Sussex University and College Union (UCU) has passed a motion on Palestinian solidarity by a majority of more than 87 percent.
The motion was proposed by a collective of 258 Sussex UCU members from across the schools of education and social work; global studies; law, politics and sociology; media arts and humanities; and the University of Sussex Business School.
Its opening statement claimed to echo the sentiment of UCU’s Black Members’ Standing Committee in abhorring “the violence that has claimed innocent Palestinian, Lebanese and Israeli lives in recent days”.
There is no specific mention of or reference to the murderous atrocities conducted by Hamas terrorists.
The motion statement continues: “We emphatically echo the call of Palestinian trade unions to end international complicity with Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity including: the deliberate bombing of civilian homes, universities, schools and hospitals; the blockade of water, food, medical supplies and fuel; the proposal by Israel’s Ministry of Intelligence for the forced expulsion of more than two million human beings into the Egyptian desert.”
It refers to Israel committing “crimes against humanity in Gaza, including collective punishment, ethnic cleansing and unfolding genocide”.
It calls for the University of Sussex to “divest from companies that are complicit in Israel’s militarised violence and oppression of the Palestinian people” and “Reject the IHRA working definition of antisemitism”.
The vote FOR the motion was 87.2%, with 8.5% against and 4.3% abstaining.
Speaking to Jewish News on condition of anonymity, a Jewish member of the university teaching staff said: “It is becoming apparent that as a Jewish staff member at Sussex, it is best for me to keep my head down and hide. In particular, because I believe in the need for Israel and because I am in this sense a Zionist. This is probably indicative of campus’ across the UK. I also know of Israeli staff that are contemplating their place at the university.”
The staff member added: “It is having a direct impact on the discourse that surrounds me and other Jewish and Israeli faculty within academia. Sussex UCU and its members celebrate with this motion the anti-Israel and anti-Zionist rhetoric that dominates, delegitimises, and demonises on campus. It’s notable that there is no mention of Hamas or their responsibilities for a potential ceasefire in the motion. I’m so reticent to go to work. Goodness knows the impact on students.”
The full motion can be read here.
As reported by Jewish News, University College London Union (UCL UCU) voted on 27 October against Israel and for “Intifada until victory” .
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