UK PM calls on university leaders to protect Jewish students

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called on university bosses to protect Jewish students amid growing campus antisemitism.

In Britain, protest camps have sprung up at several universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, in solidarity with Gaza and the US protesters. Sunak says a vocal minority of those protesting on campuses were propagating harassment and antisemitic abuse, reports The Jerusalem Post.

„Universities should be places of rigorous debate but also bastions of tolerance and respect for every member of their community,” Sunak said in a statement ahead of the meeting.

Pro-Palestinian student protests have sprung on campuses worldwide since October 7, demanding the end of the Gaza war and that the universities stop doing business with Israel or companies they say support the war against Hamas.

In Britain,several universities have been occupied by protest camps, including Oxford and Cambridge, however, as opposed to protesters in the US, UK demonstrators have not clashed with the police. Nevertheless, they are criticized by local antisemitism campaigners and pro-Israeli counter-protesters have denounced what they see as antisemitism and anti-Jewish harassment.

At the meeting to address campus protests and antisemitism, Sunak, his education minister and communities minister met with vice chancellors from some of the country’s leading universities, stressing the need for a zero tolerance approach to antisemitic abuse on all campuses.

Representatives from the Union of Jewish Students, which has said the encampments create a toxic environment on campuses, also attended the meeting.

 

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