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The Academic Friends of Israel

The Academic Friends of Israel

 

Vol. 9 No 1                                                             16 February 2010  

 

 

Anti- Zionist and Anti-Semitic emails posted on UCU activists list

  

On Wednesday 27 January, Holocaust Memorial day, I posted an email about the Holocaust and the University and College Union [UCU] on the UCU activist’s list. The main thrust of my email was about UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt comments on a new UCU poster to educate against the dangers of anti-Semitism, fascism and racial discrimination;

 We must continue to educate our children against the dangers of anti-Semitism, fascism and racial discrimination. Encouraging them – and us – to take a stand against hatred and intolerance wherever they find it is the best way to ensure a just, democratic and tolerant society where all can live free from fear.”  

I wrote; To Sally Hunt I say, when are you going to put your own house in order or are your words just empty promises? Many UCU members believe the union is institutionally anti-Semitic and I take this opportunity to remind you of the failure of our union to take charges of Antisemitism seriously....”   

 To read David Hirsch’s analysis of Antisemitism within the UCU see; http://engageonline.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/david-hirshs-talk-at-ucu/#comment-8327 

For those who don’t know the UCU activists list is a 700 strong email discussion group for UCU members which is moderated by the UCU.  Over the past two years a very small group of boycotters and anti-Zionists have posted the majority of the 2000 messages which went on the list relating to Israel, Jews and Antisemitism.   I received several responses to my posting, all of which were in denial of there being a problem, including one from University of Glasgow lecturer, Keith Hammond. Although much of what Mr Hammond writes is ranting and nonsensical, it is also unfortunately deeply anti- Zionist and Anti-Semitic.  Shortly after Mr Hammond posted his emails on the activists list, they were posted on the internet blog “Harrys Place” and can be found at http://www.hurryupharry.org/2010/01/29/keith-hammond-on-holocaust-memorial-day/ and http://www.hurryupharry.org/2010/01/31/keith-is-unhappy/ 

I have now made two official complaints, one to the University of Glasgow  on the grounds that Mr Hammond’s postings have contravened both the University of Glasgow’s  Harassment Policy and Procedures for staff” and their Guidelines for electronic publishing” as well as falling foul of the Race Relations Act. 

The second complaint was made to the UCU, on the grounds that they failed to moderate Mr Hammond’s offensive emails and secondly that Mr Hammond’s comments are in violation of the University and College Union rule 2.5 relating to harassment, prejudice and unfair discrimination.  I have asked that not only he be denied access in future to the activists list under rule 13 “The conduct of members” but also be expelled from the union as his conduct is in breach of the rules and detrimental to the interests of the Union.  Both the University and the UCU have since contacted me and told me they are investigating my complaints.  

 The following quotes from his emails are particularly offensive; throughout my analysis I have referred to the EUMC working definition of Anti-Semitism which can be found at http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/material/pub/AS/AS-WorkingDefinition-draft.pdf  

“Yesterday was the day we all remembered the Holocaust and yet it was business as usual for the propaganda machine of Israel that respects nothing but its own sordid aims....” 

This is discriminatory and Anti-Semitic. Mr Hammond states that everyone respects Holocaust Memorial day except Israel which “respects nothing”. This is untrue and offensive to the memory of the millions of Jewish people who were killed during the Holocaust.  

 “… Israel should back all other demands that the Report be scrutinised at the Hague … then let’s see who really remembers the Holocaust, the ethnic cleansing and the crimes against humanity that led to the Nazi death camps!” 

This is an Anti-Semitic statement. It implies that contemporary Israeli policy is similar to the genocidal intentions of the Nazis [see the EUMC working definition of Antisemitism]. 

“...If we cannot speak out on Israel then how can we speak clearly about the injustice of opposing job losses? We should be discussing the progress made on the boycott because it is all part of the same defence of fundamental labour movement values....”

Mr Hammond wishes to implement a boycott that the UCU has said it cannot implement on the grounds that the boycott motions are Anti-Semitic and discriminate against Israelis and Jews. This has been confirmed by the “Stop the Boycott” organisation which has published a legal opinion on the academic boycott on the web. Mr Hammond also equates Israel and the Jews with job losses which have been brought about by the worldwide financial crisis. He implies that if the State of Israel ceases to exist the problems will be solved.  This is Anti-Semitic because it perpetuates the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions [see the EUMC working definition of Antisemitism]. 

