The controversial organisation, EuroPal, is scheduled to present a session on antisemitism at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London on 7th March, despite the group’s history of promoting an antisemitic conspiracy myth.
The event is part of a day long student workshop titled ‘Advocacy for Palestine on Campus’, hosted by SOAS’s Palestine Society. The particular session is intended to “[look] comprehensively at the ‘new antisemitism’ and how it has affected Palestine advocacy at large, and what it means for pro-Palestinian advocacy moving forwards.”
It is outrageous that EuroPal could be invited to deliver a session on antisemitism, given its own troubling history. The organisation is reported to have published and distributed a pamphlet containing antisemitic conspiracy theories once employed by the Nazis and since by modern-day neo-Nazis and white supremacists such as the KKK.
The pamphlet – ‘Basic Facts on the Palestinian Issue’ – promulgates the Khazar myth, which is a universally discredited, derided, offensive and decidedly unacademic theory that Ashkenazi Jews are descended from a nomadic people in Central Asia who converted to Judaism during the Middle Ages. The theory’s sole purpose is to delegitimise the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in its ancestral homeland. It is unconscionable for an organisation that holds antisemitic views to be allowed on campus by SOAS for the purpose of delivering training in antisemitism.
SOAS has in the past refused to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, despite growing concerns over campus antisemitism, thereby affirming the abysmal reputation of the university in the Jewish community.
A spokesman for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “EuroPal has no place on a university campus. For such an organisation to lead a discussion on antisemitism is an insult to the Jewish community and to what is left of the integrity of the university, which is already known within the Jewish community as the School of Antisemitism.
“Time after time SOAS manages to fall short of the ever lower expectations accorded to it by the Jewish community. We are consulting our lawyers on measures we can take if this event goes ahead.”
Last year, the Equality and Human Rights Commission published a report showing that two-thirds of students who said that they had experienced racial harassment during the first half of the 2018/19 academic year did not report it to their university.
The former Universities minister, Chris Skidmore, has called on universities to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, with the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick suggesting that public funding for institutions that fail to do so may be in jeopardy.
If any students are concerned about antisemitism on campus or need assistance, they can call us on 0330 822 0321, or e-mail email@example.com.
Campaign Against Antisemitism is currently raising a litigation fund, a major focus of which will be to challenge universities through legal action. Please consider contributing.