JPost Anti-Israel activists target Jewish students in UK
- JPost Mon, Apr 30, 2012
The Jerusalem Post
Anti-Israel activists target Jewish students in UK
By JONNY PAUL JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
Graffiti mars Jewish group’s stall, posters and banners at conference;
Palestine Solidarity Campaign allegedly responsible.
Anti-Israel activists defaced the Union of Jewish Students stall at the
National Union of Students annual conference in sheffield, England this
week, covering the group’s Star of David logo with boycott Israel stickers.
UJS staff discovered the vandalism on Tuesday - alleged to have
originated from the group Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Anti-Israel
graffiti marred the Jewish group’s stall, posters and banners.
n a statement, UJS said it was “appalled” and labeled the incident as
“anti-Semitic. The conference should be “a safe place for all students,”
a UJS spokesman said, and “the singling out of Jewish students and the
direct attack on Jewish religious symbols is anti-Semitism.” The group,
which represents over 8,000 Jewish students across the UK, called for
organizational intervention to ensure the incident was “swiftly” and
“UJS has already gained much support for and continues to call for
further support in ensuring that there is no place for hate in NUS or
against Jewish students,” the spokesman added.
At the conference on Wednesday - held in Sheffield and attended by over
1,000 students from across the UK - the newly re-elected National Union
of Students president Liam Burns condemned the vandalism and promised a
“NUS does not tolerate racism, fascism or anti-Semitism in any of its
forms. Anti-Semitism is vile. It is hate and has no place in our
movement,” Burns said.
“We will work day and night to drive hate out of our student movement,
education system and society. We have of course launched a full
investigation into this incident and will do all we can today to get to
the bottom of it,” he said.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, a radical group that advocates a
one-state solution and avidly supports the boycott and sanctions
campaign against Israel, issued a statement on its website condemning
“As soon as the PSC was made aware of this unacceptable use of its
stickers, the PSC immediately removed the stickers from its stall,” the
group said. “PSC condemns the defacing of the UJS stall. The PSC opposes
all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.”
Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who spoke at the conference
earlier that day, commented on the vandalism.
“The deliberate defacing of the Star of David, a sacred symbol of
Judaism and of the State of Israel, was an indication of the
increasingly blurred line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism,” Sacks
“It is part of a long, slow, insidious process intended to undermine
academic freedom and it must not be tolerated,” Sacks added.
Raheem Kassam, director of Student Rights, a group tackling extremism on
campuses, said it was completely unacceptable that anti-Semitic
activists targeted Jewish students through disrespecting property rights.
“No student, no matter what their background or religion, should have to
tolerate intimidation and the defacing of private property like this, it
speaks volumes about the academic rigor of the culprit’s arguments,”