Anti Fascism

NUS’s failure to confront

The Guardian has a report on the resignations of the three Jewish students from the leadership of the National Union of Students.

The NUS’s failure to confront antisemitism in its own ranks apparently extends beyond events at the recent conference, which included distribution of antisemitic leaflets.

[Luciana] Berger, who has been convenor of NUS’s anti-racism campaign this year, said: “There’s been a host of events throughout the year. Issues of anti-semitism have been brought to the leadership’s attention and there’s been total inaction. At conference, which is the heart of our democracy, there were further events of anti-semitism. The leadership were turning a blind eye to anti-semitism.”

The leaflets at conference referred to the Elders of the Protocol of Zion [sic], a 19th century forgery which claimed that there was a plan for Jewish global domination and was subsequently used in anti-Jewish propaganda…

According to one NUS delegate on the Educationet message board:

I did see the leaflet which had the [General Union of Palestinian Students] logo on the bottom and directly refers to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as proof of the Jews trying to take over the world.

Although I haven’t seen the leaflet in question, it’s worth quoting from a 2003 article in Searchlight magazine:

…At Manchester University in 2002 a leaflet put out in the name of the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) before a debate on boycotting Israeli goods was nakedly antisemitic. The leaflet supposedly quoted statements made in 1789 by Benjamin Franklin, who was one of the signatories of the US Declaration of Independence. The leaflet is titled “Prophecy of Benjamin Franklin in regard of the Jewish race”, and among other things says:

“For more than 1700 years they [the Jews] have lamented their sorrowful fate, namely, that they have been driven out of their motherland; but, gentleman, if the world should give them back today Palestine and their property, they would immediately find reasons for not returning there. Why? Because they are Vampires – they cannot live among themselves …”

If the quotation had been genuine, it would be bad enough to see it reprinted. In fact it is a hoary antisemitic forgery written by the US Nazi sympathiser William Dudley Pelley in Liberation in 1934…

And in 2002 the website of the GUPS at San Francisco State University was shut down by the university administration because of links to antisemitic material, including a text of the Protocols.

NUS president Kat Fletcher issued a mealy-mouthed statement expressing “deep concern” over the resignations of the Jewish students. She did not, however, express any concern to the NUS conference.

(Hat tip: Eric the Unread.)

Update: A reader has provided a link to the text of a leaflet distributed at the NUS conference under the name of the General Union of Palestinian Students. Mostly it’s full of half-truths and pure fantasy about the history of Zionism and Israel (e.g., Lenin was a Jew who defended Jewish nationalism), but it does refer to “secular Jews who established the controversial Protocol of the Elder of Zion; a concept aiming to dominate the entire world.”

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