September 23, 2005

Inquiry urges Students' Union to support zionism

Well that's the impression you might gain from this week's Jewish Chronicle frontpage report on an "independent inquiry into alleged failures by the National Union of Students to tackle anti-Semitism [that] has recommended a raft of measures to improve relations with Jewish students." From the article you wouldn't know that the inquiry concludes:
Having looked at the background to the incidents there were clearly occasions when matters could have been dealt with more quickly, or more efficiently, but do not demonstrate apathy to anti-semitism.
That was reported in the Guardian, not the JC. Both the Guardian and the JC agree that the inquiry was commissioned by the NUS after the resignations of some Union of Jewish Students activists but only the Guardian reported the inquiry's criticism of one of the activists, Luciana Berger,
the report is also critical of Ms Berger, who attended a meeting with the head of the School of Oriental and African Studies following complaints from Jewish students that the union was tolerating anti-semitism. Ms Berger should not have attended the meeting, which was implicitly critical of the union, when she was a national executive member, it says. Protocol dictates she should have sought to support the union in tackling the problem first.
In fact the JC report seems to portray SOAS as the villain of the piece.

The JC includes in the "raft of measures" recommended by the inquiry, the adoption of the "EU Monitoring Committee definition of anti-semitism, which includes demonisation of Israel," whatever that means. I suppose we can look forward to endless wrangles about what constitutes "demonisation".

Curiously the Totally Jewish website reports the inquiry under the heading "Report clears students union." Again, you wouldn't think so from reading just the JC report.

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