Exeter College’s Junior Common Room (JCR), a representative study body within the University of Oxford, has passed a motion accusing Israel of apartheid and murdering Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, The Oxford Student reported on Thursday. The student group also resolved to mount a Palestinian flag in the JCR’s common room and donate £100 to Medical Aid for Palestinians, a charity organization.
The measure was “unprecedented,” Oxford Student said.
The Oxford Union, a university debating society, also announced that it will host Israeli ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, on Thursday evening.
Hotovely’s last trip to an English university in November resulted in her swift evacuation from the steps of the London School of Economics (LSE) as protestors tried to reach her car. After the incident, Hotovely tweeted, “I will not be intimidated. I will continue to share the Israeli story and hold open dialogue with all parts of British society.
The Oxford Students’ Palestine Society (OSPS) has vowed to protest the event.
“We are calling on everyone to join us outside the Union at 5pm to show Hotovely that she and the Apartheid regime she represents are not welcome in our city,” the group said in a statement
On Thursday, Oxford’s Jewish Students Against Antisemitism (JSAA) pledged on Twitter to join OSPS’s demonstration, and claimed that those who don’t are “complicit” in war crimes. After being called out by Board of Deputies of British Jews Director of Public Affairs Daniel Sugarman, who said the tweet “is in fact extremely antisemitic, JSAA deleted its original post and replaced it with another issuing a general invitation to the protest against Ambassador Hotovely.
“The post does not mean Jewish people,” JSAA tweeted later. “If you would like to read the statement like that, then maybe that says more about the way you are reading it than about us.”
The Oxford Union has a history of hosting political and cultural leaders from across the ideological spectrum. In 2015, it held a “BDS Movement Debate” between former Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz and activist Peter Tatchell. Dershowitz won the debate 137-101, with 57 percent of the audience voting in his favor.
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Author: Dion J. Pierre
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