It’s a shame Manchester Uni decided to adopt a policy of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions. I guess now they’ll be off the internet and their students will stop using their Apple Macs and mobiles.
Ah yes, the completely non-racist Manchester Students’ Union that embraces diversity – unless you’re Jewish:
On the night, Jewish students who argued against the motion were made to feel as if their concerns about their potential marginalisation were not being heard. Despite offering alternatives that included creating a discussion forum to engage with the Israeli-Palestinian debate, many on the Senate believed that a targeted BDS tactic was more constructive than any form of engagement.
Criticism of Israel and its policies is not in itself antisemitic, and there is plenty to criticise. However, when an individual, group, or organisation singles out Israel or Israelis for particular criticism or treatment, or makes opposition to Israel its raison d’être, it is fair to ask what is the driving force behind it.
For example, if somebody says they believe Israel ought not to exist, it is perfectly legitimate to ask whether they believe any of the other 193 United Nations Member States should also not exist. If the answer is no, as it always is, then one is entitled to draw one’s own conclusions as to why the only country in the world whose existence is forever questioned just so happens to be Jewish. Similarly, if a university decides to boycott visiting academics from Israel and nowhere else, one may be forgiven for thinking the reasons behind it are rather simple.
Critics of Israel could also avoid charges of antisemitism if they were not so often sharing platforms with openly antisemitic people and their communications didn’t read as though they’d been copied chapter and verse from a Hamas press release.
Those behind the BDS movement, and by association The University of Manchester itself, might claim they are not motivated by hatred of Jews, but the rest of us are free to draw our own conclusions. It is yet another reason for me to distance myself from my alma mater and to chuck the begging letters in the bin.