Universities: Anti-Semitism

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:01 pm on 12th June 2007.

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Photo of Lord Moser Lord Moser Crossbench 8:01 pm, 12th June 2007

My Lords, I will list the points that I wanted to develop. First, a boycott would be totally misguided. It would offend against academic freedom and destroy precious bridges between academics internationally. Politically, it would help no one, contributing nothing to solving Middle East problems. I hope that the rational arguments against it will prevail within universities.

Most importantly, the report deals with the underlying evil of anti-Semitism. Sadly, we are witnessing a rising tide of that in Europe and all around us. I feel more anxious about this than I have for a very long time—not least about the shameful actions on campuses. As a lifelong academic, I feel truly ashamed at them. There are no easy solutions. We must look to vice-chancellors to play their role and, above all, to government to express in the strongest terms that anti-Semitism is an evil not to be tolerated or accepted anywhere in our multicultural society.

Perhaps most importantly, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Deech, for opening this debate. It clearly points to the need for a longer debate on another occasion.