Jonathan Gullis, the Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent, has written a letter to the University of Warwick in which he has stated that the University’s academics have “sought to provoke Jewish students and prolong their suffering” by passing a motion to challenge the International Definition of Antisemitism.
Mr Gullis wrote to Professor Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor and President at the University, voicing his concern at the University Assembly’s motion to challenge the Definition. Mr Gullis labelled the motion “disgraceful” before alleging that the University’s delay in adopting to Definition, as well as its hesitancy in tackling on-campus antisemitism, had caused “extreme distress for both Jewish students and the wider Jewish community.”
Mr Gullis went on to say that he was “appalled”, accusing the University’s academics of seeking to “provoke Jewish students and prolong their suffering.” Referring to the Macpherson principle on anti-racism, Mr Gullis reaffirmed the importance of allowing Jewish students to determine what constitutes antisemitism.
The MP for Stoke-on-Trent concluded by highlighting the University’s own statement on the welfare of its Jewish students and asking whether or not Prof. Croft would condemn the Assembly’s motion.
Mr Gullis’ letter comes after the University released a statement clarifying that the University’s Assembly is not a decision-making body, and that motions are not binding. It has also stated that the Definition will continue to be utilised in disciplinary matters relating to antisemitism.
Last month at an Education Select Committee, Mr Gullis asked the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, about the adoption of the Definition by universities and whether those that failed to do so would be penalised financially. Mr Williamson said that he backs the campaign for widespread adoption of the Definition, and observed that “We’ve had an exceptionally large rise in the number of universities that have signed up”.
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].