February 19, 2016

AntiSemitism is a poison that shouldn't be cheapened by misleading allegations

Remember this Oxford University Labour Club antisemitism allegations malarkey began with the resignation of a chap called Alex Chalmers who set out a rambling strawman argument on his Facebook page.  When I read it I saw a comment from a co-chair or former co-chair claiming that he had avoided acknowledging her because she was Jewish and she didn't share his (I think she said) unnuanced view of the Israel/Palestine situation.  Maybe I imagined it because it isn't there now.  My guess is he deleted it.  Another curious thing is that this Alex Chalmers wants his views known and yet his Twitter account is invisible to non-followers and he has to approve the followers rather than block those he doesn't want as many of us do from time to time. Clearly a guy with something to hide. [Alex Chambers has gone visible on Twitter. Not a pretty sight]

But no never mind. Here's an encouraging chunk of an article on the affair in the Oxford Uni students on line magazine, Cherwell:
And Aliya Yule, a member of OULC and organising member of Oxford Jewish Students for Justice in Palestine, said "We are saddened to see the very serious allegation of anti-Semitism being used as an argument against those standing up for Palestinian human rights: it is imperative to reiterate that being critical of Israeli apartheid is not in itself anti-Semitic. Oxford Jewish Students for Justice in Palestine is delighted that OULC voted to endorse Israeli Apartheid Week, and we are proud to be helping organise a week committed to anti-racist, anti-colonial politics.

"As Jewish students, we are committed to the ongoing battle against anti-Semitism, and we don't tolerate it from any quarter. The OULC meeting saw much healthy debate, and none of it was anti-Semitic. Passionate supporters of Israel like Alex Chalmers are of course entitled to their strongly held views, but so too are those of us profoundly concerned by Israel's human rights abuses. Anti-Semitism is a poison, and it shouldn't be cheapened by misleading allegations like this."
Well done Aliya! I never thought I'd find myself praising Aliya.


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