Leeds University Union last night voted in a panel decision against a proposal to combat antisemitism. Jewish students have described the atmosphere at the meeting as “intimidating”.
The panel vote required 12 votes to pass the motion but only 10 voted for and 5 against. This means that the motion for the Union to combat antisemitism will now be decided by a student referendum, which will involve all students on campus.
The motion called for the adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism, ensuring that sabbatical officers receive training on how to tackle antisemitism and calling for the University of Leeds to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day annually.
Leeds Jewish Society said that it was “incredibly disappointed” in a statement on Twitter, adding that “the forum involved sniggering and some students asking us to withdraw the motion in full or amend it”, explaining that “in theory, [Leeds University Union] could be giving money to students to run [a referendum campaign] against combating antisemitism. We will not cower. Jewish students have a right to feel safe on campus.”
The proposer of the motion Emma Jacobs tweeted that she “barely slept last night. I cannot stop thinking of the injustice…why’s the Jewish community the only one who aren’t [sic] allowed to define our own oppression?”
In the name of democratic accountability, Campaign Against Antisemitism calls for the names of those students who voted against the motion to be released by Leeds University Union so that they can be publicly judged for their actions. Anybody with information about their identities should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.