York student gets apology and £1,000 after anti-Semitism battle

York student gets apology and £1,000 after anti-Semitism battle

Law student Zachary Confine had been racially abused and bullied, and received £1,000 in addition to an apology

Zachary Confino
Zachary Confino

A Jewish student has received an apology and payment of £1,000 from the University of York Students’ Union after complaining of anti-Semitism.

Law student Zachary Confino, 21, was offered the four-figure sum after two years of battling anti-Semitism from students whilst studying at the university.

It is understood that Mr Confino, who narrowly missed out on a first class degree and had suffered with stress, had been racially abused and bullied.

The university confirmed that Mr Confino had accepted the written apology from the university’s students’ union following the long-running complaint.

A spokesperson for the University of York said that they had acted as a mediator to resolve the matter and that they welcomed students from “all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities”.

The statement said: “The University of York acted as mediator to resolve a long-running complaint brought by a student against the University of York Students’ Union (YUSU). This involved an apology by the Students’ Union to the student and a token payment of £1,000.”

The statement added that joint statements had been signed with both the Jewish Society and the Islamic Society on campus.

It continued: “The University is committed to preserving the right to freedom of expression while also combating anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and any other form of race hate.

“We welcome students from all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities in our diverse community.”

Jonathan Sacerdoti, director of communications at the Campaign Against Antisemitism, praised Mr Confino’s “incredible strength and dedication” but said that the union’s apology and payment of compensation was not enough.

He said: “There must also be a commitment to fighting anti-Semitism properly, something they failed to do in Zachary’s case.

“It should not be necessary for individual Jewish students to fight lengthy battles with their university unions over the course of many months or years in order to have Jew-hatred dealt with properly.”

The Union of Jewish Students welcomed the apology by YUSU, but said it |doesn’t mask the fact that anti-Semitism is still an issue on UK campuses. What is most worrying is that Zachary’s concerns were not considered to be serious, and therefore dismissed by so many people. This is a problem experienced all too often by Jewish students and is one that needs eradicating. We will continue to support Jewish students in ensuring that antisemitism is properly reported and dealt with across the UK.”

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