In a letter, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Croft, told the university’s Jewish Israeli Society (JSoc) president, Angus Taylor, and Jewish Chaplain, Rabbi Fishel Cohen, that the university would not “formally adopt individual definitions of specific forms of discriminatory behaviour.”
Prof. Croft explained that “to adopt one would inevitably lead to the adoption of a whole series of such definitions.” The university, however, would be “mindful” of the Definition.
In response to the letter, Mr Taylor said: “We are deeply disappointed with this decision and call on the university to reverse it without delay.” He called the decision a “shameful abdication of its responsibilities towards Jewish students.”
Mr Taylor added that: “Instead of heeding the Government’s advice and adopting the internationally-recognised Definition, they have instead invented their own pseudo-definition with no consultation from Jewish students at Warwick.”
A university spokesperson said that the Vice-Chancellor has offered to “continue the dialogue” in person with students and the Jewish Chaplain.
In December, the University of Bristol adopted the Definition, after a controversial debate. University College London has also adopted the Definition, following a call on universities to adopt the Definition by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick.
Antisemitism at universities has long been a major focus for Campaign Against Antisemitism, however this year we will elevate it to one of our three major national strategic priorities. This will include working with university administrations to persuade them to formally adopt the Definition.