Social Workers Union disgracefully refuses to endorse International Definition of Antisemitism
A prominent union representing social workers in the UK has released a statement saying that it will not endorse the International Definition of Antisemitism.
The Social Workers Union (SWU), which is an independent trade union and member of the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU), admitted in its statement that the Definition is “helpful”, but it erroneously states that the examples used to support the Definition “have been regularly used to conflate criticisms of Israel with antisemitism and to frame defending Palestinian rights as antisemitic.”
The statement concludes by saying that “It is the union’s position that antisemitism must be fought at every turn, and that the fight against antisemitism should not be used to delegitimise the fight against the oppression of Palestinians by Israel’s apartheid system.”
In response, a lecturer in Social Work and Social Care at the University of Sussex has expressed his concerns on behalf of Jewish social workers, who reportedly feel deeply concerned by this decision.
Dr Paul Shuttleworth says that Jewish social workers feel “scared” and “uncomfortable” by how their colleagues have responded to the fight against antisemitism.
Dr Shuttleworth tweeted: “It’s uncomfortable being a Jewish social worker at the moment. We are not being listened to and non-Jews are deciding whether we are allowed to define antisemitism. Yes this is real. It puts Jewish experience up for debate by non-Jews.”
The SWU also reportedly backed a motion brought by members of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and the BASW conference to reject the Definition. That motion has now been deferred.
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