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ANTI-ZIONIST EXPRESSION ON THE UK CAMPUS: FREE SPEECH OR HATE SPEECH?

Lesley Klaff
Jewish Political Studies Review
Vol. 22, No. 3/4 (Fall 2010), pp. 87-109
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25834900
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
ANTI-ZIONIST EXPRESSION ON THE UK CAMPUS: FREE SPEECH OR HATE SPEECH?
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Abstract

The last few years have witnessed an explosion of anti-Zionist rhetoric on university campuses across the United Kingdom. Encouraged by the University and College Union's annual calls for discriminatory measures against Israeli institutions and academics, the rhetoric has become even more strident since Operation Cast Lead. A recent boycott-divestment-sanctions campus tour explicitly invoked anti-Semitic tropes. The consequently hostile environment for Jewish students has jeopardized their educational opportunities. The justification for tolerating anti-Zionist expression on campus is always "academic freedom" and the response of the universities has been one of inaction. This justification is without merit. University codes of conduct and UK law recognize that an important university goal is the promotion of equality of opportunity for minority students and their protection from discrimination, including harassment. Given the growing consensus that anti-Zionism is in fact anti-Semitism in a new guise, this goal is flouted with respect to Jewish students every time that anti-Zionist expression takes place on a university campus.

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