Report urges universities to drop antisemitism definition

An influential academic association representing lecturers specialising in Middle Eastern studies has called on United Kingdom universities to drop a controversial definition of antisemitism endorsed by the British government because of concerns it is being used to target students and staff critical of Israel, writes Areeb Ullah for the Middle East Eye.

A new report released on Wednesday 13 September and co-authored by the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies and the European Legal Support Center found that cases of staff and students being accused of antisemitism in universities that have adopted the definition were “undermining academic freedom and freedom of expression” on campuses.

More than 200 universities, colleges and higher education providers in the UK have adopted the definition proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). In 2020, Gavin Williamson, who was then education secretary, threatened universities with funding cuts if they failed to adopt the definition. Critics of the IHRA definition say it conflates antisemitism with criticism of Israel in a number of accompanying examples.
Full report on the Middle East Eye site