Universities Minister briefed on campus issues in first Jewish community meeting
In his first meeting with the Jewish community, the Universities Minister Sam Gyimah has been briefed on issues affecting Jewish students on campus including antisemitism, hate-speech and disruption of events, by Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush and Union of Jewish Students President Josh Holt.
Following the meeting, Mr Gyimah said: “Today was a productive meeting on free speech, no-platforming and antisemitism on campus and I look forward to carrying on our conversation on these vital topics on the future.”
Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush said: “We set out for the Minister the very serious issues affecting Jewish students on campus, in particular how Jewish and Israel-related events are often targeted by protesters and the issue of universities and student unions allowing hate speakers on their campuses. The Minister and his team are very concerned about these issues so we look forward to seeing what proposals are outlined by the Government in due course.”
UJS President Josh Holt said “We were glad to represent Jewish students to the Universities Minister. We drew his attention to the need for universities to adopt the robust IHRA definition of antisemitism, as well as our concerns regarding the recent protests at events hosting Israeli speakers. We asked the government to provide universities with further guidance on the importance of upholding no platform policy for those that espouse hate speech or incite violence, in balance with the need to champion free speech and debate within the confines of the law”
Board of Deputies Parliamentary Officer Joel Salmon also attended.
Photo: Left to right: Josh Holt, Sam Gyimah, Jonathan Arkush, Joel Salmon