Students at Manchester University Union have rejected a move to make its twinning with a Palestinian university union conditional on it condemning suicide bombings. To the dismay of J-Soc members, Manchester is twinned with Al-Najah National University in Nablus, known for its extremism. They brought a motion for union vote proposing that the twinning should be valid only if Al-Najah condemns terror. After a marathon debate, the suggestion was thrown out by 700 votes to 372. Yair Zivan, campaigns organiser at UJS, says: “It is shocking that Manchester students, in effect, will not condemn suicide bombings.” As this was happening in Manchester, moves were afoot at Leeds University Union — twinned with Bir Zeit University — to follow the precedent of Manchester in erecting a plaque outside its building announcing the Palestinian twinning to all-comers. It was to read as a longwinded polemic against Israel. This proposal fell at union council by nine votes to eight, leaving councillor and J-Soc campaigns officer Jack Codd “very happy, especially given that such a plaque would have proved very divisive and made a lot of Jewish students feel very alienated on campus”. Meanwhile, the tiny Exeter J-Soc was planning to oppose “vehemently” a motion due for debate today to twin Exeter with Bir Zeit. Jonathan Josephs, Exeter’s J-Soc chair, described the resolution as “yet another cynical attempt by the Friends of Palestine to demonise Israel”. Back in Leeds, there was a rare surge in Israel’s popularity on campus. Before the big IsraelRussia game, Jewish students set up a beat-the-goalie competition outside the union, and paraded placards saying “Support Israel to support England”. They even got competitors to wear Israeli flag stickers for the weekend. Who said it is the beer that makes students act funny? Football can have a much stranger effect.