Warwick Uni dismiss antisemitism complaint against professor

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Warwick Uni dismiss antisemitism complaint against professor

EXCLUSIVE Sociology professor Virinder S Kalra had been moderator of an online event in May at which he praised as a "good point" a Facebook post linking Zionists with the German Nazis

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Warwick University's Virinder S Kalra read out the comments during a webcast last week
Warwick University's Virinder S Kalra read out the comments during a webcast last week

Warwick University has dismissed a complaint made by Jewish students against a professor that alleged he “made and allowed to be made antisemitic comments” while hosting an online debate.

Jewish News had exclusively revealed in May how sociology professor Virinder S Kalra had been moderator at an event organised by the Institute for Palestinian Studies.

During the 26 May lecture delivered by the author Amrit Wilson, the Warwick academic quoted a Facebook comment which said: “It is important to point out the Zionists were the only group that broke the Jewish boycott of the Nazis.”

Kalra continued: “Many Nazis called themselves Zionist since they would accomplish their ideology of cleansing European Jews.”

He added there were “many links between Israeli far-right and neo-fascist white supremacists united in the hatred of Muslims all over Europe in the West broadly.”

A complaint submitted to the university noted how the professor had described the Facebook comment as a “good point” as he read it out.

The Union of Jewish Students were among those to condemn Kalra alleging he had spread antisemitic conspiracy theories.

But responding the complaints about the lecturer, Geraldine Mills, Warwick’s HR director, wrote:”The university has undertaken a thorough review of your complaint.

“It has been determined in line with the university’s framework, that the complaint was not established, and therefore the matter will not be considered further.”

The letter cited the IHRA definition of antisemitism and said “there are no words set out in the complaint (which are a transcript of what Professor Virinder Kaira read out in his capacity as moderator) that could “satisfy” the examples set out of anti-Jewish racism.

It also said claims the professor had also allowed Amrit Wilson to “make a number of antisemitic remarks without challenge” is “inequitable.”

The letter said it would not be “proportionate to hold a moderator responsible for the words and ideas of other speakers.”

It was then added: “We want to be clear that we take all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously.”

Jewish News has contacted Warwick University for further comment.

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