Oxford students at the prestigious University’s Jewish and Labour societies have held a clear-the-air meeting after allegations of anti-Semitism were made last year.
Members of the Jewish Society (J-Soc) and the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) came together on Monday night to hear from Baroness Jan Royall, who investigated claims made by former OULC co-chair Alex Chalmers.
He resigned in February 2016, shortly after OULC voted to support Israel Apartheid Week, alleging that a “large proportion” of club members had “some kind of problem with Jews,” with use of the slur “Zio” and voiced support for Hamas.
Royall told the students that convening on Monday night was itself an accomplishment, while former student leader Ella Rose, who now heads the Jewish Labour Movement, spoke of the nationwide training that had taken place since.
In a joint statement, both groups said they hoped to “draw a line” under last year’s events, saying: “We recognise that there is more that needs to be done before this can be the case and that this will only come about by us working together.”
They added: “We believe that an important part of this process will be the result of disciplinary investigations from the Labour Party itself. The OULC and J-Soc look forward to working together and holding more joint events in order to ensure that Jewish students can, and know they can, feel comfortable within OULC.”