A motion seeking to brand the Union of Jewish Students as an exclusively Zionist organisation failed at the UJS annual conference held online this week.
Its proposer, Nottingham student Daniel Marcus, argued that the new International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism now made anti-Zionist viewpoints antisemitic, but his peers disagreed.
The motion sought to overturn a UJS policy agreed in 2017 which, reflecting a breadth of student thought on Israel, said “anti-Zionist views” must be represented at UJS events on Israel if some UJS members in attendance held them.
UJS’s constitution already commits it to promoting engagement with Israel, but Marcus said its 2017 policy “contradicts UJS’s historical and constitutional position”.
He argued that UJS “should not give a platform to anti-Zionist views” and “should commit to not participating in or promoting any forms of anti-Israel activism”, but the motion was considered on Tuesday and did not pass.
Elsewhere, Jewish students discussed mental health, transgender and non-binary rights, and combatting antisemitism, passing motions in support of a two-state solution, Israel’s right to defend itself and preventing terrorists lecturing on campus.
A UJS spokeswoman said the union “continues to hold Israel engagement at our very core,” adding: “To accuse UJS of abandoning any of its current values after one motion did not pass, is not just factually incorrect but woefully wrong.
“We are proud to facilitate hundreds of Israel related events on campus, to campaign against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and to stand up against the vilification of the State of Israel in all student spaces.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.