- Chris Skidmore said it is ‘unacceptable’ Jewish societies pay for event security
- They are often targeted by hard-Left groups aligned to the Labour leader
- Jewish students say they are being made to feel unwelcome at UK universities
Universities must do more to tackle anti-Semitism amid an ‘appalling’ spate of attacks on Jewish students, the higher education minister has warned.
Chris Skidmore said it is ‘unacceptable’ that Jewish societies have to pay up to £2,000 for security at events because they are often gate-crashed by thugs.
In a letter being sent to all universities this week, he will urge them to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism to help clamp down on incidents.
It follows complaints from Jewish students that they are being made to feel unwelcome at UK universities.
They are often targeted by hard-Left groups aligned to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has seen his party engulfed by scandal over its handling of anti-Semitism.
This week it emerged that a dossier of leaked Labour messages about the crisis will be submitted to the equalities watchdog.
Meanwhile, Jewish societies have told how events hosting Israeli speakers are often stormed by aggressive pro-Palestine activists.
Mr Skidmore said: ‘In this context, it is unacceptable to oblige certain groups of students to incur additional costs because of their race or religion, just to counteract the actions of others.’
Union of Jewish Students campaigns organiser Daniel Kosky said there had been a rise in anti-Semitic incidents at universities which had come from ‘both the hard-Right and the hard-Left’.
Universities UK, which represents vice chancellors, said: ‘We recommend universities do all they can to tackle anti-Semitism, including considering the IHRA definition, whilst also recognising their duty to promote freedom of speech within the law.’
The IHRA defines anti-Semitism as ‘a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews’.