Uk­cam­pus not hate­ful, says en­voy

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JEN­NIFER LIP­MAN

THE BRI­TISH Am­bas­sador to Is­rael has ques­tioned the im­age of univer­sity cam­puses in this coun­try be­ing “hot­beds of anti-Is­rael sen­ti­ment”.

Matthew Gould em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of not over­stat­ing the prob­lem and not putting off Is­raeli stu­dents from study­ing in the UK.

He made the com­ments af­ter meet­ing mem­bers of the new Union of Jewish Stu­dents com­mit­tee dur­ing a trip to Is­rael. Prais­ing UJS for its ex­cel­lent work, the am­bas­sador said that he looked for­ward to work­ing closely with them in fu­ture.

He said he had been re­as­sured by the team that “the ex­pe­ri­ence of the vast ma­jor­ity of Is­raeli and Jewish stu­dents on Bri­tish cam­puses is a hugely pos­i­tive one”. He also noted that no Bri­tish univer­sity had backed a boy­cott of Is­rael.

Daniel Gra­biner, the UJS pres­i­dent, said he shared Mr Gould’s view that the vast ma­jor­ity of Jews and Is­raelis had a “per­fectly nor­mal stu­dent life” on Bri­tish cam­puses, al­though he ac­knowl­edged that prob­lems did oc­cur at times.

Mr Gould has pre­vi­ously called for more aca­demic co-op­er­a­tion be­tween Is­rael and the UK and launched the UK-Is­rael Life Sci­ences Coun­cil in Jan­uary.

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