Written by Student Rights on 18 July 2014 at 9am

Conflict in Middle East sees online anti-Semitism shared with students

As violence between the Israeli Defence Forces and Hamas in the Gaza Strip continues, Student Rights has seen a significant increase in online pro-Palestinian activism from students. 

While we welcome rigorous and constructive debate on any issue, we are concerned by the accompanying appearance of anti-Semitic and extremist material on student social media pages.

A post on the King’s College London Action Palestine Society Facebook page complained of British politicians being “on the Jewish payroll”, while the University of Derby Islamic Society shared anti-Semitic Hizb ut-Tahrir material.

This included the claim that Israelis are “...nothing but scum and leftovers gathered together by the world serve their interests in the region".

Hizb ut-Tahrir is currently subject to the NUS’s ‘No-Platform’ policy, and has stated...there can be no peaceful relations with the Jews: this is prohibited by Islamic Law”.

Meanwhile, in March 2012 Student Rights was present when a Hizb ut-Tahrir speaker refused to condemn a statement reading “O Muslim Armies! Teach the Jews a lesson...March forth to fight them, eradicate their entity and purify the earth of their filth”.

In addition to these posts a video of the spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, was shared on the Facebook page of the University of Leeds Palestine Solidarity Group.

Killed in an Israeli air strike in 2004, Yassin was jailed for life in 1989 after he was found guilty of ordering the murder of Palestinians accused of collaboration with the IDF before being released in a prisoner swap.

He was also a staunch opponent of any peace processes, claiming that “the so-called peace path is not peace and it is not a substitute for jihad and resistance”.

Posts such as these are not uncommon whenever violence rises in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and it is likely that more material of this nature will appear should the current situation continue.

As we have stated, Student Rights believes in the value and necessity of open debate on this subject, but  anti-Semitic pronouncements and extremist material have no place on our campuses, and should be a source of concern for universities and students alike.