Antisemitism in Universities

SOAS University of London

International Definition of Antisemitism

University

The University has not adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

The University has told Campaign Against Antisemitism that: “While SOAS has not adopted the IHRA definition, we are committed to maintaining a neutral platform and ensuring that all members of our diverse community are free to express their opinions in a mutually respectful and collegial environment.

SOAS has a strong academic track record in research and teaching which relates to Israel Studies and Jewish Culture, including the UK’s first Professor of Israel Studies, an active Centre for Jewish Studies and a range of degree programmes including Hebrew with Arabic. The School is also home to the Jewish Music Institute. All of this is part of our leading role in the development of thinking on issues relating to the Middle East.

We will continue to promote open and robust discussion on campus.”

This information was obtained after Campaign Against Antisemitism submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on 10th July 2021. On 25th January 2021, the University responded.

Students’ Union

When asked on 6th August 2020, SOAS 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 Hirsh, a lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London who was appointed as the Chairman of a panel that oversaw an antisemitism-related complaint at SOAS, has said that SOAS could be institutionally antisemitic.

Student refunded tuition fees after being subjected to a “toxic antisemitic environment” at SOAS”.

SOAS Jewish students ask for protection and Students’ Union strips them of right to decide what is antisemitic.

SOAS academics reportedly expressed furious opposition to adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism.

A professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) has called Israel a “Western virus” and accused the Jewish state of using the Holocaust as the “clincher argument” in its “presumed right over Palestine”.

EuroPal invited to speak on antisemitism.

Director, Baroness Amos declined to adopt International Definition of Antisemitism

Antisemitic comments made at lecture organised by SOAS Palestine Society.

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.