UCU’s Membership of the Government Group on Antisemitism and Higher Education Must Be Reviewed

Last week, the UCU imported a South African racist, Bongani Masuku, to the United Kingdom. Masuku is advising UCU on its anti-Israel boycott campaign – a boycott that the UCU’s own legal advice declares unlawful – and has been toured around British Universities to promote that same campaign.

As Masuku hit the tarmac at Heathrow, the South African Human Rights Commission delivered its judgement: that he  engaged in hate speech against Jews, with the “intention of inciting violence and hatred”.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews, Community Security Trust and the Jewish Leadership Council have now drawn the obvious conclusion from the UCU’s activities:

It is now hard to see how UCU can continue to play a constructive role in the Government Group on Antisemitism and Higher Education when its latest actions are likely to encourage antisemitism. The Government should review UCU’s membership of this group as it has failed to oppose antisemitism inside its own structures. UCU cannot credibly be a part of the solution to antisemitism while its activities are encouraging the problem.

As David Hirsh of Engage observes:

Jews in UCU have been bullied, have resigned, have been pushed out and have been silenced. The situation is so serious that at the last UCU Congress there were no Jews left who were prepared to oppose the boycott campaign.

We’ve reached the end of the line with the UCU. The Union has been taken over by the Socialist Workers’ Party. It is now no different from any other extreme political organisation, and should be treated as such.

Further and Higher Education will bear the brunt of government cuts over the next few years. There is no effective Union to stand against them.