Leading UK universities ‘may have breached IHRA guidelines’

In a damning report, a United Kingdom think tank claims that up to a quarter of Britain’s leading universities released statements that veered into anti-Semitism at the height of the recent violence between the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and Israel, reports i24 News.

The Pinsker Centre claimed that student unions or faculty bodies at 12 of the country’s top 40 universities – including Oxford and Cambridge – published “highly partisan” anti-Israel statements that might have breached the widely agreed working definition of anti-Semitism, according to The Daily Telegraph. The centre, which drew a direct causal link between incendiary statements about the Gaza-Israel situation and the massive spike in anti-Jewish attacks on campuses across the UK, maintained that two highly partisan tropes were levelled against the Jewish state; namely that it was guilty of being both an “apartheid” state and one that was a “settler colonialist” entity.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition on anti-Semitism, adopted by the UK government, lists calling Israel a “racist endeavour” or “applying double standards” as examples of what could be anti-Semitic, depending on the context. All but three of the 12 universities criticised in the report have adopted the IHRA definition.
Full report on the i24 News site

The headline of this story was corrected on 17 June 2021 to reflect that the allegation was that universities ‘may have’ breached the guidelines, not that they did breach them, and that this was the opinion of the Pinsker Centre think tank.