“....No compromise with Zionists or University Department closures...”

Mr Hammond makes a connection between Zionists [the Jews] and University closures which have been brought on by the worldwide financial crisis. He suggests that the crisis was caused by the Jews and nobody else. This is an Anti-Semitic comment because it perpetuates the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions [see the EUMC working definition of Antisemitism].

 “......Yesterday for me was a good opportunity to really remember the Holocaust and all those good people who went to their deaths because they refused to accept the kind of reasoning that is put in circulation now by Israel and its man in No 10 Gordon Brown...”

Mr Hammond implies that Israel controls the Prime Minister. He implies that there is a Jewish conspiracy running this country. This is Anti-Semitic and offensive [see the EUMC working definition of Antisemitism]. 

“........But we should never be fooled in thinking that opposing Zionism and battling for jobs are separate fights. They are both important because they are very much part of the same battle …”

 Mr Hammond makes a connection between Zionists and job cuts which were brought on by the worldwide financial crisis. He says the latter was caused by the Jews. This is an Anti-Semitic comment because it perpetuates the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions [see the EUMC working definition of Antisemitism].Mr Hammond does not criticise a specific Israeli Policy – he says he is opposed to Zionism. This is the denial of the Jewish people to their right to self-determination and the existence of a State of Israel. This is offensive and Anti-Semitic [see the EUMC working definition of Antisemitism].   

“......I was in Egypt over Christmas and the New Year and I saw what happens to unions and jobs the minute a compromise is made with Zionism....”

Mr Hammond states that you cannot compromise with Zionists. Again he writes off an entire self-determination movement.  He also implies that Israel controls what goes on in Egypt.  This is an anti-Semitic comment because it perpetuates the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions [see the EUMC working definition of Antisemitism]. 

“..........I will not stop speaking out against Zionist thugs …”

Mr Hammond implies that if you are a Zionist you are automatically a thug because you are a supporter of Israel.  By opposing Zionism, which is the denial of the Jewish people to their right to self-determination and the existence of a State of Israel, he is making an anti-Semitic comment [see the EUMC working definition of Antisemitism].   

Ronnie Fraser

Director

The Academic Friends of Israel 

1.     Antisemitism in Britain - A Depressing report from the CST

2.   Calls for the destruction of Israel in SOAS lecture

3.   Police to investigate Azzam Tamimi SOAS talk

4.   Oxford student at Israeli minister: 'Kill the Jews'

5.    Oxford student: 'I didn't mean 'Kill the Jews'

6.   Jewish Leadership Council pushes Straw on warrants

7.    University Heads tackle extremism

 ------------

1.     Antisemitism in Britain - A Depressing report from the CST

  The Community Security Trust has now released its report and analysis of antisemitic incidents for 2009. 

 • CST recorded 924 antisemitic incidents in 2009. This is the highest annual total since it began recording antisemitic incidents in 1984, and is 55 per cent higher than the previous record of 598 incidents in 2006. 

• The total of 924 incidents is an increase of 69 per cent from the 2008 total of 546 incidents, and follows two years of falling incident totals in 2007 and 2008. 

• The main reason for this record high is the unprecedented number of antisemitic incidents recorded in January and February 2009, during and after the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The number of incidents recorded did not returnto relatively normal levels until April, some three months after the conflict ended.

 • 212 of the 924 antisemitic incidents reported to CST in 2009, or 23 per cent of the total, included a reference to Gaza alongside the antisemitic content, motivation or targeting. 158 of these occurred during January.

 • Discounting the impact of reactions to the Gaza conflict (by replacing the monthly totals for January, February and March 2009 with those for the corresponding months in 2008) suggests there was a small increase in the baseline level of antisemitic incidents in the UK. The fact the Gaza conflict distorted the annual total by such a large amount suggests the baseline trend is particularly fragile and unable to withstand the pressures generated by major trigger events from overseas.

 • There were 288 antisemitic incidents reported to CST in January 2009, by far the highest monthly total ever recorded, and 114 incidents in February. The previous monthly high was 105 incidents recorded in October 2000.

The full report can be found at

 http://www.thecst.org.uk/docs/CST-incidents-report-09-for-web.pdf

This piece, by Mark Gardner, Communications Director of the CST, was published on   comment is free

 

The CST (Community Security Trust) monitors Antisemitism on behalf of the British Jewish community. One of our most important roles is the recording of antisemitic incidents, reported to us by British Jews and others.In recent weeks, CST’s staff have undergone intense training from the Home Office’s Victim Support Unit, to ensure that our service as first responders to antisemitic hate crime victims is as good as it can be. The training used real case studies, making some of the intricacies of victims’ lives and traumas harrowing for us to hear.

