Campaign Against Antisemitism has provided training to the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) after the campus group reached out to us to provide an online training session to fight antisemitism.
In 2016, the OULC was investigated by the Labour Party following multiple allegations of antisemitism levelled by the Club’s co-Chair, who resigned in protest against the antisemitic conduct he witnessed. However, the investigation was dropped in January 2017.
Students testified that members of the OULC had called Auschwitz a “cash cow”; Jews were called “Zios”; Jewish members were asked to renounce Israel publicly before speaking; the dead Jewish victims of the Paris Hypercacher terrorist attack were mocked; terrorist acts against Jews in Europe were rationalised; and it was asserted that the banks were controlled by the “Paris-Tel Aviv axis” — all in clear breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism.
Following this, Labour Students was sent to investigate, but its findings were suppressed. Baroness Royall was then commissioned to undertake her own investigation into alleged antisemitism in the OULC and in the Party more generally to her chagrin, only the executive summary of her report was published, providing a misleadingly positive account of the problem, and she later leaked the entire report to give the fuller picture. The Royall report was not officially published in full because it too was rolled into yet another inquiry, that of Shami Chakrabarti, who went on to produce a whitewash report that introduced a system of secrecy into the Party’s disciplinary process and thereby contributed significantly to the institutionalisation of Labour’s antisemitism problem.
As for the OULC, all accused students were cleared without censure.
While the Club’s past cannot be undone, it is extremely encouraging to see its current members’ commitment to fighting antisemitism. In the description for the online event, the organisers wrote that the training was “mandatory for all committee members but strongly encouraged for other members – especially for those interested in running for OULC committee positions in future.”
Binyomin Gilbert, Programme Manager at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “We provide antisemitism training to university groups, regulators, police forces and others, but this session was particularly poignant given the OULC’s prominent role in the Labour Party’s antisemitism scandal.
“This new generation of OULC members clearly grasps the importance of fighting antisemitism and has shown a commitment to restoring the reputation of the Club, and we are proud to have contributed to that noble effort. We encourage other university societies and public bodies to contact us to arrange antisemitism training and become allies in the fight against the world’s oldest hatred.”
If any students are concerned about antisemitism on campus or need assistance, or wish to arrange antisemitism training for their university society, they can call us on 0330 822 0321, or e-mail [email protected].