Israeli pulls out of Warwick Uni Shabbat dinner event over safety fears

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Israeli pulls out of Warwick Uni Shabbat dinner event over safety fears

Speaker will not attend Friday night event after Warwick Action For Palestine threatened to protest and branded pro-Israel group StandWIthUsUK 'Islamophobic and far-right'.

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

An Israeli speaker who was due to attend a Friday Night dinner event organised by Warwick University’s Jewish Society has pulled out of tomorrow’s event over fears for her safety.

Jewish News understands that the decision was taken to cancel the female guest’s appearance after three student groups including Warwick Action For Palestine planned a protest over claims she had worked for Israel’s Minister of Affairs recruiting young people into the IDF.

The Friday Night JSoc event was organised by the Union of Jewish Students, Jewish Agency For Israel and the Stand With Us organisation and time to coincide with Mizrahi Remembrance month.

But there were fears that anti-Israel campaigners would mount protests outside the Friday Night Shabbat event.

But student protest groups – which also included the Warwick Anti-Racism Society and the uni’s Anti-Sexism Society wrote to the JSoc expressing “sheer disappointment and anger” that the event was taking part in collaboration with Stand With Us.

The letter branded the campaign group “Islamophobic” and “far-right” and demanded they withdraw the invitation to the speaker and cancelled Stand With US’s sponsorship of the event.

A statement on the Warwick Action For Palestine Facebook page said:”We are outraged and disgusted that StandWithUs have been invited to sponsor an event taking place on campus this Friday, as well as a speaker who boasts of working extensively for the Israeli Occupation Forces. ”

We are outraged and disgusted that StandWithUs has been invited to sponsor an event taking place on campus this Friday,…

Posted by Warwick Action For Palestine on Thursday, November 18, 2021

But on Thursday UJS issued a statement on Thursday confirming that the planned appearance by the speaker “is not now possible.”

The statement said the UJS team member “has been publicly attacked simply because of Israeli identity.”

It added it was “unacceptable” she had been targeted and that universities should be tolerant places which welcomed students of “varying ethnicities backgrounds and opinions.”

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