Priyamvada Gopal, a professor of Postcolonial Studies at the University, reportedly accused Samuel Rubinstein, a Jewish student at Cambridge who wrote an article criticising her tweets of fellow academic David Abulafia, of being motivated by her stance on the International Definition of Antisemitism, despite Mr Rubinstein’s article not mentioning the Definition.
Ms Gopal stated that she was “the subject of a concocted story eagerly picked up by tabloids and Murdoch press”, adding: “They make the news, they write it up, they target, they assault, they win.”
She also accused Mr Rubinstein of having “quite powerful familial connections to the liberal media.”
In response, the University’s Jewish society released a statement in which it said that the society “Stands in solidarity with our members who have been subject to unfounded conspiracy theories and online intimidation.
“In an inflammatory Twitter thread [Ms Gopal] echoes historic tropes about media control, and goes on to insinuate that the Jewish journalists are acting out of fidelity to the IHRA [International] Definition of Antisemitism.”
Mr Rubinstein told the JC: “Prof. Gopal had every right to respond to my piece, and could have done so by taking issue with the substance of my argument, but it is regrettable that her response – a tissue of falsehoods and rancid conspiracy theories, getting progressively unhinged as the day progressed – vindicated every single claim I made in my original article.”
Professor Abulafia, the academic originally criticised by Ms Gopal, said: “I’m not trying to get Gopal sacked but she’s clearly completely out of control. In a series of tweets she claimed that the student newspaper journalist I spoke to was part of a conspiracy. Both he and I are Jewish and we are all familiar with the antisemitic Jewish conspiracy trope — she even referenced guidelines designed to stop hate speech around the Holocaust.”
If any students are concerned about antisemitism on campus or need assistance, they can call us on 0330 822 0321, or e-mail [email protected].