Adam Pike , THE JERUSALEM POST
As the tensions around the Gaza conflict begin to subside and another round of the intellectually bankrupt "Israeli Apartheid Weeks" passes by, Jewish students have a chance to step back and take stock. These last few months have certainly been a challenge for the entire community and, as is so often the case, Jewish students were on the front line. In difficult times you learn more about people and this academic term has been the proof of that. No one can deny that the challenges facing Jewish students are great but once again the Union of Jewish Students' (UJS) long-term strategy to tackle them has proved successful.
The steadfast support of the National Union of Students (NUS) and political groups like Labor Students has shown that long-term relationship building, built on a foundation of shared progressive values, works. During the height of the conflict the national chairperson of Labor Students wrote to UJS and stated that "Labor Students has never flinched from speaking out and standing with Jewish students to denounce anti-Semitism and racism of any kind, and I want you to know that that has not and will not change." At a time when condemning Israel and ignoring anti-Semitism seemed to be the easy way out, our real friends didn't let us down.
THE RESPONSE from universities was not always so positive and those institutions who failed to stand up against hatred and support their students against some of the intimidation and harassment we witnessed will be held to account. The new government-led group to tackle campus anti-Semitism, launched by Minister for Higher Education David Lammy, will give UJS the opportunity to challenge the authorities head on and work with them to find solutions and models of best practice. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith also received a letter from Jewish students urging her to ensure that Hizbullah's communications head Ibrahim Moussawi was not given a visa to add to the already rising levels of hate speech we witness on UK campuses, and he was in fact barred from entering.
We also learned about the expediency of anti-Semitism to so many on the supposedly anti-racist far left. Minorities engaged in the usual vitriolic demonization of Israel showed disregard for anti-Semitism and the usual lack of rational thinking around the Middle East. Token gestures toward racism are not good enough when dealing with any other form of discrimination and we won't accept them for anti-Semitism either.
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