St Anne’s College at the University of Oxford has removed a statement issued by the President of the College’s JCR and its MCR BAME representatives offering “support to the Muslim and Palestinian members of our community” but not to its Jewish members.

The statement related to ongoing violence in Jerusalem and said: “We want to sincerely support and send solidarity to St Anne’s Muslim and Palestinian members and the wider Oxford community. We would also like or remind students to reach out to the St Anne’s JCR & MCR Welfare and BAME Officers if they are struggling and would like somebody to talk to. In addition, you can also reach out to the Oxford University Islamic Society (ISOC) ‘Welfare Officers’ and/or the Oxford University Champaign for Racial Awareness Equality (CRAE) Officers.”

It went on to say: “We also encourage other Oxford colleges’ JCRs and MCRs to show solidarity with the wider Oxford Muslim and Palestinian community and combat the noticeable lack of support.”

Disgracefully, nowhere did the statement offer any support or resources to Jewish students. The “lack of support” to the College’s Jews was thus particularly “noticeable”.

The statement was shared on St Anne’s College’s official Instagram account. The College then prohibited comments on the statements before deleting the post entirely, without explanation or apology.

There are growing reports of Jewish students facing antisemitism on campus and online since violence in the Middle East has erupted in recent days.

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors the adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism by universities.

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].  

It was announced today in the Queen’s Speech, in which Her Majesty announces the Government’s legislative agenda, that a new law will be passed banning public bodies from joining in with the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, on the grounds that it “may legitimise antisemitism”. 

According to the Government’s official documentation, the purpose of the legislation is to “deliver the manifesto commitment to stop public bodies from imposing their own approach or views about international relations, through preventing boycott, divestment or sanctions campaigns against foreign countries.”

The document also acknowledges the long-standing connections between the BDS movement and antisemitism, stating that: “Unofficial boycotts have been associated with antisemitism in the United Kingdom — including kosher food being removed from supermarket shelves, Jewish films being banned from a film festival and a student union holding a vote on blocking the formation of a Jewish student society.” 

While boycotting a country is neither illegal nor racist per se, the problem with BDS is that it is no mere boycott. Supporters of BDS routinely engage the International Definition of Antisemitism by:

  • Setting political tests which Jews must pass, or face being treated as a pariah, especially by demanding that Jews renounce their cultural and religious ties to Israel, the physical centre of the Jewish religion, the world’s only Jewish state, and the country in which almost half of the world’s Jewish population lives;
  • Attempting to isolate and shame Israeli Jews, but not non-Jews, who do not support BDS when they visit Britain or come to study or teach at British universities;
  • Treating the entirety of the State of Israel as occupied land, and thereby asserting that the existence of the state of Israel is a racist endeavour;
  • Working with genocidal antisemitic terrorist organisations;
  • Claiming that Israeli policy is to deliberately kill babies, or harvest the vital organs of non-Jews, which revives ancient blood libels;
  • Attempting to portray Israeli Jews as having created a Nazi state in the model of Nazi Germany, and of ‘using’ the Holocaust as political cover for purported Jewish crimes;
  • Defending against claims of antisemitism by proposing that the allegations are a ruse used by Jewish victims, not to call out racism but to silence criticism of Israel;
  • Projecting antisemitic conspiracy myths about nefarious Jewish power onto the Jewish state.

Campaign Against Antisemitism applauds the Government’s latest efforts in tackling antisemitism in Britain.

Derek Jackson, an anti-vaccination local election candidate for the Liberal Party (no connection to the Liberal Democrats), arrived at the Emirates Arena during the election count wearing sunglasses, a black suit, and a yellow star whilst performing a Nazi salute.

Mr Jackson, who was running for Glasgow’s Southside seat, was accompanied by several Liberal Party campaigners who were all dressed identically to Mr Jackson, and who were also performing the salute. Each of them had drawn red hearts onto the palms of their hands, and when performing the Nazi salute, would claim it was a “love salute.”

The yellow stars, designed to resemble the ones that Jewish Holocaust victims were forced to wear as a mark of identification, had the word “UNVAX” written on them. When questioned about the stars, the Liberal Party representatives stated that they were “sheriff badges.”

In an attempt to satire what he perceived to be the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) restrictions on hate speech, Mr Jackson performed the Nazi salute to a crowd of baffled onlookers as he proclaimed: “Love everyone…spread love…we’re just here to love everybody.”

Speaking directly to the crowd, he went on to say: “You’ve all got to love us as well. You’ve all got to love everybody, people you’ve never met before. You’ve got to care about people everywhere, all the time. You’ve got to give up your freedom and your liberty to love people you never met before.”

After being called a racist by a member of the crowd, Mr Jackson apparently grew agitated. He adopted what appeared to be a frustrated and confrontational tone and stated: “I hope you’re not stupid enough, all of you…I hope none of you are stupid enough to believe we’re promoting fascism, when plainly, and very obviously, we’re here to satire and parody the fascist SNP hate laws. Obviously. Are you all so stupid? Are you all so stupid, you think we’ve come here to promote fascism and racism and Nazism. Really? We are here to campaign against the SNP’s fascist hate speech laws which criminalise you expressing your thoughts in your home.”

