Oppose the reclassification of anti-Semitism according to the EUMC as we believe this limits free speech.
It has come to our attention that Guild Council is to discuss a motion on Tuesday 4th May calling for the Guild to adopt the new EUMC definition of anti-semitism. THE MOTION CALLS FOR: The President of the Guild of Students to reject a speaker if they have a history of Anti-Semitic language in line with the EUMC definition. What is the EUMC definition of anti-Semitism? The full definition can be found here: http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/material/pub/AS/AS-WorkingDefinition-draft.pdf The EUMC definition states that IT IS ANTISEMITIC TO: Deny the Jewish people their right to self determination, eg: BY CLAIMING THAT THE EXISTENCE OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL IS A RACIST ENDEAVOR. Please note the ‘eg…’. This is the point of controversy which is why I highlighted it. This definition is clearly designed to label anyone who disagrees with Israel’s apartheid policy on its own Arab population, as ANTISEMITIC. THE CONSEQUENCE OF THIS MOTION IS THE BANNING OF ALL FUTURE SPEAKERS WHO CALL FOR A ONE-STATE SOLUTION, OR WHO LABEL ISRAEL AS A RACISM REGIME. WHY THE MOTION IS WRONG: 1. It will abolish free speech on Israel/Palestine if there is any mention of a one state solution, ie: Jews and Arabs living side by side under an a democratic government. 2. It will allow the Guild President to ban any speaker with a reputation of criticising Israel in this regard. 3. It is against the Guild of Students ‘no policy policy’ on Israel. This motion, which was passed last year, states that the University will take no sides (policies) on the issue of Israel/Palestine. However this motion will clearly take Israel’s side in protecting it from legitimate criticism. 4. It is an assault on the Jewish students who believe that the State of Israel is fundamentally racist. To label members of the Jewish community, who disagree with a political ideology (Zionism) that defines the state of Israel, is abhorrent. 5. It is an insult to all those Jews and non-Jews who were systematically murdered in the Holocaust by Nazi Germany, the gravest crime of the 20th century. This Guild Motion, if passed would equate human rights activists (including former President Jimmy Carter) who protest against Israel’s racist laws, with the Nazis, the BNP, and other extremist anti-Semitic parties. 6. It fundamentally legitimises the ethnic cleansing of 750 000 people from Palestine in 1948, with the establishment of the state of Israel, and denies their UN-enshrined right to return to their homes currently administered by the state of Israel. 7. If this motion was passed last year, it would have denied the right of Tony Benn, Clare Short and many other respected speakers the right from speaking at the University of Birmingham. NOTE: 1. A very similar motion to this was rejected at the University of Leeds, due to a backlash among students and good organisation. 2. This motion is intentionally designed to pass with minimal opposition. It is the last guild council of term, and most students are too busy revising for exams to bother to come to guild council, except those who wish to get the motion passed. 3. Guild council at Birmingham has a notoriously strong pro-Israel lobby. These are student are not necessarily Jewish, but who believe in unconditional support for Israel regardless of human rights. This highlights the urgency in protesting against this motion. 4. Anyone can show up to guild council on Tuesday 4th may. 5. Anyone can make a speech in Guild Council about the motion. 6. Only guild councilors and society committee members are allowed to vote Please use this thread to discuss potential action to this motion (to be voted on Tuesday 4th May). fra.europa.eu fra.europa.eu