Universities have been urged to tackle anti-semitism on campus following a series of incidents reported at Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Sussex and University College London where Holocaust denial leaflets, fascist stickers and swastikas have been found around campuses. 

Academics, student representatives and experts on anti-semitism are concerned about the impact that this has on Jewish students and of the ‘widespread nature of the incidents’.

Two students from the University of Nottingham have been involved in raising awareness for the rise in anti-semitism. Following a visit to Poland, UoN students Harry Moses and Elior Doani, and a student from the University of Hertfordshire, Jodeci Joseph, created a video to briefly give a history of the struggle the Jewish population has been through. The entire video can be found here.

The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) believe that these incidents are part of wider hate crimes on Jewish people and other minority communities.

“the Community Security Trust (CST) have reported a ‘doubling of reported incidents involving Jewish students and academics'”

Josh Nagli, the UJS campaigns director has said that: “it seems like some sort of coordinated activity. I would not say it’s something to be seriously concerned about, but there’s a risk of seeing it more and more on different campuses.”

Recent figures from the Community Security Trust (CST) have reported a ‘doubling of reported incidents involving Jewish students and academics, with 41 incidents in 2016 compared with 21 the year before’.

“higher education institutions have a responsibility to ensure that they provide a safe and inclusive environment”

Poppy Howe, first year Aerospace Engineering student told Impact: “it is something universities need to look into. It is not something that I have personally noticed here in the University of Nottingham, but if something [were to] occur I would hope that appropriate action would be taken.”

A major issue is to now make sure that Jewish students feel safe and comfortable at their universities across the UK.

The universities minister, Jo Johnson, stated: “higher education institutions have a responsibility to ensure that they provide a safe and inclusive environment and act swiftly so that students do not face discrimination, harassment or victimisation.”

Sarah Lindgärde

Image: Heather R via Flickr. License found here.

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