Mr Jackson and his supporters were later escorted out of the arena by police.

Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes, and this is not the first time that anti-vaccination campaigners have used the yellow star during events. Recently, London protestors were condemned online for wearing the yellow stars, while French protesters were seen wearing them at a demonstration in Avignon. They have also been seen elsewhere in Europe and North America.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

Darran Davies, the Conservative candidate who used an antisemitic slur on Facebook has won a seat in the Hillingdon Council election.

Mr Davies won with 2,098 votes while Labour candidate Steve Garelick finished a close second with 1,799.

Mr Davies, who expressed “deep regret” for his actions, shared an image of a man on Facebook with the words, “Wanted Jew Boy Reward $100”. Mr Davies shared the image on his personal Facebook page with the caption: “Guys have you seen this bloke.”

A friend of Mr Davies’ apparently commented that the message referred to him because he had not attended a local pub in some time.

When the post emerged last month, Hillingdon Council’s Conservative group leader said: “The posting…relates to the use of an inappropriate nickname among friends. Although the comment was inappropriate and below the standards expected of a Conservative member this has been resolved by admonishing Mr Davies and reinforcing with him the standards expected of persons seeking to represent Hillingdon Conservatives. Mr Davies has shown deep regret for his lack of judgment and has apologised.”

The matter is still being investigated.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.   

The Northern Ireland Assembly has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism. This came despite Sinn Fein’s opposition to the Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) proposal to adopt it.

The DUP motion stressed “the need to tackle the scourge of antisemitism in every aspect of our society” and called on the Assembly to adopt the Definition in full with the illustrative examples, which are integral to the Definition.

Sinn Fein tried to pass an amendment to remove the reference to the Definition, but retained similar wording without the examples.

In the past, Belfast City Council explicitly rejected the adoption of the Definition.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We applaud this decision by the Northern Ireland Assembly to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism. We regret that Sinn Fein opposed the adoption resolution, but its passage is a strong demonstration of solidarity with the Jewish community and a powerful expression of opposition to anti-Jewish racism, which has no place in Northern Ireland or any other part of the United Kingdom. We continue to call on local authorities, as well as universities and other public bodies, to adopt the Definition and apply it in cases of antisemitism.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism applauds the decision. The British Government was the first country in the world to adopt the Definition, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism and Lord Pickles worked hard over many meetings with officials at Downing Street. Since then, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government have also both adopted the Definition.

A judge’s decision has been criticised after he ruled in favour of a claimant claiming unfair dismissal against Lidl after the supermarket reportedly fired him for brandishing his swastika tattoo to a colleague.

Istvan Horvarth, the former caretaker at Lidl’s Telford Hadley branch in Shropshire, was said to have proudly displayed his tattoo whilst laughing. The Hungarian native also reportedly joked that it was “his country’s symbol.”  

The colleague who reported Mr Horvarth, referred to only as MB, was only on their second shift when Mr Horvarth approached him. They alleged that the swastika tattoo was surrounded by barbed wire, and that Mr Horvarth also had other far-right tattoos.

MB said: “[Mr Horvarth] exposed the top of his arm and shoulder and pointed to a tattoo of the swastika symbol. I thought it was disgusting for someone to brazenly show it as a proud symbol. I come from a military background so I was not impressed for that to be displayed so publicly in a company that promotes equality and the acceptance of people from different backgrounds.”

This led to a disciplinary hearing conducted by Andrew Shaw, the branch’s Area Manager, which then resulted in Mr Horvarth’s dismissal. Mr Shaw stated: “These are sensitive issues and I felt it was massively inappropriate for [Mr Horvarth to be] behaving this way. I felt that him showing the tattoos at work was damaging to Lidl’s reputation.”

When questioned, Mr Horvarth apparently claimed that the symbol was a “Buddhist peace symbol”, despite Lidl’s internal investigation confirming that it was indeed the Nazi symbol.

Judge Ian Miller, presiding in the case, concluded that the symbol was offensive, however he felt that a warning about uniform policy would have been more appropriate, and upheld Mr Horvarth’s accusation of unfair dismissal.

Despite stating that there was “beyond any sensible doubt that a Nazi swastika is offensive to most people for obvious reasons,” Judge Miller ruled in favour of Mr Horvarth, partly because he believed that Mr Shaw and branch boss Craig Taylor had already branded Mr Horvarth as a “troublemaker” and a “bully”. Judge Miller also felt that Mr Horvarth was not afforded an adequate opportunity to defend himself during his disciplinary hearing.

Mr Horvarth’s additional claim of race discrimination was denied.

Mr Horvarth is now awaiting compensation from the supermarket chain.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has been monitoring and acting against the threat from the far-right for years and continues to support the authorities following suit.

