Some of Britain's leading universities are becoming no-go zones for Jewish students because anti-Semitism is so rife, the first ever higher education adjudicator has warned.And not only in Great Britain.
Baroness Ruth Deech, a cross-bench peer who formerly held the highest office dealing with student complaints, said that institutions may be failing to combat hatred against Jews as they “afraid of offending” their potential benefactors from Gulf states.
Her comments come after a series of high profile incidents at top universities where Jewish students claim they were verbally abused or physically attacked. The academic community is at the forefront of calls to boycott Israel.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Baroness Deech said that the extreme levels of hostility towards Israel at universities across the country can at times go so far as to equate to anti-Semitism.
“Many universities are in receipt of or are chasing very large donations from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states and so on, and maybe they are frightened of offending them,” she said. “I don’t know why they aren’t doing anything about it, it really is a bad situation.”
Baroness Deech, a former senior proctor at Oxford University and Principal of St Anne's College, said that a handful of universities are now gaining reputations as institutions where Jews are unwelcome.
“Amongst Jewish students, there is gradually a feeling that there are certain universities that you should avoid,” Baroness Deech said. “Definitely SOAS, Manchester I think is now not so popular because of things have happened there, Southampton, Exeter and so on.”
The Algemeiner published a list of 40 US and Canadian campuses with the most hostile environments for Jews. The worst five were listed as Columbia, Vassar, University of Toronto, McGill and University of Chicago.