Cambridge SU condemns in the strongest possible terms the targeting of Jewish students through an anti-semitic article in recent days relating to an event with the rapper Lowkey. It is absolutely unacceptable for an international news outlet to name students, without offering them right of reply, in an inaccurate story which describes the University’s Jewish Society as a ‘pro-Israel group’*. This is a clear example of antisemitism, and Jewish students have experienced significant and extremely distressing online abuse as a result of this story. Whoever provided the news outlet with the information to run their article so behaved unacceptably, and put students in harm’s way. We extend our full support and solidarity to the Jewish students who have been affected and stand with them, now and always, against antisemitism.
We want to see constructive dialogue between PalSoc and JSoc, including engagement from PalSoc with the concerns raised by JSoc about the event and mistakes made in the subsequent handling of it. We are aware of internal governance issues that impacted PalSoc’s ability to respond as quickly to the evolving incident as fast as committee members wanted to. We are pleased to hear that the PalSoc committee opposed rescheduling the event in order to allow them time to respond to the concerns raised by Jewish students and that the event that went ahead was not affiliated with Palsoc. However, we are still disappointed to hear that this has not been effectively communicated either publicly or to Jsoc privately. Going forward, we will be working with both societies to ensure that a productive dialogue takes place and to help mend frayed relationships.
We want our student community to be a vibrant space where complex topics can be discussed in a way that is respectful and productive. Cambridge SU stands fully in support of the Palestinian struggle against the illegal occupation of its land. We will also always stand against any conflation of this struggle with unacceptable antisemitic rhetoric and abuse, as seen in the coverage of this story. We see these two imperatives as entirely compatible.
We would encourage any student affected to use College or University welfare services to access support, details of which can be found here.
* This article was amended to correct a misquotation of the article this statement refers to. We had stated in error that the article referred to the CU Jewish Society as a "pro-Israel lobby group", when in fact it referred to them as a "pro-Israel group".