Image credit: Google

Campaign Against Antisemitism will be writing to Tim Davie, the BBC’s Director-General, after our concerns over a BBC journalist’s social media activity were dismissed by BBC Arabic’s Head of Daily Output.

Last month, Nour Eddine Zorgui shared an article titled “Who are the Israel lobbyists that want David Miller fired?” that referred to Zionism as “Israel’s racist ideology”.

The article was published by The Electronic Intifada, an online news outlet which has also previously attacked Campaign Against Antisemitism.

In a letter from the BBC Arabic’s Head of Daily Output, we have been informed that Nour Eddine Zorgui was merely “reminded of the BBC social media guidelines.”

However, not only is the description of Zionism in the article offensive, but the article and tweet represents an intervention in the public debate over Prof. David Miller, a Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Bristol with a history of peddling conspiracy theories relating to Jewish students. Most recently, he asserted that “Zionism is racism”, declared his objective “to end Zionism as a functioning ideology of the world” and accused the Bristol University Jewish Society of being part of a worldwide Zionist conspiracy, adding that it is “fundamental to Zionism to encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism”. At the same online event, Prof. Miller also observed that the Jewish Society and the Union of Jewish Students are Zionist, thereby implying that Jewish students (and the wider Jewish community) inherently “encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism”.

For a BBC journalist to intervene in this debate, share an offensive article and defend an academic accused of antisemitism – and to do so by suggesting that those making the allegations do so in service to Israel, which is precisely the sort of antisemitism-denial found by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to have contributed to institutional antisemitism in the Labour Party – is unacceptable. It is woefully insufficient for the BBC to be served with a mere reminder of the Corporation’s guidelines.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2020 revealed that two thirds of British Jews are deeply concerned by the BBC’s coverage of matters of Jewish concern, and 55% by its handling of antisemitism complaints.

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors traditional media and regularly holds outlets to account. If members of the public are concerned about reportage in the media, they should contact us at [email protected].

This week saw the first “key monitoring date” in the Labour Party’s Action Plan, agreed with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) regarding antisemitism in the Party.

The Action Plan came following the publication of the EHRC’s damning report into antisemitism in the Labour Party, the product of an investigation in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant. The EHRC found that Labour had unlawfully discriminated against and harassed Jews. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Party.

A large proportion of the requirements due to be met by this first monitoring date are either proposals or internal policy changes, which will be assessed by the EHRC.

However, a number of items are outward-facing and are therefore available for evaluation.

The Labour Party is required by now, for example, to have engaged with stakeholders in the Jewish community and established an Advisory Board on antisemitism. It is understood that the Party has achieved this, but selectively. As we noted earlier this month, Sir Keir’s repeated refusal to engage with us, despite our being the complainant in the EHRC’s investigation into antisemitism in his Party, and Labour’s failure even to acknowledge our complaints against MPs, do not reflect a leadership wholly willing to address past failures.

The Party was also required, by this stage, to have published “at least one performance report”. The Party discharged this requirement earlier this year in part; the report contained ambiguities that made it difficult to assess. In particular, it referenced case numbers in 2014-2018 but appeared to make no reference to 2019 whatsoever.

By this first monitoring date, the Party was required to have published a Complaints Handling Handbook, which it has done. The handbook made some welcome improvements to the process but was largely a disappointment. In particular, the Handbook was pilloried for including a number of examples of what seemingly purported to be best practice, but which in fact served only to illustrate why Labour’s disciplinary process is unfit for purpose.

In one example, a Labour member “posted and shared several things on social media that were antisemitic; using Hitler, Nazi and Holocaust metaphors, distortions and comparisons in debates about Israel-Palestine”. In other words, they breached the International Definition of Antisemitism in at least one and possibly multiple ways. Yet the sanction given in the handbook was merely that the member was given a Formal Warning, which would remain on their record for eighteen months.

These case studies have now, however, been scrubbed from the Handbook entirely.

The Party was also required, by this stage, to have completed antisemitism training for all those officials responsible for disciplinary cases relating to anti-Jewish hatred. However, it recently emerged that a member of Jewish Voice for Labour, an antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, chaired a Labour disciplinary panel on antisemitism just earlier this month. It is difficult to square that development with the fulfilment of the training requirement.

Labour was also due by now to demonstrate to the EHRC that it has completed its “clearing of the backlog” of antisemitism cases. It is difficult to see, however, how the Party can do so before introducing an independent disciplinary system, which it has said it will not do until later this year. Campaign Against Antisemitism has submitted numerous complaints against MPs and others, which we expect the Party to investigate only once the independent system is in place. But the Party has not acknowledged our complaints, and the only indication that the Party has taken any action whatsoever was a report that our complaint against Deputy Leader Angela Rayner was dismissed out of hand earlier this year.

Reflecting on the milestone, Joe Glasman, Head of Political Investigations at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “This week was intended to be a landmark moment in the Labour Party’s recovery from the institutional antisemitism ushered in by Jeremy Corbyn. However, progress has been marked by inconsistencies, lack of transparency and potential burying of awkward issues, for example our complaints against Labour’s Deputy Leader and numerous other MPs.