It served as a profound reminder that a real person is behind every report and statistic we deal with, and that each victim’s reactions depend upon their own histories, personalities and environments. The experts stressed that our obligation is to listen properly and make constructive suggestions, but not to tell victims how they should actually feel about what they have suffered.

We can apply this learning in a more general sense to the many challenging questions that arise from today’s report from CST regarding antisemitic incident levels in the UK. CST recorded over 900 such incidents across Britain during 2009: an increase of 55% from the previous worst year on record, 2006. On both occasions, Jews in Britain and elsewhere around the world suffered a wave of antisemitic attacks, triggered by reactions to conflicts involving Israel.Whatever you think of Israeli politics, attacking local Jews out of anger at Israel is racism.

Most Jews support Israel at a basic, emotional level, although many do not. And among Jews who support Israel in a general sense, there is a vast range of opinions on every political issue or government policy. To treat every Jewish person, or synagogue, or organisation as personifying whatever you despise about Israel is to apply the racist idea of collective guilt.Historically, anti-Semites have always sought to justify their behaviour on some premise or other.

The rest of society can react to this in various ways: to condemn, to turn a blind eye, or to approve and encourage. Presently, far too many anti-racists fail to condemn. Indeed, the attitude displayed by some to Jewish concerns about Antisemitism seems to tally with the description of institutional racism in the Macpherson report:“The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin which can be seen or detected in processes; attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantages minority ethnic people.”Anti-racists must condemn anti-Jewish racism as readily as they would any other type of racism.

Anything less and they risk fostering the notion, seductive for a dangerous minority, that Antisemitism in the name of anti-Israel hatred is somehow a legitimate form of political protest. On previous occasions when we have tried to discuss the issue of Antisemitism on this forum, we have been accused of various things. First, that we are part of some global conspiracy to shut down criticism of Israel. Second, that the figures are fake and exaggerated. Third, that even though the figures are lies, they paradoxically prove that the escalation in antisemitic incidents is the fault of Israel and the fault of Jewish representative bodies. Indeed, the fault of everybody but anti-Semites.

In reply, I could offer numerous facts about how CST’s statistics and individual reports (minus identifying details of victims) are discussed in detail with academics, criminologists, police analysts, civil servants, ministers and others. I could go through CST’s work with the Association of Chief Police Officers in developing the third party reporting system for victims of hate crime throughout the UK. I could cite how we have worked with Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs to help them set up similar groups to our own. To those with an open mind, I would simply ask that you take the time to read CST’s report, available at CST’s website.

 This explains the statistics, provides case studies and also shows the standards by which we deem something to be antisemitic rather than anti-Israel, or criminal but not racist. Anybody who reads the full report will find a complex and nuanced picture of hate crimes against British Jews.One particular drawback of discussing Antisemitism is that it risks causing some Jewish people to be afraid to lead the life that they would otherwise choose. Ignoring the problem, however, will not make it go away.

 Furthermore, understanding and explaining the problem are the cornerstones upon which Jews and others can build strategies and partnerships to combat it.CST provides many physical and political responses to Antisemitism. For example, we have installed shatterproof window film at hundreds of Jewish sites across the country.

Consequently, in January 2009, when arsonists tried to burn down a London synagogue in the middle of the night, they were unable to break a window and gain access to the inside of the building, and the damage caused was limited to the outside of the door.It is, however, important that CST’s security measures are augmented by the actions and behaviour of others. Within the Jewish community, we should take care not to allow Antisemitism to dominate us. This fight back can begin by opposing Antisemitism when it occurs, while consciously appreciating and seizing the vast range of religious, cultural, charitable and political options that exist for the expression of Jewish life and identity in Britain today. Do this, and we will see that not only is Antisemitism well worth opposing wherever it rears its ugly head, but also that it most certainly does not define the average day in the life of British Jews.

