A climate of fear is stifling free speech, academic research and student activism about Palestine at British universities.
This is the direct result of the government-mandated adoption and use of the so-called IHRA definition of anti-Semitism to investigate and punish alleged incidents of anti-Jewish bias.
That definition, which has its roots in a project supported by Israel’s notorious spying and assassination agency Mossad, is heavily promoted by Israel and its lobby.
An analysis of all the incidents recorded by the European Legal Support Center (ELSC) between January 2017 and May 2022 in which staff, students or outside speakers were targeted with accusations of anti-Semitism shows that the IHRA definition is being used not to combat bigotry against Jews but to silence and intimidate critics of Israel.
In total, ELSC recorded 40 such cases, sometimes providing legal advice to those accused. In 38 cases, the accusations of anti-Semitism proved to be unfounded, while two cases are ongoing.
Overall, 27 individuals or groups faced investigations and often long disciplinary procedures, and two faced threats of legal action.
Twenty-four cases involved university staff, with 18 leading to formal investigations or disciplinary processes.
“In the case of formal hearings, all staff were ‘exonerated of all charges.’ In other words, every allegation of anti-Semitism was found to be false,” ELSC states in a new report co-authored with BRISMES, the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, the largest academic association in Europe focused on the study of the region.
In the other six cases involving staff, no formal complaint was made, the university declined to open an investigation, or the complaint was dismissed.
(📸 Martin Pope / SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire)
From “‘Every allegation of anti-Semitism was found to be false'” by Ali Abunimah. Read the full article at electronicintifada.net.