“Only in the last few weeks, we have seen perplexing disciplinary outcomes, a member of an antisemitism-denial group chair a disciplinary panel, and now Labour has embarrassingly scrubbed its ‘best practice’ case studies from its Complaints Handling Handbook after we and others highlighted their absurdity.

“At this first major juncture in the Action Plan, we are yet to be reassured that the Party is capable of getting to grips with its antisemitism problem.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer study in 2019 found that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

A police officer found guilty of being a member of the banned neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action has been jailed for four years and four months.

Benjamin Hannam, a 22-year-old from Edmonton in North London, has now been fired from by the Metropolitan Police for gross misconduct following his conviction earlier this month. Last year, it was alleged that he belonged or professed to belong to the proscribed group National Action between December 2016 and January 2018 and that he falsely represented himself in his application to join the Metropolitan Police in this connection.

With his conviction at the beginning of April, Mr Hannam became the first police officer to be convicted of far-right terrorism after being found guilty at the Old Bailey of membership in National Action, lying on his application to join the police and possessing guides to knife-fighting and bombmaking. It is understood that the ban on reporting the case was lifted after Mr Hannam admitted possessing an indecent image of a child.

Mr Hannam, who reportedly has autism, was apparently “desperate to impress” an older National Action organiser who gave him free stickers, but he ended his association with the organisation before he joined the Metropolitan Police.

Sentencing Mr Hannam at the Old Bailey today, Judge Anthony Leonard QC told him that “I consider what you did to be very serious and you have harmed public trust in the police by your deceit”, as he sentenced Mr Hannam to four years and four months in prison.

The Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, which carried out the investigation, emphasised earlier this month that there is no evidence that Mr Hannam abused his position at the police force to further his far-right views.

Mr Hannam had denied being a member of National Action before or after it was proscribed, and told the court that he had been attracted to fascism aged sixteen because of its artwork and propaganda and was under the impression that it was a youth network. He denied engaging in any stickering or propaganda campaigns and insisted that he only attended social events.

Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “National Action was proscribed as a terrorist organisation at our behest because it poses a considerable threat. Its members are indoctrinated to kill and instructed in the use of weapons. Benjamin Hannam posed as someone who would protect the public, when in fact he was a member of a dangerous far-right terrorist organisation, in possession of knife fighting and bomb-making manuals, as well as disturbing sexual images of a child.

“We applaud Counter Terrorism Command for its investigation of this very troubling case, as well as the CPS for prosecuting it and the court for delivering an appropriate sentence. Public confidence in the police depends on holding officers to a high standard and zero tolerance of far-right or neo-Nazi infiltration. The verdict and sentence in this disturbing case sends exactly the right message.”

Other members of National Action were recently convicted and sentenced to prison for their role in the organisation.

National Action was proscribed as a terrorist organisation in December 2016 following a long campaign by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others. Under section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000, membership of a proscribed terrorist organisation is a criminal offence.

Image credit: Metropolitan Police

Chelsea Football Club has announced that it has banned an abusive online troll from its matches for ten years after he hounded a Jewish journalist who came forward and received support from Campaign Against Antisemitism. The announcement comes as football clubs around the country are walking out of social media in protest at online hate.

Sam Mole, a twenty-year-old from Kettering, had sent antisemitic and homophobic messages online to freelance Jewish journalist Dan Levene, including one wishing that Mr Levene would die and another lamenting that Mr Levene had not been killed in the Holocaust.

Further abusive messages had also been sent by Mr Mole from another account that Twitter suspended. Mr Mole, a fan of Chelsea Football Club, took issue with Mr Levene’s stance in opposition to antisemitic chanting by some fans of the club.

Earlier this year, a legal case against Mr Mole ended with a judge declaring his regret that “the law prohibits me from punishing you” following a blunder by the investigating police force. Mr Mole had admitted to police that he had sent the abusive tweets in October 2019, but he was found not guilty at Leicester Magistrates Court in February 2021 on the technicality that he was on holiday in Australia at the time, and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the UK’s courts.

Mr Mole was nonetheless issued a three-year restraining order prohibiting him from directly or indirectly contacting Mr Levene and posting messages about him on social media or encouraging others to do so. He was told that if he broke this order, he could go to prison.

The court heard that Mr Mole, a trainee teacher, expressed remorse for his actions. Campaign Against Antisemitism is in contact with the Teaching Regulation Agency.

Campaign Against Antisemitism contacted Chelsea to urge the football club to exclude Mr Mole from attending matches and the club confirmed that it would investigate. Chelsea has now confirmed that it has banned Mr Mole for a period of ten years.

