Monday, January 23, 2017

UK: SOAS students 'scared to wear the star of David and speak Hebrew’

Via Evening Standard:
A proudly-progressive stance is part of SOAS’s draw. Russell Brand and political activists are among its current student body, alongside more typical students (one on SOAS steps was debating the merits of cigarettes versus spliffs when I visited), while Jemima Khan received her MA there in 2003. The school is diverse: its 5,900 students hail from 133 countries, and it likes to celebrate this diversity.

But according to Avrahum Sanger, president of SOAS’s Jewish Society (JSoc), there is a minority that doesn’t feel able to express itself. He believes there is an anti-Semitic sickness in the heart of Bloomsbury.

“Some students tell me they are too scared to wear the star of David, or speak Hebrew, and Israeli students don’t want to attend Jewish events because they’re afraid of being singled out,” he tells me. “Even I feel uneasy when I go into the student union. And yet someone from the student union...” — he wouldn’t be drawn on who — “...told me that the anti-racism officers didn’t have a mandate to address anti-Semitism as it wasn’t in their manifesto. Anyway, the only form of anti-Semitism people think of here is Hitler.” 

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