Baroness Deech: Universities 'chasing' Saudi donations are failing to tackle anti-Semitism

Posted On: 
23rd December 2016

Some universities are failing to challenge anti-Semitism on their campuses because they are “frightened” of offending Gulf states whose donations they are chasing, the former higher education adjudicator has said. 

Baroness Deech said Jewish students had concluded that they 'should avoid' some universities due to anti-Semitism
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Baroness Deech said the scale of anti-Semitism at some institutions was leading Jewish students to conclude that they “should avoid” them.

The crossbench peer, who served as adjudicator for higher education from 2004 to 2008, complained that universities were not “doing anything” to stamp out the discrimination.

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She told the Daily Telegraph: “Many universities are in receipt of or are chasing very large donations from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states and so on, and maybe they are frightened of offending them.”

The academic said hostility towards Israel was often leading to a “bad situation” for Jews.

“Amongst Jewish students, there is gradually a feeling that there are certain universities that you should avoid,” she said, naming Manchester, Southampton, SOAS, and Exeter.

Criticising Oxford University for its “very disappointing” response to Baroness Royall’s report into allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour club, Baroness Deech said:

“I can’t believe that my own university is not setting up an investigation and being pro-active about this.”

A spokesman for the university said: “The University is surprised and disappointed by Baroness Deech’s remarks, since it has made clear on many occasions that it does not tolerate any form of harassment or victimisation.”