UJS Shed Some Light

Last week the President of the National Union of Students made a statement of solidarity for countries who have fallen victim to terror. Here is the list of countries she mentioned:

France, Nigeria, Lebanon, Turkey, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kenya, Palestine, and Mali.

Presumably Palestinians are victims of Israeli terror. Israel…not a mention.

Bearing in mind Israel’s history of falling victim to terror attacks both inside and outside her own borders omitting Israel from such a list is pretty shocking even to those familiar with general malaise which has overtaken NUS in recent years. Fortunately Jewish students on campus who are offended by this have the Union of Jewish students (UJS) to raise concerns to the student body on their behalf.

It’s appalling to think that victims of terror are being erased entirely from the collective memory of NUS when it comes to Israel. Is the implication here that Israeli victims of terror got what they deserved? That attacks against Israelis aren’t terror attacks at all?

All this is why I was really heartened to see the Shed Some Light campaign put together by UJS to ensure that at least some of the victims of terror attacks suffered by Israel are remembered. The Campaign is described on the UJS website thus:

This Chanukkah UJS wants to Shed Some Light on the victims of terror in Israel and the West Bank over the last few months.  Since the beginning of October there have been regular attacks involving stabbings, shootings and car rammings where the targets have included both those serving in the IDF and civilians.

There has been a clear need to Shed Some Light on this issue after a series of incidents on campus this semester.  We have seen vigils held for the perpetrators of these crimes along with attempts to legitimise and glorify violence against civilians at campuses including SOAS, UCL, Leeds, Goldsmiths, Kent and others.  Just last week at a meeting of NUS’ NEC, the president, Megan Dunn, read a statement commemorating victims of terror across the world which deliberately omitted any reference to Israel.

Over the eight days of Chanukah we will be placing the spotlight on a different victim of terror each day.  We hope to use the light of Chanukkah to share their stories with the world.

Every life lost is a tragedy. Every successful terror attack is a strike against the values of freedom and democracy Israel upholds. Reminding both Megan Dunn and the rest of the National Union of Students that YES Israel is a victim of terror and that Israelis have their own hopes and dreams for their lives that are too often cut short by the blade of a knife or the shrapnel of a bomb is something that unfortunately is all too necessary on campus today.

Kol h’Kovod to UJS for shedding some light on the issue!