(London, 18 November, 2021) StandWithUs UK is outraged that a Jewish Society Shabbat Dinner, on the 19th of November, celebrating cultural diversity at Warwick University, should be met with a distorted smear campaign.
The Jewish Society, StandWithUs UK, The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and the Jewish Agency partnered to organise an enjoyable Shabbat dinner for Jewish students and others as part of “Mizrachi Heritage Week '' – celebrating Jewish heritage in the Middle East. The UJS representative was invited as a guest to attend the dinner and discuss her ethnic background and her personal journey.
The host of the event, StandWithUs UK Emerson Fellow and President of Warwick Jewish Society had openly encouraged dialogue and respect for the speaker and the right for the event to go ahead without disruption. Instead, the speaker was targeted due to her nationality, in an attack on free speech and campaign of intimidation. This is coming at a time when we are deeply troubled that complaints from Jewish students about antisemitism at Warwick have been dismissed or met with indifference from officials tasked with protecting the rights of minorities. Instead, Jewish students have faced efforts to disadvantage them based on their group membership.
It is unfortunate that instead of engaging in open debate, anti-Israel activists have chosen to bully Warwick students and spread lies about StandWithUs UK, in an effort to prevent freedom of expression on campus. As an independent education charity StandWithUs UK is intent on ensuring that, for all of its programmes and activities, any and all individuals are welcome, regardless of race, religion, ethnic background, age, nationality, sex, gender political affiliation or socio-economic status. Our charity has explicit policies against Islamophobia and other types of bigotry.
“That some individuals may disagree, even vehemently, with our activities, does nothing to alter our commitment to inclusion and unequivocal opposition to all forms of hate.” Said Raffy Lachter, Manager for Student affairs “StandWithUs UK has worked proudly and collaboratively, for many years, with Muslim, Christian, and Jewish students and community members who are dedicated to Israel education and combating antisemitism. We pride ourselves on growing and developing as an organisation focused on grassroots education and dialogue. Our programmes and activities are open to all who are willing to engage, learn and respect the rights of all people to freedom of speech and equality.”
Sara Sherrard, Executive Director said “We are well aware that this smear campaign is meant to shut down events and side-line students who wish to learn more about Jewish connection to Israel, about coexistence in the Middle East and related topics. However, StandWithUs UK will continue to carry out our activities as we have always done. We remain committed to the truth and fair discourse, combating antisemitism and teaching about Israel together with any and all who are committed to the same goals, regardless of their identity. We urge allies from all backgrounds to stand with us against efforts to silence diverse Israeli voices and help bring unity to the campus, rather than hate and division.”
StandWithUs UK is a non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organization, part of an international movement that works to inspire and educate people of all ages and background about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism.
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.
For more details and enquiries, contact:
Sara Sherrard, Executive Director - 07939 016 886 firstname.lastname@example.org