Beyond the Jewish community, politicians, police and prosecutors are increasingly alive to the problem and what it says about the state of Britain today. It is time that those parts of the liberal left that have previously ignored or downplayed the growing problem of Antisemitism fulfill their anti-racist credentials and listen to the experiences of an increasing number of British Jews

2.   Calls for the destruction of Israel in SOAS lecture 

By Marcus Dysch and Robyn Rosen, February 11, 2010 

Palestinian academic Azzam Tamimi, who has advocated suicide bombing, has told students he “longs to be a martyr” and that Israel “must come to an end”.Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, spoke to students at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) on Tuesday.On Monday, he addressed Cambridge University’s Islamic Society and is also due to speak at the Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ Palestine Week at Manchester University this weekend.

At SOAS, he praised Hamas and said: “Today Hamas is considered a terrorist organisation because that’s what the Americans and Israelis and cowardly politicians of Europe want, but what is so terrorist about it? “You shouldn’t be afraid of being labelled extreme, radical or terrorist. If fighting for your home land is terrorism, I take pride in being a terrorist. The Koran tells me if I die for my homeland, I’m a martyr and I long to be a martyr.”

 He criticised calls for a two-state solution and said: “Why are the Jews superhuman and better than anyone else that God would give them a homeland? Is God a racist? A god who would prefer people because of their race is not a god I want to associate with. Claiming they are being given the land of God is a racist idea.“If the world felt so guilty about the Holocaust, the Jews should have been compensated, not brought to my country at the expense of my people.“Israel does not belong to my homeland and must come to an end. This can happen peacefully if they acknowledge what they did — or we will continue to struggle until Israel is no more.”

He also urged students to continue hosting debates, despite calls to ban controversial speakers from campuses.He said: “I want to encourage you not to be intimidated by the pro-Israel lobby. The Zionists tell a pack of lies.”

Dr Tamimi spoke alongside Ben White, author of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide, who urged students to boycott Israeli goods. The Union of Jewish Students criticised Cambridge’s Islamic Society (ISoc) after it hosted Dr Tamimi days after urging the university’s Israel Society to withdraw an invitation to Israeli historian Benny Morris, claiming he was an “Islamophobic hate speaker”.

A UJS spokeswoman said: “When Cambridge ISoc was asked by the Israel Society to revoke Dr Tamimi’s invitation, the response was: ‘Yes, we know he’s offensive but we welcome you to attend and challenge.’“It is another example of hate speakers being invited to British campuses, of an unnecessary and hurtful provocation to liberal and minority students and finally of university authorities failing to fulfil their duty of care to all students.”

Labour MP Denis MacShane, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, added: “I am worried that vice-chancellors are in complete denial about Islamist preaching on campuses. “University chiefs are being foolish if they confuse freedom of expression with a platform for hate.”Universities UK, which represents the heads of British universities, last month pledged to set up a working group to tackle extremism.The group has yet to meet. It declined to comment on Dr Tamimi’s tour.

A Community Security Trust spokesman said: “Azzam Tamimi takes pride in being called a terrorist and repeatedly expresses his personal desire to be a suicide bomber. His glorification of terrorism and his grossly offensive comments about Jews epitomise the reasons why university and education authorities need to start taking responsibility for what is occurring on British campuses.”

 http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/27106/calls-destruction-israel-soas-lecture

3.   Police to investigate Azzam Tamimi SOAS talk 

By Robyn Rosen, February 12, 2010 

Police are investigating after Palestinian academic Azzam Tamim told students at a lecture at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies that he “longs to be a martyr” and that Israel “must come to an end”.On Monday, Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, addressed Cambridge University’s Islamic Society.

He is also due to speak at the Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ Palestine Week at Manchester University this weekend.At SOAS, he praised Hamas and said: “Today Hamas is considered a terrorist organisation because that’s what the Americans and Israelis and cowardly politicians of Europe want, but what is so terrorist about it? “You shouldn’t be afraid of being labelled extreme, radical or terrorist. If fighting for your home land is terrorism, I take pride in being a terrorist. The Koran tells me if I die for my homeland, I’m a martyr and I long to be a martyr.”

He criticised calls for a two-state solution and said: “Why are the Jews superhuman and better than anyone else that God would give them a homeland? Is God a racist? A god who would prefer people because of their race is not a god I want to associate with. Claiming they are being given the land of God is a racist idea.“If the world felt so guilty about the Holocaust, the Jews should have been compensated, not brought to my country at the expense of my people.“Israel does not belong to my homeland and must come to an end. This can happen peacefully if they acknowledge what they did — or we will continue to struggle until Israel is no more.”

