A personal statement.
I am naturally disappointed by the decision of the Employment Tribunal to dismiss my claim of harassment against the University and College Union (UCU). I am, however, very grateful that the hearing provided us with the opportunity to raise and discuss in great detail the issues of discrimination and antisemitism that are so important to Anglo Jewry. I believe that the many witnesses we called were able to provide evidence to the tribunal of an intolerable atmosphere over a number of years and that the UCU did nothing to stop these institutionally antisemitic acts from taking place.
Having read the judgment, there are two points that greatly concern me. The first is "a belief in the Zionist project or an attachment to Israel cannot amount to a protected characteristic. It is not intrinsically a part of Jewishness ..." (para 150). For the court to say that as Jews we do not have an attachment to Israel is disappointing, considering that we have been yearning for Israel for 2,000 years and that it has been in our prayers all that time. The second point highlighted the need for Anglo-Jewry to urgently adopt and publicize its own definition of antisemitsm.
As a member of the Board of Deputies, I intend to campaign for us as a community to accept a definition of Jewishness, which includes a connection with Israel and the adoption of a definition of antisemitism. I would like to thank my wife, my family, my witnesses, and all those who supported my action both from within the Jewish community and elsewhere for their incredible support and understanding over the last two years. I would also like to thank my solicitor, Anthony Julius, and all the staff of Mishcon De Reya for their magnificent work and support.
(1.) For the prologue, see R. Fraser, "The Academic Boycott of Israel: A Review of the Five-Year UK Campaign to Defeat It," JCPA.org, http://jcpa.org/article/theacademic-boycott-of-israel-a-review- of-the-five-year-uk-campaign-to-defeat-it/
Ronnie Fraser *
* Ronnie Fraser is director of the Academic Friends of Israel and currently completing his doctorate. He is a lecturer at Barnet College in London and a member of the NATFHE lecturers union. The Employment Tribunal judgment can be found at http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/media/judgments/2013/fraser-uni-college-union, March 28, 2013.
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|Publication:||Journal for the Study of Antisemitism|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2013|
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