Ronnie Frasers Testimony Before the UCU With Commentary by David Hirsh

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This is what Ronnie Fraser said:

I, a Jewish member of this union, am telling you, that I feel an antisemitic mood in this union and even in this room.

I would feel your refusal to engage with the EUMC definition of antisemitism, if you pass this motion, as a racist act.

Many Jews have resigned from this union citing their experience of antisemitsim.

Only yesterday a delegate here said: “they are an expansionist people”. It is difficult to think that the people in question are anything other than the Jews.

You may disagree with me. You may disagree with all the other Jewish members who have said similar things.

You may think we are mistaken. But you have a duty to listen seriously.

Instead of being listened to, I am routinely told that anyone who raises the issue of antisemitism is doing so in bad faith.

Congress, Imagine how it feels when you say that you are experiencing racism, and your union responds: “Stop lying, stop trying to play the antisemitism card.”

You, a group of mainly white, non-Jewish trade unionists, do not have the right to tell me, a Jew, what feels like antisemitism and what does not.

Macpherson 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.

Until this union takes complaints of antisemitsim seriously the UCU will continue to be labelled as an institutionally antisemitic organisation.

It’s true that anti-Zionist Jews may perceive things differently. But the overwhelming majority of Jews feel that there is something wrong in this union. They understand that it is legitimate to criticise Israel in a way that is, quoting from the definition, “similar to that levelled to any other country” but they make a distinction between criticism and the kind of demonisation that is considered acceptable in this union.

Ronnie was met with stoney silence.

Here is Engage’s live blog from the debate on antisemitism. < >

Here is Engage’s live blog from the debate on boycotting Israel. < >

Here is the response by Jewish Students to their lecturers. < >

Here is the letter sent by leaders of Jewish communal organisations to the General Secretary before the debate. < >

Here is the response to the letter from Trevor Philips,The Chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (pdf) < >.

Here is a piece by Ben Gidley about antisemitism in the UCU. < >

Here is a piece by Eve Garrard on the EUMC Working Definition < >.

David Hirsh on the EUMC motion < >.

Ronnie Frasers Testimony Before the UCU With Commentary by David Hirsh

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