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StandWithUs UK stall at Leeds University violently destroyed

Updated: Mar 15

13 March 2024

StandWithUs UK are alarmed that our students at Leeds University, who organised a stall to stand up against antisemitism and to raise awareness of the hostages still in Gaza, were violently targeted, with their belongings removed and damaged.

Students were passionate about organising a stall that also positively promoted their Jewish identity on campus, especially after the recent climate of hatred and intimidation at Leeds University since October 7th. 

Most concerningly, we are dissatisfied to hear from our students of the inaction of the police who attended the incident.

StandWithUs UK Fellow said, 'Yesterday a peaceful discussion and information table about Jewish identity and Israel was assaulted by two pro- Palestinian students with them ripping down the flag of Israel on the table and subsequently all the material used being scattered across the floor following the attack.  The table was situated outside the “occupied Parkinsons building” to raise awareness and offer an alternative viewpoint to those occupying the building for passers-by as well as handing out “Leeds against antisemitism” badges.  Minutes after the table was set up, occupiers of the building came outside and held Palestinian flags right next to our table.  Some time later, 2 of these girls bearing the flag then approached the table, were offered badges before they ripped off the flag and ran away giggling and laughing.  The present police saw the event unfold and did not take any measures to identify the girls or take any details down but rather just spoke to them and let them go whilst they were still laughing.'

StandWithUs UK Director of Campus Affairs, Daniel Marcus, said, ‘Campus environments must be protected places for free expression of speech where Jewish students should feel safe to express their identity and not intimidated by violent actors. We applaud the bravery of our Leeds fellows and the resilience of Jewish and Israeli students at Leeds. We demand extremism off our campuses now!’

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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