A controversial Warwick lecturer has reportedly claimed that the International Definition of Antisemitism is part of a Conservative plot to “legitimate racist speech and de-legitimate anti-racist and anti-colonial research, teaching and activism”.
Goldie Osuri, a sociology lecturer at the University of Warwick, made the comments at an event in April organised by the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) called ‘Resisting the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism’ (also known as the International Definition of Antisemitism).
UCU has been at the forefront of efforts to oppose or revoke adoption of the Definition at British campuses, and its reputation in the Jewish community is in the gutter. The union recently included the Definition on a list of potential threats in a survey of members.
According to Hurry Up Harry, which this week released audio and a transcript of the event, Dr Osurie added that “Pressure to recognise or adopt the [Definition] with its examples should be understood as a racist move against Palestinians” and that the Definition “should be understood as a way of smearing as antisemitic and hence silencing critics of Israel and pro-Israel advocacy organisations” and “is part of a broader gamut of Tory moves to legitimate racist speech and de-legitimate anti-racist and anti-colonial research, teaching and activism.”
Dr Osuri is part of a coalition of Warwick academics disgracefully trying to pressure the University to retract its adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism, which the University only did after significant pressure.
In the past, the University backed Dr Osuri after she dismissed concerns over the Labour Party’s crisis of institutional antisemitism by saying that such concerns are “an Israeli lobby kind of idea.” The University rejected a complaint by the Warwick Jewish and Israel Society (JISoc) against Dr Osuri. Campaign Against Antisemitism shared the Jewish students’ conclusion that the University had committed “a shameful dereliction of its responsibility to protect Jewish students” and that “the University has chosen to side with antisemites and not Jewish students.”
Earlier this year, the University’s official Twitter account ‘liked’ a tweet endorsing recent inflammatory comments by the academic and conspiracy theorist David Miller, with the University subsequently deleting the ‘like’ and blaming“unauthorised access” to the account.
In the past, other concerns have been raised over the University’s failure to address a scandal over a group chat which gained national attention, in which antisemitic, misogynistic, abusive and threatening messages, including rape threats, were uncovered.
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].