Tory MP: Warwick academics seeking to ‘provoke’ over IHRA rejection

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Tory MP: Warwick academics seeking to ‘provoke’ over IHRA rejection

Jonathan Gullis claimed its staff members want to 'prolong the suffering' of Jewish students after voting to question the international definition

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Warwick Arts Centre (Wikipedia/Source
Author:	Steve Walton )
Warwick Arts Centre (Wikipedia/Source Author: Steve Walton )

The Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis has accused academics at Warwick University of seeking to “provoke” Jewish students and “prolong their suffering” by rejecting the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Jewish News exclusively revealed last week how at a meeting last month of the Warwick University Assembly academics had voted “overwhelmingly” to reject the definition.

A second motion condemning the Conservative MPs Jonathan Gullis and Robert Halfon who had called for the sacking of three Warwick academics over criticism of Israel, was also passed at meeting with 96 per cent support.

But in a letter sent to Warwick’s Vice Chancellor and President Stuart Croft, Gullis wrote that the motion challenging the IHRA definition was “disgraceful.”

The MP for Stoke On Trent North made reference to the Warwick University’s announcement in October 2020 that it had adopted definition.

He wrote:”I am therefore appalled that instead of welcoming the definition…as a step in the right direction, Warwick University academics have sought to provoke Jewish students and prolong their suffering.”

Jonathan Gullis

Gullis then referred to the Macpherson principle and its emphasis on the victims right to report a racist incident and added: “This principal must extend to all minorities, including Jewish students, and the Jewish community has made it repeatedly clear that the IHRA definition is the best instrument to define anti-Jewish racism.”

Detailing how the vote at the Assembly had caused “anger and frustration” amongst Warwick Jewish Society and the Union of Jewish Students, Gullis said: “It is absurd that staff at your university think they know better.”

In a statement last week Warwick University said the institution “remains fully committed to using the IHRA definition of antisemitism” but it added they also considered “other definitions.”

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