Clive Gabay made the comments in relation to an event that he organised against the Definition, which has been adopted by the University. The event took place at the picket line during unrelated strike action.
Dr Gabay, a long-time campaigner against the Definition, asserted that the University has “adopted the IHRA [Definition] without consultation,” even though it is widely supported by Jewish students and the Jewish community.
He described his talk as arguing that the Definition “is a bad conceptual definition…harmful to Palestinians, to anti-racism and even to Jews,” and reportedly suggested that “antisemitism is taken more seriously than other forms of racism.” Last October, he tweeted: “It’s a question about why Jewish student voices are taken so much more seriously than trans, black and/or Muslim student voices. To come closer to home, at my university all it took was for *2* students to meet with our senior management for the university to adopt the IHRA [Definition].”
The event attracted criticism from academics and students. The President of the Queen Mary University Jewish Society said: “This event should not have taken place on the picket line and damages the relationship between [Queen Mary] and Jewish students. However, as one of the Jewish students who secured the IHRA definition at Queen Mary, it was necessary to attend this teach-out event and respond to the panel’s discourse. I certainly rebutted their comments and demonstrated, giving first hand evidence, why the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism is the definition which protects Jewish students on and off campus and it is here to stay.”
Late last year, the Queen Mary University Students’ Union repealed its previous adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism and replaced it with the Jerusalem Declaration, which is a wrecking document intended to undermine the globally-recognised Definition. The measure was reportedly not discussed with Jewish students, who reacted with disgust.
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].