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Original Article

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Birmingham stands firm against antisemitism

The Union of Jewish Students of the United Kingdom and Ireland
March 21, 2011

Birmingham Guild of Students last week confirmed its strong stance against racism, ensuring that guest speakers adhere to the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism.

This follows a controversial lecture by Mike Prysner, held on the same day as the Guild's Holocaust Memorial Day event, in which he compared Israelis to Nazis.

The motion, passed by a large margin by the Guild Council, ensures that those responsible for organising events that allow racist, sexist or homophobic speech to go unchallenged are held to account.

Joseph Moses, Birmingham Guild of Students Anti-Racism Anti-Fascism Officer, welcomed the news. "Freedom of speech is a right, but it also comes with responsibilities. This policy is an important step towards outlining those responsibilities, ensuring that our campus remains a safe space for all students".

The meeting also saw the renewal of Birmingham Guild's "No Policy Policy", which precludes the Guild from taking any stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict due to the detrimental effect on campus relations such a move would have.

The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) welcomed these positive steps taken by Birmingham Guild.

"This fantastic news is testament to the hard work of Birmingham Jewish Society in standing up against hatred", said Carly McKenzie, Campaigns Director for UJS.

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