(London, UK -- July 3, 2023)
StandWithUs UK was honoured to engage with the Parliamentary Taskforce on Antisemitism. We welcome the recent report from Lord Mann's office and are proud to have been named as a contributing organisation to its findings.
The report confirmed what we have observed on university campuses: Jewish students, due to both real and perceived antisemitism, often feel compelled to conceal their Jewish identity and their intrinsic Jewish connection to Israel. This is a tragic reality that must be addressed.
The report reaffirmed the inseparable bond between Jewish identity and Israel, highlighting that an overwhelming 93% of British Jews affirm that Israel plays a significant role in their Jewish identity. Furthermore, the report describes instances of students being subjected to abuse when sharing their opinions on Israel or engaging in any activity related to Israel. There is also a concern among Jewish Societies that participating in any Israeli-related activity may attract unfair, unwarranted, and sometimes violent backlash from some activist groups.
StandWithUs UK remains firmly committed to empowering Jewish students, fostering Jewish pride, and promoting confidence in expressing their connection to Israel.
We firmly believe that openness and dialogue are essential in combating ignorance and prejudice. To this end, we will continue our efforts through educational programmes, events, and speaker series for all age groups in society, Jewish and non-Jewish, to provide a platform for frank and open conversations about Judaism and Israel.
By destigmatising the dialogue surrounding these topics, we can create an inclusive and respectful environment that encourages understanding and appreciation of Jewish culture and Israel's rich heritage.
We firmly believe that combating antisemitism and anti-Zionism is of great public importance. We join the Parliamentary Taskforce of Antisemitism in their recommendations to widely spread the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance - IHRA -definition of antisemitism. It is indeed a necessary tool to address those reprehensible attacks and behaviour directed at the Jewish community and Israeli supporters.
StandWithUs UK stands resolute in our mission to stand with Jewish students, promote their well-being, and fight against all forms of antisemitism. We are dedicated to working together with universities, communities, and individuals to ensure that our campuses remain safe and inclusive spaces for Jewish students to thrive and proudly embrace their Jewish identity, heritage, and connection to Israel.
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.