Goldsmiths announces barrister for independent investigation into antisemitism
Goldsmiths, University of London has announced the barrister who will be leading its “independent review into antisemitism at the College”.
Senior barrister Mohinderpal Sethi KC will lead the investigation, in which current and former University students and staff will have the opportunity to become involved by coming forward with their own experiences.
The report is expected to be presented by next year.
The investigation was announced last year after Professor David Hirsh was reportedly called a “far-right white supremacist” by its then-Students’ Union President.
Initially, the Students’ Union apparently refused to investigate Sara Bafo, its now-former President, following allegations of antisemitism, despite being requested to do so by the University.
Ms Bafo’s alleged tweet was said to have been written in response to a tweet from Prof. Hirsh, a prominent and highly-respected antisemitism expert, which said: “There is an antisemitic edge to official, institutional, university campaigns to ‘decolonise’ education.”
In response to the University’s request for the investigation, Ms Bafo tweeted that the University “has tried to get the SU trustee board to investigate me for a tweet I made in response to a Zionist Goldsmiths academic’s explicit racist history & his delegitimisation of ‘Decolonisation’ campaigns,” adding: “This was a dirty tactic from the institution to silence me further as I was leaving.”
However, despite the Student’s Union denying the investigation on grounds of “free speech”, the University announced that an independent probe will take place.
Frances Corner, the Warden of Goldsmiths, said at the time: “We are supporting Dr Hirsh after unwarranted messages about him were posted on social media which I believe are utterly without foundation. These kinds of behaviours are completely unacceptable and will always be challenged.
“As Warden I want to make it clear that this kind of conduct is not in line with the College’s values and that it brings harm to individuals as well as our good reputation as a place of learning.”
Prof. Hirsh said of the probe: “I am really pleased that the leadership of Goldsmiths is taking this difficult and courageous step. I have been clear that there is a hostile environment at the college for scholars and students who refuse to embrace anti-Zionism.”
Last year, the University also announced that it would adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism but “without the case studies.”
In addition, it said that it would also adopt the Jerusalem Declaration, which is a wrecking document intended to undermine the globally-recognised Definition, owing to the fact that the University’s “academic community” favoured it.
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].org.