In a statement, Chelsea said: “Following the conclusion of court proceedings in February, the club conducted our own investigation into the matter and has taken the decision to ban the individual from Chelsea FC for a period of ten years. Everybody at Chelsea is proud to be part of a diverse club. Our players, staff, fans and visitors to the club come from a wide range of backgrounds, including the Jewish community, and we want to ensure everyone feels safe, valued and included. We will not tolerate any behaviour from supporters that threatens that aim.”

The statement added: “As a club, we will continue to take action against individuals or groups who produce or disseminate social media posts that contravene these values.”

Chelsea was among nineteen Premiership clubs, along with the Premier League itself, to have adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Dan Levene said: “I’m delighted with this outcome. It sends a very strong message that abusive and antisemitic behaviour online is unacceptable. And it’s particularly poignant coming today, when football clubs are walking out from social media because of racism online. I hope this case leads to better processes at Chelsea and other clubs so that it doesn’t take so long to come to the right decision in future, but this is a good day for the fight against racism in football.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Chelsea should be applauded for banning an abusive troll for ten years. This announcement sends a powerful message that antisemitism in football and online must not be tolerated. Football clubs walking out of social media over online hate is one thing, but backing it up with strong action like this is the strongest antidote.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has long called for tougher regulations on social media sites and that social networks proactively search for and remove hate speech from their platforms.

The BBC has been forced to amend its website to confirm that Jews are indeed considered an ethnic minority, after Campaign Against Antisemitism demanded an apology in response to the BBC’s airing of an offensive segment last month titled “Should Jews count as an ethnic minority?”

In addition to having launched a petition, signed by thousands, calling on the BBC to apologise for the “ridiculous” and insensitive segment, we also submitted a complaint to the Corporation. 

The segment featured four panellists and a guest, Ben Cohen, the Editor of Pink News, who is Jewish. Mr Cohen rightly observed on air that “the notion of this debate is ridiculous”.

Host Jo Coburn proposed that “many Jews have succeeded in reaching high political office and therefore don’t need to be seen as a group needing recognition in the same way as others”, but Mr Cohen observed that Jews “face antisemitism and racism very clearly” and referenced the Labour Party’s institutional antisemitism.

The debate was triggered by social media backlash against Labour’s Deputy Leader, Angela Rayner, who had tweeted that Scottish Labour’s newly-elected leader is “the first ever ethnic minority leader of a political party anywhere in the UK”.

The BBC has now confirmed to Campaign Against Antisemitism that our comments had been passed on to senior editors of the programme, and that they would publish a clarification to their website to “make clear that Jews are officially an ethnic minority.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “It was outrageous for the BBC to air a segment questioning whether Jews count as an ethnic minority. The show’s only Jewish guest rightly considered the debate to be ‘ridiculous’. It is a question that the Corporation would never presume to ask of any other minority community in Britain, and it is telling that it does so in relation to the Jews. Debacles such as this one show why, according to our research, two thirds of British Jews consider that the BBC’s coverage of Jewish matters is unfavourable. Accordingly, we launched a petition, signed by thousands, calling for action, and submitted a complaint to the BBC. We are pleased that the BBC has recognised its error and clarified the position, but it must still consider the editorial failures that allowed the question to be asked in the first place.”

It is notable that the BBC initially rejected our complaint and only upheld it on appeal.

Our Antisemitism Barometer 2020 showed that two thirds of British Jews view unfavourably the BBC’s coverage of matters of Jewish interest (including antisemitism). Given segments like these, this breathtaking finding is wholly reasonable.

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors traditional media and regularly holds outlets to account. If members of the public are concerned about reports in the media, they should contact us.

Ofcom has dismissed a complaint from Campaign Against Antisemitism regarding a Channel 4 segment that criticised the International Definition of Antisemitism without offering a Jewish perspective. The media regulator said that it found “no issues warranting investigation under its rules.”

Speakers during the segment, which lasted nearly ten minutes, repeatedly stated that the Definition “silenced” debate about Israel, which is precisely the “Livingstone Formulation” that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) confirmed was used to victimise Jews in the Labour Party to such an extent that it broke equalities law. In using this antisemitic formulation, the segment breached Ofcom’s guidance on harm and offence.

Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant in the EHRC’s investigation of antisemitism in the Labour Party.

The failure to include a single representative from the mainstream Jewish community – in which there is a consensus in favour of widespread adoption of the Definition – represented a failure by Channel 4 News to show due impartiality in its programme, which is also a breach of Ofcom’s guidance.

In Ofcom’s response to us, they wrote: “In our view, the editorially-linked interview with Daniel Barenboim provided further context and helped to reflect an Israeli and Jewish perspective to the extent it was necessary given the limited content that had referred critically to the policies and actions of the Israeli Government in the earlier Akram Salhab item.”

