Submitted by: UCL Students for Justice in Palestine
We, the undersigned UCL students, student societies and staff, fully support efforts to tackle antisemitism and call for urgent action to make UCL a prejudice-free campus. The IHRA working definition runs counter to those values, however, with its own author testifying that it was not designed as a campus code and that such use may in fact harm Jewish students.
UCL was founded upon principles of academic autonomy, freedom of speech, and acceptance and tolerance. By adopting the IHRA definition, UCL compromises these freedoms and suppresses political speech. Moreover, the definition criminalises those working for social justice and battling all forms of discrimination, including antisemitism. The irony will not be lost on the UCL community that, in a year highlighting the necessity of social justice, UCL criminalised those working for it. To continue this definition is for UCL to actively suppress the struggle for Palestinian safety, rights, and freedom. That is not a UCL we want to be part of. A UCL that perpetuates the racial inequality of its students, many of whom are Palestinian. A UCL that tells its students they cannot fight for their rights as humans.
In the name of academic freedom, social justice, and equality for all, we urge our university to reject a definition which runs counter to all these noble pursuits, and replace it with more effective tools to tackle prejudice at UCL. Signatories (current students, societies, and staff) For further explanation on issues with the
For the UCL Academic Board Working Group’s full report on the IHRA Definition and its flaws: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucu/sites/ucu/files/wg-racism-and-prejudice-report.pdf
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