The Academic Friends of Israel

Press Release


30 May 2011

University Lecturers Union condemned as “institutionally anti-Semitic”

UCU only pretends to fight antisemitism says AFI Chief

The Academic Friends of Israel (AFI), the apolitical pressure group, have condemned the University College Union (UCU) as “institutionally antisemitic”, having seen the union pass a resolution at its annual conference which disassociates itself from the European Working Definition of antisemitism.

The UCU, which represents more than 120,000 University academics, used its annual gathering in Harrogate over the Bank Holiday weekend to pass the motion

Ronnie Fraser, Director of the Academic Friends of Israel, commented:

“ By adopting this resolution today it confirms what I and my colleagues have said in the past that until the UCU takes complaints of antisemitsim seriously the UCU will continue to be labelled as an institutionally antisemitic organisation which pretends to be committed to fighting antisemitism.

The majority of Jews will label the UCU and this motion antisemitic. Only anti-Semites would disassociate themselves from the EUMC Working Definition and vote in favour of this resolution.”

He continued:

“What gives the UCU Congress, a group of mainly white, non-Jewish trade unionists the right to tell Jews what is and what is not antisemitism. The 1999 Macpherson report of the investigation into the Stephen Lawrence inquiry tells us that when somebody says they have been a victim of racism, then institutions should begin by believing them. This motion mandates the union to do the opposite.

Anti-Semitism has existed for centuries and has evolved into many different forms. This motion which states that the EMUC Working Definition confuses criticism of Israeli government policy and actions with genuine antisemitism is itself is a new form - the Livingstone Formulation, which states that Jews deliberately and maliciously accuse critics of Israel of antisemitism in order to deflect and stifle legitimate criticism of Israel”