seeks to hide its apartheid character, claiming Jewish supremacy and exclusive Jewish rights of self-determination in all of historic Palestine through the adoption in 2018 by the Knesset of a new Basic Law;

3- The apartheid character of Israel has been confirmed and exhaustively documented by widely respected human rights organizations, Adalah, B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch, and in the UN ESCWA academic study that stresses the importance of defining Israeli apartheid as extending to people rather than limited to space, [“Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” UN ESCWA, 2017];

4- Israel periodically unleashes massive violence with devastating impacts on Palestinian civilian society, particularly against the population of Gaza, which endures widespread devastation, collective trauma, and many deaths and casualties, aggravated by being kept under an inhuman and unlawful blockade for over 14 years, and throughout the humanitarian emergency brought about by the COVID pandemic;

5- Western powers have facilitated and even subsidized for more than seven decades this Israeli system of colonization, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid, and continue to do so diplomatically, economically, and even militarily.


i- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stipulates in its first article that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” And taking account that the inalienable right of self-determination is common Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Political Rights, and as such, a legal and ethical entitlement of all peoples.

ii- The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid which stipulates in Article I that “apartheid is a crime against humanity and that inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of apartheid and similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination, as defined in article II of the Convention, are crimes violating the principles of international law, in particular the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and constituting a serious threat to international peace and security.” The States Parties to this Convention undertake in accordance with Article IV:

“(a) To adopt any legislative or other measures necessary to suppress as well as to prevent any encouragement of the crime of apartheid and similar segregationist policies or their manifestations and to punish persons guilty of that crime;

“(b) To adopt legislative, judicial and administrative measures to prosecute, bring to trial and punish in accordance with their jurisdiction persons responsible for, or accused of, the acts defined in article II of the present Convention, whether or not such persons reside in the territory of the State in which the acts are committed or are nationals of that State or of some other State or are stateless persons.”

The endorsers of this document:

A- Declare their categorical rejection of the apartheid regime set up on the territory of historic Palestine and imposed on the Palestinian people as a whole, including refugees and exiles wherever they might be in the world.

B- Call for the immediate dismantling of this apartheid regime and the establishment of a democratic constitutional arrangement that grants and implements on all the inhabitants of this land equal rights and duties, without any discrimination relative to race, ethnicity, religion or gender, and which respects and enforces international law and human rights conventions, and in particular gives priority to the long deferred right of return of Palestinian refugees expelled from their towns and villages during the creation of the State of Israel, and subsequently.

C- Urge their governments to cease immediately their complicity with Israel’s apartheid regime, to join in the effort to call for the dismantling of apartheid structures and their replacement by an egalitarian democratic governance that treats everyone subject to its authority in accordance with their rights and with full respect for their humanity, and to make this transition in a manner sensitive to the right of self-determination enjoyed by both peoples presently inhabiting historic Palestine.

D- Call for the establishment of a National Commission of Peace, Reconciliation, and Accountability to accompany the transition from apartheid Israel to a governing process sensitive to human rights and democratic principles and practices. In the interim, until such a process is underway, issue a call for the International Criminal Court to launch a formal investigation of Israeli political leaders and security personnel guilty of perpetuating the crime of apartheid.

Some thoughts on antisemitism in academia, May 2021 – David Hirsh

I want to articulate my concern over what I believe amounts to antisemitic loyalty tests that are circulating far and wide amongst academic colleagues. I believe they construct antisemitic, hostile environments for both staff and students. 

They all say fundamentally the same thing:

This is foundational to our scholarship and to our morality:
1. Israel is apartheid
2. BDS
3. Smash Israel
If you don’t agree, you’re not a scholar and you’re not moral. 

This is the simplest form: Tweets with “pass it on”:

This one is endorsed not by individuals but by departments and centres. 

It constructs the following views as being foundational to gender studies and also to personal morality. If you don’t affirm them, you’re not a proper gender scholar, and you’re not a proper person:
1. We do not subscribe to a “both sides” rhetoric
2. Israel is apartheid
3. [This understanding of] feminist anti-racist, and anti-colonial activism … informs the foundation of our interdiscipline
4. Palestinians are indigenous, Israelis are settler-colonialists
5. “Palestine is a Feminist Issue”
6. Palestinian right to return
7. “we will not tolerate any censorship of nor retribution against Palestinian scholars” – this is code for institutions taking antisemitism seriously
8. “the Palestinian people … remain united in their demands to end their oppression”This creates a hostile environment for Jews who work and who study in these departments and centres. The official policy of these centres is that people (most Jews and their allies in the fight against antisemitism) who do not subscribe to these principles are not genuine feminists, scholars or moral human beings.

