Friday, December 11, 2009

Brief Masuku Update

A consortium of prominent British Jewish organizations have called for the removal of the UCU from the Government Group on Antisemitism and Higher Education, after it's decision to host and promote a South African union official found to have engaged in hate speech targeted at the Jewish people.
UCU’s hosting of Masuku and their refusal to engage with the concerns of the Jewish community follows a pattern: the Union refused to address the resignations of large numbers of Jewish academics from UCU in recent years, and summarily rejected members’ complaints of antisemitism. UCU has allowed its politics on Israel to override the concerns of its Jewish members and students. It appears that UCU simply does not care about the anti-Jewish impact of its 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.

Meanwhile, there are murmurs that the SAHRC is under significant pressure to revise its decision. That doesn't surprise me in the slightest -- when powerful forces align against the interests of small, vulnerable minorities, judicial (or quasi-judicial) bodies have a difficult time mounting resistance.

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