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Union of Jewish Students deny Baroness ‘no-go zone’ claim

The National Union of Jewish Students (UJS) disagreed with Baroness Ruth Deech’s claim that some universities, including Manchester and Exeter, are places Jewish students “should avoid” due to campus anti-Semitism.

Baroness Deech was the first adjudicator for UK universities, an office established to deal with student complaints.

In a Daily Telegraph interview, Deech suggested incidents of anti-Semitism on university campuses were not always taken seriously. She cited the Baroness Royall report into anti-Semitism and Oxford University’s inaction on the issue to support her claims.

She said, “It really is a bad situation.”

James Graham, a UJS officer, claims Deech’s labelling of certain universities as ‘no-go zones’ for Jewish students is “completely unfounded and does more harm than good”.

While Graham agrees with Deech that “the failings of various universities to clamp down on anti-semitism” is an issue, he believes highlighting particular universities as ‘no-go zones’ for Jewish students undermines the successes of university Jewish societies across the country.

Lucy Lewis, President of UEA’s Jewish Society, stated:”I have never experienced anti-Semitism on campus, nor hostility towards the J-Soc. However, further action may be required to prevent and tackle anti-Semitism at some universities.”

She said, “UEA’s J-Soc is small, yet I had no concerns about studying here based on this with life on campus for Jewish students generally being positive.”

Lewis added, “J-Soc look forward to continuing its work to celebrate Jewish life on campus, in addition to working with the university and UEA Students’ Union to ensure all Jewish students have a safe and positive campus experience.”

17/01/2017

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