Survey shows boycotters flourishing
A STUDY has revealed that increasing restrictions on free speech on campus are having a profound impact on proIsrael students.
There are currently 13 student unions at British universities that have adopted BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanction) policies against Israel, according to research by online magazine Spiked.
Across the country’s 115 universities, Israel was the only individual country targeted by boycotters.
Spiked deputy editor Tom Slater, who compiled the rankings, said Israel supporters had been hit hard by the trend towards censorship and bans.
“If you’re pro-Israel on campus today you haven’t got a hope in hell of holding a debate or inviting a pro-Israel speaker without facing pickets and censorship,” he said.
“More and more students’ unions are signing up to BDS. Even at universities that haven’t, campus campaigners find novel ways of making sure pro-Israel events don’t go ahead.
“To my mind the war on pro-Israel students is the most explicit and wide- spread form of political censorship that we see on campus today.
“Pro-Israel students have told me they don’t even feel welcome at their own universities. Students who believe in freedom of speech — no matter what side they come down on in the IsraelPalestine debate — need to start piping up about this. It’s a scandal.”
However, Union of Jewish Students campaigns director Russell Langer said the vast majority of pro-Israel events on campus were not targeted by protesters.
He said: “In the most extreme of cases there have been some calls to stop