He also urged students to continue hosting debates, despite calls to ban controversial speakers from campuses.He said: “I want to encourage you not to be intimidated by the pro-Israel lobby. The Zionists tell a pack of lies.” 

http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/27149/police-investigate-azzam-tamimi-soas-talk  

4.   Oxford student at Israeli minister: 'Kill the Jews'  

By Marcus Dysch, February 9, 2010 

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister was met by a protester screaming “slaughter the Jews” as he spoke at the Oxford Union.Antisemitic and anti-Israel abuse was shouted throughout Danny Ayalon’s speech on Monday evening, with students causing numerous disruptions to the event.

During the hour-long session one student ran towards Mr Ayalon shouting the Arabic phrase “Itbah Al-Yahud” [Slaughter the Jews].As many as 10 others, carrying Palestinian flags, made attempts to attack Mr Ayalon but were intercepted and removed by security.Outside the hall protesters chanted: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” 

The Oxford Union has released a statement aplogising to Mr Ayalon and promising to launch an investigation and disciplinary proceedings against those responsible.It said: "Whilst the vast majority of the audience behaved in an orderly and responsible fashion, some members continually interrupted the speech, and one individual in particular appears to have made a directly anti-Semitic remark. These individuals exceeded the principles of free speech that the Society upholds. "

They and their remarks are not representative of this Society, nor the vast majority of the audience. The Oxford Union will not tolerate this kind of behaviour by its Members."The Oxford Union believes in the rights of free speech and protecting our invited speakers' ability to express themselves in an orderly and disciplined environment. "We further believe that our Members have the right to challenge and question the speakers in keeping with the Society's expectations of good conduct. "Last night was unprecedented. A disorderly minority disrupted and prevented the speaker from holding the floor where he had been invited to speak."

Mr Ayalon took questions on the history of Israel and told the audience: “If I manage to convince you to go and learn the truth from the history books then this will have been a successful event.”There were also protests outside as he spoke to members of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in central London.He discussed Israel’s “challenges and opportunities”, including the prospects for peace with the Palestinians, regional co-operation and the growing threat from Iran.

He will meet MPs, Middle East Minister Ivan Lewis and members of the shadow cabinet before returning to Israel on Wednesday.

Watch the video of the protests here. http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/26967/oxford-student-israeli-minister-kill-jewshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ1z8dgMYO0

 

5.Oxford student: 'I didn't mean 'Kill the Jews' 

By Jessica Elgot, February 11, 2010 

Danny Ayalon speaking at the Oxford Union

The student who appeared to shout “Slaughter the Jews” at Israeli minister Danny Ayalon has claimed the Deputy Foreign minister misunderstood his Arabic.The Oxford Student newspaper has named the protester as second year St Edmund’s Hall student Noor Rashid.

Several eyewitnesses said they heard Mr Rashid shout: “Itbah Al-Yahud”, an Arabic phrase meaning “Slaughter the Jews”. Mr Ayalon translated the phrase with this meaning.But Mr Rashid claimed that he had in fact shouted “Khaybar ya Yahod”, a classic Arabic battle cry referring to a seventh-century attack by Mohammed on the Jewish community in Khaybar where the Jews were conquered and made to pay half of their income to the Muslim population. They were finally expelled by a successive Muslim ruler, Caliph Omar.

Mr Rashid said: “My version went: ‘Khaybar, O Jews, we will win’. This is in classical, Koranic Arabic and I doubt that apart from picking up on the word ‘Jew’, that even the Arabic speakers in the room would have understood the phrase.“As you can see, I made no reference to killing Jews. It carries absolutely no derogatory or secondary meanings.”Mr Rashid said he believed the words ‘Jew’ and ‘Israeli’ were interchangeable terms.

He added that it was possible he could have been misunderstood by the crowd, saying: “There was a great deal of confusion and several people were shouting at the same time.“I do acknowledge that people may have misheard me and assume that I uttered something else - namely to ‘slaughter the Jews’ which is something that I do not believe.“I express the deepest regret if my remarks were misunderstood or misheard to mean anything that even comes close to encouraging the slaughter of innocents. I will be writing letters to all my Jewish friends to express my sincere apologies, and also to clarify my remarks.”

The Community Security Trust's Mark Gardner said he believed that Mr Rashid's chant still amounted to incitement to racial hatred. He said: “Of course, it’s less explicit than shouting “Kill the Jews” but it doesn’t get much more explicit than shouting that. "Nevertheless, shouting an old battle cry harking back to a conflict between Muslims and Jews, where Jews were attacked for not converting to Islam, still sounds like incitement to me.

