Antisemitism in Universities

Birkbeck, University of London

International Definition of Antisemitism

University

The University has told Campaign Against Antisemitism that it has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism in full, including all of its examples. It has not provided evidence to support its claim.

The University said that the Definition was adopted on 27th November 2020.

The University has told Campaign Against Antisemitism that: “The provisions of our Dignity at Work and Study policy and Disciplinary Procedure…and our responsibilities under the Equalities Act 2010 [sic] stand, and are not changed by adoption of the IHRA definition.”

This information was obtained after Campaign Against Antisemitism submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on 7th July 2020. On 14th December 2020, the University responded.

Students’ Union

When asked on 22nd July 2020, Birkbeck Students’ Union failed to confirm whether it has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Incidents

The following are recent incidents that have been reported to us, however we recognise that antisemitism is chronically underreported and it is possible that there are incidents that have not been reported. To report an incident, please contact us.

Professor David Feldman, the director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck wrote an article in The Guardian opposing the use of the Definition at universities.

The High Court rejected a challenge to Ofcom’s decision not to sanction the BBC over its Panorama investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party. The challenge was brought by Justin Schlosberg, a senior lecturer in journalism at the University.

The University hosted the controversial academic Ilan Pappé at a Socialist Workers’ Party event on the topic: “Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism.” Campaign Against Antisemitism urged the University to cancel the event, however it went ahead.

Jewish life on campus

The incidence of antisemitism on a university campus and how the university and its students’ union address antisemitism are matters of serious concern. At the same time, they do not represent the totality of Jewish life on any campus. For further information about Jewish life on campus, please contact the local Jewish Society or Jewish chaplain.

No student should have to endure antisemitism. Campaign Against Antisemitism provides specialist help to students who have experienced antisemitism, including free legal representation. For assistance with antisemitism on campus, please contact us.