Regarding our complaints that the Definition should not have been labelled ‘controversial’ due to its widespread adoption, and that under the Definition criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic, Ofcom replied: “In our view, the programme did not suggest that the Definition does not permit any criticism of Israel whatsoever. It also correctly highlighted that calling the existence of a state of Israel a racist endeavour would fall within the [D]efinition of antisemitism. We also considered that there has been a robust debate around the [Definition] and about the government’s efforts to convince universities to adopt it. In this context, we do not consider it would have been misleading to the audience to have described the [D]efinition as ‘controversial’.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2020 revealed that almost half of British Jews consider Channel 4’s coverage of matters of Jewish interest and antisemitism to be unfavourable, while almost a third add that they are unsatisfied with how Channel 4 deals with complaints relating to antisemitism.

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors traditional media and regularly holds outlets to account. If members of the public are concerned about reportage in the media, they should contact us at [email protected]

Brunel University has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

In a statement the University said: “Brunel University London supports initiatives that seek to tackle prejudice and discrimination. It recognises the International Definition as supporting the University’s existing policies on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, reinforcing the message that antisemitism will not be tolerated and will have due regard to the Definition when considering any allegation raised. Council upholds Brunel’s commitment to freedom of speech.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors the adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism by universities.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has consistently backed efforts by the Government to encourage widespread adoption of the Definition by local authorities, universities and public bodies. The UK was the first country in the world to adopt the International Definition, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism, Lord Eric Pickles and others worked hard over many meetings with officials at Downing Street.

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]

The University of Bath has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

In a statement, the University said: “Our University is committed to being an inclusive community, which cherishes diversity. We seek to create a community where hate, harassment and discrimination are never tolerated. Condemning antisemitism and tackling any antisemitic incidents is very much part of this commitment.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors the adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism by universities.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has consistently backed efforts by the Government to encourage widespread adoption of the Definition by local authorities, universities and public bodies. The UK was the first country in the world to adopt the International Definition, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism, Lord Eric Pickles and others worked hard over many meetings with officials at Downing Street.

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]

A fifteen-year-old Abingdon schoolboy has been expelled after allegedly sending an antisemitic image to a Jewish student from the same school.

The image, sent through the social media app Snapchat, was said to have depicted three people dressed as Nazis soldiers.

The teenager also allegedly created a video on Tik Tok, another social media app, in which he was said to have joked about raping a woman from a different Tik Tok video.  

The Headmaster of the prestigious Oxfordshire boarding school, Michael Windsor, said that the videos were “grossly racist and sexist”. He added: “These incidents do not just contravene our Behaviour, Rewards and Sanctions Policy but they go completely against the ethos and culture of the school based on courtesy, kindness and respect.”

The schoolboy has issued a response, stating: “I am deeply sorry and regretful of my stupid actions. I deeply regret my actions and I understand that people could get offended by them very easily but I had no intention of offending or hurting someone’s feelings. In the small amount of time I have had to think about my disgraceful actions, I can certainly confirm that not a single thing I said was intended with harm or to offend anyone. I understand now that it would and I regret posting those things, it was a lack of judgment before when posting, and I did not think about all the people that would see my profile. I am deeply sorry and I promise that this will not happen again.”

However, the boy’s parents defended their son, arguing that social media is not real life and therefore that the punishment should not be too severe, claiming that the videos were “just jokes”.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has long called for tougher regulations on social media sites and that social networks proactively search for and remove hate speech from their platforms.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has called for the proscription of the neo-Nazi group, Atomwaffen Division (AWD). This would make membership of the group punishable by up to ten years in prison.

AWD is a paramilitary neo-Nazi group that trains its members in the use of firearms and reportedly seeks to ignite a race war in the United States. Last year, a member of AWD who made terror threats against American Jewish journalists and activists was sentenced to sixteen months in federal prison in Washington state.  

The Home Secretary has also called for the National Socialist Order (NSO) to be listed as an official alias of AWD. This decision comes after AWD apparently disbanded in the UK last year. However, only a few months later in July, the NSO declared itself to be the group’s successor.

Ms Patel said: “Vile and racist white supremacist groups like this exist to spread hate, sow division and advocate the use of violence to further their sick ideologies. I will do all I can to protect young and vulnerable people from being radicalised which is why I am taking action to proscribe this dangerous group.”

Last year, the Home Secretary proscribed the neo-Nazi Sonnenkrieg Division as a terrorist group. This follows the proscription of National Action in 2016, for which Campaign Against Antisemitism had called.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has been monitoring and acting against the threat from the far-right for years and continues to support the authorities following suit.

The growing community of Charedi Jews in Canvey has been targeted with antisemitic abuse after announcing plans to build a new synagogue.

Local Canvey Island leaders have raised concerns regarding the effect that the planned synagogue may have on the surrounding area, such as noise pollution and traffic, with others also worried that the synagogue’s architecture may not fit in with the other buildings on Canvey Island.

However, while most of the concerns raised were presented as genuine and civil, some Facebook users on the ‘Canvey Island action group’ used the opportunity to spew vile antisemitic vitriol.

One of the comments read: “I’ve objected. P***ed off my 13 yr old has to walk in the road, around their [Charedi Jews] f ing vans dropping 100’s of kids off”…if they allow this more will move here.”