“The police should still continue with their investigation. It is about time incitement was treated as such. We are very quick to charge neo-Nazis with incitement, which is right of course, but there appears to be an increasing distinct double standards.” 

http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/27084/oxford-student-i-didnt-mean-kill-jews

 

6.University leaders are to examine how to tackle violent extremism on campus without damaging academic freedom 

A working group of university chiefs is to be set up, headed by University College London provost, Malcolm Grant. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused of attempting to blow up a plane flying to the United States, was a former student of the London university. Universities UK president, Steve Smith, said there had to be a balance between security and freedom of speech. "It is essential that as a society we respond rationally to the issue of extremism," said Professor Smith.  

The working group, which will be formed from university vice-chancellors and other academics, will consider how to achieve the balancing act of preventing campus extremism without undermining the right for students and staff to hold free debates. The group will "consider how universities can work with all relevant organisations, nationally and locally, to ensure the protection of freedom of speech and lawful academic activities, whilst safeguarding students, staff and the wider community from violent extremism".  

This follows the arrest of Nigerian-born Mr Abdulmutallab after an alleged attempted terrorist act on a flight to Detroit on Christmas Day. In seeking to find out how he had been radicalised, there had been scrutiny of his time as an undergraduate at UCL between 2005 and 2008, when he had studied engineering and business finance.  Professor Grant has rejected claims that this radicalisation took place at the university - and has warned that there is a "narrow line" to be walked between tackling extremism and protecting a free exchange of views.  

A spokesman for Universities UK says the working group will seek to reconcile these two pressures. Among the issues to be considered will be invitations to outside speakers - and whether controversial views should be banned.  While universities can act to stop illegal speeches - such as those which could incite racial hatred - it can be more difficult for universities to decide whether to allow opinions to be aired which might offend, without breaking the law.  There are also questions about the extent to which universities should be expected to monitor such events - which might be small gatherings of students.  Another area of concern has been the right of academics to explore controversial areas, such as terrorism and groups holding extreme views. This could include questions over academics visiting the websites of extremist groups. 

 University staff have previously been called upon to help tackle extremism and to monitor students causing concern. But this had been strongly rejected by the UCU lecturers' union as an unacceptable request to spy on their students. The Minister for Higher Education David Lammy welcomed the setting up of the working group. "It is essential that we remain vigilant and we will continue to work with institutions and the wider community to ensure they are aware of the methods used by extremists so that young people and the vulnerable at risk of being exploited and recruited into criminal activity do not succumb to this threat.

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8443885.stm

 7.    Jewish Leadership Council pushes Straw on warrants 

By Martin Bright and Anshel Pfeffer, February 11, 2010 

The Jewish Leadership Council has written the second letter in as many weeks requesting an urgent meeting with Justice Secretary Jack Straw to discuss the delay in introducing legislation to prevent magistrates from issuing arrest warrants for alleged war criminals.

The JLC first wrote to the Ministry of Justice on January 28 to request urgent talks to discuss why the government had failed to announce the reform. A new letter, written jointly with the Board of Deputies, was sent on Tuesday, but at the time of going to press, there was no response from Mr Straw.Community leaders are now facing the real possibility that the change to the legislation — promised by Foreign Secretary David Miliband in December and backed by the Prime Minister — will not happen before the election.

Last year, Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni cancelled a planned trip to London after a warrant was issued for her arrest for alleged war crimes. She now says she is willing to challenge Britain’s response by travelling to the UK in any event.Some members of the Israeli government have become increasingly nervous about Ms Livni’s plans.

One source said: “We don’t recommend that she visits because a quick fix for a Tzipi Livni visit will not be a long-term solution.”But a Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “We had no opposition to Livni travelling to London in the first place, and should she choose to go now, that would still be our position.” 

 http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/27104/jlc-pushes-straw-warrants   

                                                                                    

 Patron:

The Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks

 Advisory Board: 

 Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld - Chairman of the Board of Fellows, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Vivian Wineman - President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews

Amir Lev

John D A Levy - Director of the Academic Study Group on Israel and the Middle East

Andrew R. Marks, M.D. - Columbia University, USA

Professor Leslie Wagner CBE

Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham 

The Academic Friends of Israel Ltd is limited by guarantee and registered in England No 5297417.