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UK Jewish Students Union should decouple from Zionism

Pro-Palestinian supporters set up a camp on the campus at Oxford University on May 7, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

The transatlantic student protest movement, which is demanding an end to relationship between many universities and the Zionist entity, illustrates the urgent need to ‘de-zionize’ the Union of Jewish Students.

The students’ tactics contrast sharply with the timorous tendency displayed by senior figures in established anti-war and pro-Palestine groups.

The campus uprising is not just spreading geographically; it is also a lightning rod for an extended range of learning opportunities in the student movement; ideas which were only a few months ago confined to the margins are now taking center stage in the student movement.

This is not just visible in the US but also in the UK.

Indeed, the lightning speed sharing of knowledge, ideas, tactics and slogans is plainly visible.

Slogans like 'disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest' are heard in LA and Edinburgh, from New York to London.

There is a radicalization taking place that is quickly outpacing the aging leadership of the Solidarity movement.

It is becoming commonplace to hear support for ‘the right to resist' up and down the country as in the chant: 'When people are occupied. Resistance is justified'.

A key area which challenges the state leadership of Stop the War and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is the use of the Z word.

Zionism was the form of racism whose name they dared not speak.

Now calls to crush Zionism are heard across the country as are references to the Zionist entity in chants such as 'Hey ho, hey ho, Zionisms got to go' and 'Say it loud, Say it clear. We don't want no Zionists here'. Anti-Zionism is now sweeping student politics.

The Zionist press even reported in power clutching fashion, that at the breakout meeting at the NUS conference, a show of hands in favor of an anti-Zionist motion was carried overwhelmingly.

According to an anonymous Zionist present at the meeting, the motion was backed by a vast show of hands.

The motion questioned the legitimacy of the Union of Jewish Students’ affiliation with the NUS because of its pro-Israel stance.

Naturally, the craven careerists at the top of the NUS issued an apology to the UJS the very next day.

At the NUS conference, anti-genocide students have reportedly argued that the only way to bring peace would be to dismantle the Israeli regime, founded on ethnic cleansing, and that Zionism was a racist ideology and a colonial project.

It is no longer acceptable to say that the union of Jewish students should have a right to decide by itself if it supports genocide or not. Genocide must be opposed. No ifs, No buts.

If the union of Jewish students will not move from its criticism free approach of the Zionist entity, if it will not resign from the Zionist movement and agree to represent all Jewish students, then it will have to be dismantled as an organization and replaced with one that will provide representation for all Jews.

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