Another wrote: “All they do is take and no give, what is happening here ?????”

Referring to the Jewish community of Stamford Hill, one user said: “Stamford Hill slung them all out, because they took over everything just like they are doing on the island. Unfortunately they don’t think about people around them, it’s their way or no way.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has long called for tougher regulations on social media sites and that social networks proactively search for and remove hate speech from their platforms.

Twitter users have responded to news of a possible launch of a new European Super League (ESL) by blaming Jews for “ruining football.”

The announcement of the ESL has proved controversial and unpopular with swathes of football fans due to the potential harm it is believed may be caused to domestic football leagues. Many fans apparently feel that the concept of the ESL is not in keeping with the game’s integrity.

However, for some Twitter users, what began as reasonable criticism regarding the direction of modern football quickly escalated into vitriolic, antisemitic accusations levelled against some of the league’s creators. who are the owners of the football clubs involved. Some of the owners or chairmen are Jewish. Among the tropes were claims of Jewish greed, a classic antisemitic notion.

One user wrote: “Notably, most of the owners of these ‘big’ football clubs pushing for a Super League are Jews, including Roman Abramovic and the Glazers…..Jews are ruining football, they dont give a f**** about the Gentile fans..”

Another tweeted: “All this talk of the European Super League. It’s jew rats behind it. All money grabbing c***s. It’s no wonder that people hate them as much as the muslims.” This abhorent post was accompanied by a popular antisemitic meme.

Yet another wrote: “Them 3 fat AMERICAN C***S YOU F***ING BASTARDS. And as for that Jew levy your family should have been gassed. Inters owners also ruined the cal champions. Perez is in the f***ing mafia”. Daniel Levy is the Chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, one of the founding clubs of the ESL. He was recently targeted by antisemitic abuse online.“

Another still said: “Hey Zionists it’s not all about money you suckers“.

These were only a selection of the antisemitic abuse online, appealing to classic tropes of Jewish greed, parasitism and control, as well as references to the Holocaust. Campaign Against Antisemitism has long called for tougher regulations on social media sites and that social networks proactively search for and remove hate speech from their platforms. The Premier League and nineteen of its constituent clubs have adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The beautiful game has some very hideous fans, and they are out in force on social media objecting in the most grotesque fashion to the possible launch of a new European Super League. No controversy, however great the passions it may stir, can justify the horrendous antisemitic abuse meted out by some Twitter users towards football clubs and their owners. The Premier League, the clubs and social media networks have a responsibility to remove this material immediately and punish the offenders with bans from attending matches. This minority of perpetrators bring shame to the majority of fans who want to see racism expelled from football.“

Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.

It has been revealed that a candidate for the Scottish National Party (SNP) posted a comment on Facebook comparing the Labour Party’s political strategy in Scotland to that of the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

Colm Merrick, the SNP candidate for Eastwood in Glasgow, the seat representing Scotland’s largest Jewish community, reportedly shared a post in February 2015 in connection with an article. In the post, Mr Merrick wrote: “Analysis of UK Labour in Scotland’s election strategy…becomes truly terrifying when the following potential source of its inspiration is considered: ‘If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it’.”

The quotation is attributed to Joseph Goebbels, one of Hitler’s closest henchmen and Reich Minister of Propaganda for the Nazi Party.

Mr Merrick has since apologised, saying: “I am sorry for this stupid post I made over six years ago.”

Within the last fortnight, another SNP candidate was forced to apologise after comments from 2017 emerged in which she had reportedly compared tactics by the Conservatives to Hitler and the Holocaust.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “This is the second time in as many weeks that past comments by current SNP candidates have emerged comparing a major political party to the Nazis. Last time it was the Conservatives and Hitler, this time it is Labour and Joseph Geobbels, the mastermind of Nazi propaganda.

“Such trivial equations of today’s politics with the darkest period in human history diminish the meaning and memory of the Holocaust. This is the opposite of the example politicians are supposed to be setting, both about Holocaust education and how to conduct public debate.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

Ten Jewish gravestones in Belfast City Cemetery were desecrated in an antisemitic hate crime.

The desecration is believed to have taken place last week on 15th April.

Sinn Fein councillor Steven Corr, along with other Sinn Fein members, were active participants in the clean-up crew. He posted photos of the scene on Facebook, writing: “We work continuously after attacks on all graves belonging to all denominations, all religions, adults and children and these unbelievable attacks on the headstones of dead people needs to stop. Let them Rest in Peace.”

Inspector Róisín Brown of the Police Service of Northern Ireland stated: “I am appalled at these criminal acts. City Cemetery, like any graveyard, is a place where members of the community come to pay their respects. The damage to these graves shows a total lack of respect for others and will have a significant impact on individuals and families within the Jewish Community.

“We are investigating this incident as a hate crime, but we need help from the local community in West Belfast to hold those responsible to account for their actions.

“If you saw anyone acting suspiciously in the City Cemetery yesterday evening, or if you have information that would help our investigation, I am asking you to please contact us on the non-emergency number 101 quoting reference 713 16/04/21.”

Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Vandalism of Jewish graves is a cowardly act, but all too common in Britain and abroad. We can honour the dead by ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to justice, and we support the efforts of the Police Service of Northern Ireland in doing so.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews almost four times more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.

Image credit: Cllr Steven Corr

A graduate of Cambridge University “called for the extermination of all Jewish people,” Manchester Crown Court has heard.

Oliver Bel, 24, of Salford, was also said to have been in possession of a bomb-making manual. He denies the terror charges, claiming that his interest in the book was only “academic.”

However, in 2016 Mr Bel was reportedly in contact with members of National Action, a far-right neo-Nazi terrorist organisation. National Action was proscribed as a terrorist organisation in December 2016 following a long campaign by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others. Under section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000, membership of a proscribed terrorist organisation is a criminal offence.

The court heard that Mr Bel expressed views in “preserving racial superiority.” The court was also told that Mr Bel “harboured and possibly still does harbour extreme right-wing views.”

Prosecutor Joe Allman told the court that in addition to declaring himself a National Socialist, Mr Bel “had held Jews responsible for ‘the communist revolution and pretty much every other progressive movement since then.’”

Mr Bel had also allegedly made several heinous claims, apparently calling for the extermination of the Jews as well as claiming that only 200,000 Jews died in the Holocaust, not 6 million.

Mr Bel was said to have had a track record of troubling online posts. Jurors heard that Mr Bel posted on Facebook: “I just want to go on a killing spree,” and posting just a day later, “Hate them Jews, kill them all then kill all n******.”

The court was told that it was only after Mr Bel made several antisemitic comments, which extended to defending Adolf Hitler, on the Young Free Speech society Facebook page that the Counter Terrorism Unit began to pay attention to him.

It was said that an officer from the Prevent Programme, a division of the Counter Terrorism Unit, spoke to Mr Bel in person. However, Mr Bel continued to espouse “angry and racist views online,” prosecutors said.

In a raid of Mr Bel’s house, anti-terror police found Nazi memorabilia and books about Hitler, with Mr Bel reportedly adding: “I have got more extremist material than that, I have got the Anarchist Cookbook,” which is a guide to making bombs and illegal drugs at home, written during the 1970s.

Jurors also heard that when the police were examining Mr Bel’s phone, which Mr Bel apparently attempted to hide from them, they found conversations between him and Alex Davies, founder of National Action.

In addition to controversial images, they also reportedly found an article written about Mr Bel for the anti-fascist website, Hope Not Hate. The article was said to have included Mr Bel’s online posts, in which he was said to have written: “Jews are parasites, well known for nepotism and financial corruption, with a background of communist revolution and pretty much every progressive movement from there… Extermination is the best option for them.”

The trial continues.

Last year, members of the proscribed National Action group were sentenced to prison, having engaged, amongst other activities, in far-right stickering and recruitment campaigns.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has been monitoring and acting against the threat from the far-right for years and continues to support the authorities following suit.

Image credit: Hope Not Hate

A former student at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) has reportedly been refunded his fees after he was forced to leave the University due to a ”toxic antisemitic environment”.

Noah Lewis was called a “white supremacist Nazi” and accused of covering up war crimes when he proposed to write a dissertation on bias against Israel at the United Nations. He said that fellow students labelled him and other Jews pejoratively as “Zionists” and left antisemitic slurs on lockers, desks and toilet walls.

The student, originally from Canada, matriculated in 2018 but lodged a formal complaint in May 2019 after finding his mental health adversely affected by the stress and extreme discomfort caused by the ”toxic antisemitic environment” which ultimately led him to quit the University and return home.

In July 2019, the University offered an apology for the ”emotional trauma…experienced due to the perceived antisemitic discrimination which he had to endure” and recommended compensation of £500.

Mr Lewis appealed the decision with assistance from UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), however, and in March 2020 the appeal panel determined that the original decision ”had not been adequate” and recommended an external investigation, even if the University reached a settlement with Mr Lewis.

A settlement has reportedly been reached, with Mr Lewis refunded £15,000 in full in December 2020.

Jonathan Turner, Executive Director of UKLFI Charitable Trust, said: ”The panel grasped the nettle and has set a benchmark for best practice which should be followed in other cases of an antisemitic environment. We hope that other students who experience antisemitism at universities will now be encouraged to object.”

A spokesperson for the University said: ”SOAS is extremely concerned about any allegations of antisemitism at our school. Diversity is key to the SOAS mission and we want all our students to feel welcome and supported in their studies. We cannot comment on any individual student case or the outcomes of any appeal. However, where we have established an independent panel as part of a complaints process, we would of course consider the findings of such a panel thoroughly and take appropriate action.”

SOAS has long been a hotbed of antisemitism among UK campuses and has not adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism. Last September, a professor at the University labelled Israel as a “virus” and said that it “exploited the Holocaust” for its own political agenda.

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]