Universities: Anti-Semitism

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:53 pm on 12th June 2007.

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Photo of Lord Dearing Lord Dearing Crossbench 7:53 pm, 12th June 2007

My Lords, when the noble Baroness, Lady Deech, raised the possibility of my taking part in the debate, I told her frankly that, having read the report, all I could think of saying was that I was appalled. Any discrimination, hostility or harassment of any student or academic on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, creed or race is wholly unacceptable and should not be tolerated. So also is any discrimination against any university, wherever it may be, for the policies of the Government of the country where it is domiciled.

Perhaps I may follow in his absence what the noble Lord, Lord Patten, said; this is a matter where vice-chancellors, on whose behalf the noble Baroness, Lady Warwick, has spoken very encouragingly to all of us, need the support and resolution not only of chancellors but of governing bodies. If governing bodies do anything, they should stand up and make their voice and presence felt on an issue like this. I hope very much that the noble Baroness will encourage that through her channels.

I look forward to what the Minister has to say. This is a cancer. We must see it and respond to it as such.