The JSAA reached out to The Oxford Student affirming that, “the statement expresses support for both Jewish safety and Palestinian freedom, reiterating calls against anti-semitism, while expressing concern over the UJS’s conflation of anti-zionism and anti-semitism.”
The JSAA statement reaffirmed the condemnation of anti-semitism within the UJS open letter, citing, “we are acutely aware of how anti-semitism affects Jewish students (and Jewish staff) on university campuses. British society is bathed in the legacies of white Christian supremacy, colonialism and antisemitism – these phenomena are interlinked and therefore must be addressed jointly to keep all students safe. We wholeheartedly agree that, as stated in the UJS letter, ‘Jewish students have a right to be included in NUS and the wider student movement’. We also understand that many Jewish students who signed the UJS letter did so because they are concerned about anti-semitism on campus… We take particular issue with the ways that the UJS has conflated anti-semitism and anti-zionism in this instance. The inclusion of a demand that NUS adopts the IHRA working definition on anti-semitism in their letter, despite evidence that such a move would put Palestinian students at risk, is unacceptable.”
“The pre-emptive scrutiny of Muslim women is symptomatic of the nature of Gendered Islamophobia. Individuals and groups will go out of their way to seek to criminalise Muslim women in leadership, without acceptance for any space for growth and change.”
The JSAA further states that UJS cannot claim to speak for all Jewish students, and is unrepresentative of the diversity within Jewish opinion. “We have long-held concerns that the UJS is more preoccupied with supporting and advocating for Israel – whether through their IHRA campaign, their continual partnership with the right-wing Hasbara organisation Stand With Us, or their support for politicians like Nadhim Zahawi – than with protecting or advancing Jewish student life or interests. We are hard-pressed to understand how any of these activities relate to combatting anti-semitism. They are also inherently exclusionary to Jewish students who identify as anti-occupation, non-zionist or anti-zionist,” they continue.
In a recent email to the Oxford SU, the JSAA has stated that, “we, Jewish Students Against Antisemitism, are a movement founded by Jewish Students at the University of Oxford following the recent UJS open letter criticising the NUS. Though we recognise that Shaima Dallali has made some problematic comments, the UJS’s approach is ineffective in tackling anti-semitism and fails to align anti-semitism with anti-racism and liberation more broadly. Our group seeks to campaign both for a liberated Palestine and Jewish safety and wellbeing on university campuses. We stand behind your statement on the NUS and ask that you continue to advocate for Palestinian human rights and protect Jewish Students’ voice like our own.”
The Oxford Student has reached out to the Oxford SU and Oxford JSoc for a response regarding the statement from JSAA. Both parties have declined to comment.
The Oxford Student does not claim official endorsement towards any of the aforementioned individuals or organisations. We are committed to maintaining integrity through objective, respectful, and factual news reporting.
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