Gen­uine fear on cam­pus

The Jewish Chronicle - - News -

JEWISH STU­DENTS are renowned for their pos­i­tive ac­tivism, stand­ing up not only for their own rights and to sup­port Is­rael, but for other mi­nor­ity groups as well.

They should be ap­plauded for their con­sci­en­tious ef­forts.

But re­port­ing their elec­tion hopes this week has, un­in­ten­tion­ally, re­vealed a prob­lem.

Se­nior fig­ures at UJS, and in­di­vid­ual stu­dents from cam­puses, con­tacted me with fraught pleas that the JC should not run the story. Many candidates ini­tially asked to be in­cluded in the cov­er­age be­fore drop­ping out.

Their fears were, es­sen­tially, based on a be­lief that their nonJewish col­leagues on stu­dent com­mit­tees would see elec­tion vic­to­ries as a con­spir­a­to­rial at­tempt by Jews to take over unions.

There was also a sug­ges­tion that re­veal­ing a stu­dent was Jewish could lead to an an­ti­semitic at­tack on them at their cam­pus. More than once I was told that those stand­ing “do not ad­ver­tise that they are Jewish”.

It would be all too easy to laugh off th­ese protes­ta­tions. The sug­ges­tion of a con­spir­acy, pre­sum­ably match­ing those of 9/11 and David Icke’s rep­til­ian hu­manoid Il­lu­mi­nati, reeks of para­noia.

Just last week we re­ported the NUS pres­i­dent’s de­sire to wipe out the scourge of cam­pus an­tisemitism.

The sad re­al­ity, how­ever, is that th­ese are the real, deep-seated fears of our stu­dents, bat­tle-scarred by years of anti-Is­rael mo­tions and boy­cotts.

The wider Jewish com­mu­nity must sup­port them. Af­ter their vic­to­ries we must stand shoul­der to shoul­der with them as they toil on the front line.

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