United Kingdom

Soas reimburses students for £ 15,000 for “toxic anti-Semitic environment” |

The University of Source in London has refunded £ 15,000 to students after stating that the study had to be abandoned because of the “toxic anti-Semitic environment.”

The university may also order a new independent investigation into student complaints about anti-Semitic behavior on campus.

This move occurs under pressure on universities to adopt the definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) of anti-Semiticism. Secretary of Education Gavin Williamson wrote to all Deputy Prime Ministers in October, criticizing that “too many universities are unwilling to confront. [antisemitism]”.

Last year, the government said universities would have to work harder to eradicate anti-Semitism on campus after the Jewish community reported that it had to pay for safety at the speaker’s event. I did.

Noah Lewis, a Canadian, enrolled in Soas as a student in 2018/19. While he was in Soas, those who were Jewish and pro-Israeli were called “Zionists,” anti-Semitic graffiti and symbols were found on the walls of lockers, desks, and toilets, and many went to the BDS movement. He claimed to have publicly expressed his support. This promotes boycotts, investment withdrawals and sanctions against Israel.

When he stated his intention to write a treatise on “a structural bias that exists in the United Nations and targets the state of Israel,” he said that fellow students were helping him conceal Israeli war crimes. He accused him of being “white.” Supremeist Nazis “.

The student filed a formal complaint in May 2019, according to the Israeli UK Attorney (UKLFI), who provided legal assistance to Lewis. He said the stress and extreme discomfort caused by the “toxic anti-semitic environment” exacerbated his anxiety and mental health problems. .. Feeling he had no choice but to leave college and return to Canada, he demanded a refund of tuition and related costs.

In July 2019, a panel investigating Lewis’s allegations apologized on behalf of Source for “the emotional trauma he experienced due to anti-Semitic discrimination recognized as having to endure.” We recommended £ 500 compensation.

Lewis appealed the decision, and in March 2020, the Appeals Commission concluded that there was a tentative proceeding to re-examine Lewis’s first complaint from the outside, and the original investigation was “not enough.” Said.

The Appeals Commission said such an investigation should proceed even if Source decides to settle with Lewis regarding his charges.

According to UKLFI, Lewis received a total of £ 15,000 from Soas on December 24th. The school’s new director, Adam Habib, who will take office in January, is expected to decide whether to implement the Appeals Commission’s recommendations for a new investigation.

A university spokesperson said: “Soas is very concerned about anti-Semitic allegations in our school. Diversity is the key to Soas’ mission and we are welcomed and endorsed by all students in their studies. I want you to feel that you are.

“We cannot comment on the outcome of individual student cases or appeals, but if we set up an independent panel as part of grievance, of course, we will thoroughly review the findings of such a panel. We will consider and take appropriate measures. “

The school’s Jewish Studies Center “has plenty of opportunities to learn about Jewish culture and traditions,” and Hebrew was offered at the undergraduate and master’s levels, a spokesperson added.

Jonathan Turner, Executive Director of UKLFI Charitable Trust, said: “The panel has grasped nettles and set benchmarks for best practices to follow in other cases of the anti-Semitic environment. Other students experiencing anti-Semitism at the university are now encouraged to oppose. hoping.”

Soas reimburses students for £ 15,000 for “toxic anti-Semitic environment” |

Source Soas reimburses students for £ 15,000 for “toxic anti-Semitic environment” |

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