A report by a UK think tank claims that up to a quarter of Britain's leading universities released statements that veered into potential anti-Semitism at the height of the recent violence between the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and Israel.
The Pinsker Centre claimed that student unions or faculty bodies at 12 of the country's top 40 universities — including Oxford and Cambridge — published "highly partisan" anti-Israel statements that might have breached the widely agreed working definition of anti-Semitism, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The center maintained that two highly partisan tropes were leveled against the Jewish state; namely that it was guilty of being both an "apartheid" state and one that was a "settler colonialist" entity.
Its report supplied two main recommendations: The Charity Commission — an NMGD the regulates registered charities in England and Wales — should update its guidance to student unions to give wider and better protection to Jewish students on campus, and universities should adopt disciplinary frameworks to enforce the IHRA definition with sanctions, and government should cut funds to universities that fail to do this.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition on anti-Semitism, adopted by the UK government, lists calling Israel a "racist endeavor" or "applying double standards" as examples of what could be anti-Semitic, depending on the context.
All but three of 12 universities criticized in the report have adopted the IHRA definition.
The Pinsker Centre drew a direct causal link between incendiary statements about the Gaza-Israel situation and the massive spike in anti-Jewish attacks on campuses across the UK.
Anti-Semitic incidents during the 11-day conflict between Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip and Israel, in general, saw a five-fold increase during and in the immediate aftermath of the fighting, according to the UK's Community Security Trust.