May 19, 2016
Baroness Jan Royall’s report on anti-Semitism at the Oxford University Labour Club isn’t being released, so it’s significant that she took to The Guardian‘s Comment is Free section to discuss the problem.
I am clear there is a cultural problem in the OULC, which means Jewish students do not always feel welcome. We have to take action to change that. Many students reported that should a Jewish student preface a remark “as a Jew …” they are likely to face ridicule and behaviour that would not be acceptable for someone saying “as a woman …” or “as an African-Caribbean”. This should not be tolerated.
There is sometimes an environment in which Jewish people cannot debate, or feel safe doing so, unless their every remark is prefaced by criticism of the Israeli government. Yet no preconditions are placed on women debating sexism. It is not a prerequisite that Muslims condemn the atrocities of this or that government before they may enter a debate on foreign policy. These double standards are not acceptable.