Here are more, but they’re all over the place:
1. https://palestineandpraxis.weebly.com/?fbclid=IwAR3aoOn_GADFt-PTnALePjIaoSqtCz4TerRPwNrHfH9uKc0KKyeOc4MrZlI

2. https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/e/2PACX-1vTcyuClTK3cSIyHIKcZHUxoPCPtutSHq2cEvY1hOzulRvxHDKO6QULubeeoknjv7CquJw_1lPh8cdUO/pub?fbclid=IwAR0lvLBJs-24k81K6lbhr-ycxWlVVqVR6UbIV_yERBROWlrgkED4p6PQHlI

3. https://goldsmithsucu.org/2021/05/18/gucu-goldsmiths-students-union-stand-in-full-solidarity-with-the-people-of-palestine/?fbclid=IwAR1CComibsgUOA9AZhAIjutp96hob5I4MyARoxAii-dVm2VcEQYmiKcQu4A



This next one is pathetic – in the genuine sense of the word. Jewish Studies scholars put out the “Jerusalem Declaration” to try to discredit IHRA and offer an alternative. JD offers a deal to the antisemites: ‘If you allow us Jews to stay in the community of the good, then in return, we’ll kosherize you as not antisemitic.’

These loyalty testers respond: “no.” Kosherizing elements of our antisemitic discourse as not antisemitic isn’t enough. You have to affirm our antisemitic positions. That’s the test. This is a real test for the predominantly Jewish profs behind the Jerusalem Declaration. Some of them won’t be able to pass the loyalty test, some will. But whether they then understand what has happened, whether then understand the hostile environment they have been key to legitimising, is another question.

CST always says that when there’s conflict in the Middle East, antisemitic incidents spike. This has been happening now. It seems to me that a key response to this is to insist that people who build the antisemitic common sense, and schoarly discourse, cannot be allowed just to condemn the attacks. They have to be held responsible for the demonizing discourses by which people feel licensed to treat Jews as demonic.

UCL put out a statement against antisemitism, in particular antisemitism against its own students, on campus.
UCL staff put out a statement protesting against that statement.

We published this article many years ago, by Steve Cohen, who wrote “That’s Funny You Don’t Look Antisemitic”. He was responding to a decision to boycott Israeli scholars ‘“a boycott of those that do not publicly dissociate themselves from” Israeli governmental policies’. it makes the point that loyalty tests, making Jews grovel, are specifically hostile in relation to Jews. 

One more thing. I am seeing, more and more, Muslim antisemites, or antisemites who are assumed to be Muslim, being racialized by right wing anti-foreigner and racist discourse. There is a lot of this in London, focused on the Mayor, also focused against Priti Patel the Home Secretary, who is of African Asian Hindu descent. But many on the the far right are saying about antisemitism: “Look at these uncivilized backward Muslims, they have no place in our society”. One implication is that “we” should deal with “our” Muslims like the tough Israelis deal with theirs. Which, itself of course, shares the left wing demonizing discourse of Israel, but puts a positive spin onto it.  I think racists tagging on to opposition to antisemitism is a significant phenomenon. Of course some racists, like David Irving, hate the Jews more than they hate the Muslims.

To clarify the point about the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan: I’m not at all saying he is antisemitic. Indeed he has made a great effort to say the right things on antisemitism and to make connections and take advice from the Jewish community. So as much as any Labour member who remained in the party through the Corbyn leadership, he’s got a good record. Having said that, there are issues from his past, and his work as a lawyer before going into politics, which relate to some antisemitic politics. But most people would judge, I am one, that his record as mayor is good. 

My point was that in spite of his actual good record, there is a tendency for him to be racialized as being symbolic of, and supportive of, the worst of the Palestine solidarity movement. By which I mean, the antisemitic aspect of it. Or to use his formal responsibility for law and order in London as a hook to pull him into responsibility for the antisemitic hate crimes. He’s presented as being symbolic of the Muslim take over of Britain. 


1. loyalty tests are coming – they create toxic, antisemitic, hostile environments for Jews – colleagues and students – but this will also arise in other professions and in other institutions and communities.

2. two states and talk of peace and coexistence are now prohibited within most Palestine Solidarity discourse

3. The position of Jewish Studies, Israel Studies, and Centres for the study of antisemitism – the spaces from which the “Jerusalem Declaration” emerged – is very difficult now.

4. opposing antisemitism is constructed as a Trumpist/Zionist plot to destroy academic freedom and to silence criticism of Israel. The Livingstone Formulation. https://engageonline.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/the-livingstone-formulation-david-hirsh-2/

5. The far right constructing antisemitism as a foreign, Muslim, immigration, problem of the ‘backwardness’ of Muslim and other ethnic minorities – this will be true of anti-black racism too, I suspect particularly in America, but I haven’t seen much of that.