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StandWithUs UK hosts roundtable at the House of Lords with parliamentarians to hear university student testimony on abuse and mistreatment on their campuses since October 7th.

1st February 2024

At a private roundtable meeting hosted by Lord Ian Austin at the House of Lords, StandWithUs UK were proud to bring together over 25 university students from across the UK to convey how their experiences on campus have been affected since the October 7th massacre and war with Hamas.

Students conveyed stories of physical abuse and intimidation, ostracisation from their peers, the politicisation of student unions and the persistent neglect from university administrations.Present at the meeting were Lord Polak, Baroness Barran and Lord Austin.

One of the many testimonies that stood out was from St Andrews student Annie Gishen who described instances of abuse including a “Magen David necklace being ripped off a student” and how an “egg was thrown at a visibly Jewish student wearing a kippah”. Annie also described how she had to leave her student accommodation because her presence there with her Israeli flag made her flatmate uncomfortable and “complicit in Israel’s war crimes”.

Lord Polak expressed deep worry at hearing the violent experiences of students, making the point that, “the main concern is the lack of accountability and action taken by the university administrations”.

Queen Mary University Student, Benjamin Lea, shared how societies at the university shared social media posts and statement praising Hamas and the October 7th massacre, with no repercussions whatsoever.

‘It is vital that representatives of the UK government are under no illusions about the extremity of the situation on UK university campuses for Jewish and Israeli students. These students who joined us today are exceptional in their bravery however their experiences are sadly far from exceptional and are fast becoming the norm. There must be stronger accountability for university administrations and student unions and zero tolerance for bullying, intimidation and extremism within our academic bodies.’  Director of Campus Affairs at Stand With Us UK, Daniel Marcus who chaired the meeting.

The gathering is part of StandWithUs UK’s efforts to ensure students and communities across the UK are empowered to combat antisemitism and Israel misinformation wherever they face it. The conclusions from this roundtable meeting at the House of Lords will contribute to a report being compiled by StandWithUs UK, shining a light on the damning realities of Jewish and Zionist students on university campuses.

About StandWithUs UK:

StandWithUs is an international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organisation that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism. Founded in 2010, StandWithUs UK has become a recognised support system and leading resource for students on UK campuses. We empower and energise students and communities with leadership training and educational programmes on both school and university campuses. StandWithUs informs through social media, printed materials, digital platforms, film and newsletters. The StandWithUs flagship Emerson Fellowship programme seeks to raise students into future leaders, equipped to stand strong in the face of antisemitism and anti-Zionism. We believe in the right of the Jewish People to self-determination in their historic homeland of Israel. We educate the facts in an unbiased and holistic manner, with an open mind, reflecting on views from all sides of the political, social and humanitarian spectrum whilst promoting peace. StandWithUs UK believe the current discourse surrounding Israel on campus all too often crosses the line between legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies and the dangerous, mainstream, antisemitic rhetoric which stands contrary to the IHRA definition of antisemitism. We work to educate on that distinction, encourage civil discourse on legitimate criticism of Israel, and to fight antisemitism wherever it emerges.


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