NEU says members ‘requested’ Warsaw Ghetto vandaliser for antisemitism sessions

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NEU says members ‘requested’ Warsaw Ghetto vandaliser for antisemitism sessions

Leaders of National Education Union says sessions were run by controversial activist Ewa Jasiewicz 'at the request of members in the northwest'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

The leaders of Britain’s biggest teaching union have claimed their own members called for antisemitism workshops organised by a controversial activist who desecrated the Warsaw Ghetto wall.

The joint general secretaries of the National Educational Union insisted the “anti-racist training events” organised by Ewa Jasiewicz took place last month “at the request of members in the northwest.”

Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney also claimed the three sessions were “well received by the members who attended.”

Jewish News exclusively revealed how Jasiewicz – who daubed the words “Free Palestine – liberate all ghettos”  –  in 2010 on the wall of the site where the Nazis incarcerated thousands of Jews was behind the sessions held to “understand antisemitism.”

In a letter sent to the Board of Deputies after they expressed anger at the decision to allow Jasiewicz to be involved with the events, the NEU leaders wrote:”The antisemitism workshops you refer to in your letter were developed as part of anti-racist training events organised at the request of members of the NEU in the north west.

Ewa Jasiewicz

“The sessions were delivered by independent providers and were well received by the members who attended.”

On the decision to involve Jasiewicz the union chiefs said she was “employed by the NEU as an organiser.

“In that capacity she facilitated the organisation of the event at the request of members but had no role in deciding or delivering the content of any sessions.

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union (NEU) . Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News

“The NEU has a proud record of tackling racism and antisemitism. Like other forms of racism antisemitism is on the rise and needs to be urgently tackled.

“Our website points to teaching and learning resources to support teachers and leaders in tackling antisemitism in education.”

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