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Written by Student Rights on 25 April 2012 at 12pm

Anti-Semitism at NUS conference

The levels of anti-Semitism directed against Jewish students on campuses were shown in stark detail last night when the stall run by the Union of Jewish Students at the NUS national conference was vandalised. The stall had been covered with anti-Israel stickers, as had the religious symbols depicted.

The President of the NUS, Liam Burns, released a statement this morning saying that:

There are lots of things that are special about the student movement. But perhaps the thing that is most special is the effort we make to include, celebrate and champion the diversity of our membership.

It is for this reason that some of the events that took place yesterday are so shocking. Yesterday evening the stall belonging to the Union of Jewish Students was vandalised. Parts of it were defaced, religious symbols were torn down or covered up and materials were destroyed.

We have of course launched a full investigation into this incident and will do all we can today to get to the bottom of it. NUS does not tolerate racism or fascism or anti-Semitism in any of its forms. We will work day and night to drive hate out of our student movement, education system and society.

The Union of Jewish Students also commented on the vandalism, stating that:

NUS should be a safe space for all students within its diverse membership. Whatever one's views on the Israel-Palestine conflict, there is no excuse for this behaviour within the student movement. The singling out of Jewish students and the direct attack on Jewish religious symbols is antisemitism.

UJS is calling for strong action to be taken to ensure that this incident is swiftly and appropriately dealt with. We will do everything in our power to protect and secure the safety and welfare of Jewish students.

The blurring of the boundaries between pro-Palestine activism and anti-Semitism is something which we have highlighted before, and this is yet another example of that. Student Rights strongly condemns the vandalising of property based on religion at NUS conference and calls for a thorough investigation.