UK University Excludes Palestinian Staff, Palestine Scholars from IHRA Discussion

Protest against the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of Antisemitism in London. (Photo: Video Grab)

The University of Edinburgh has excluded Palestinian staff and scholars of Palestine from a task group set up to discuss the repercussions of the highly controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, the Middle East Monitor reported.

Details of the marginalization of Palestinian voices at the Scottish university were reported by senior lecturer in international relations Nicola Perugini.

“The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is weaponized to silence critical conversations on Palestine,” tweeted Perugini.

“Guess who my university has excluded from the ‘task and finish group’ that will discuss the vicious repercussions of the definition? Palestinian staff and scholars of Palestine.”

Perugini also expressed concern over the IHRA definition’s adoption by British universities without consultation.

“The majority of UK universities adopted the definition without consultation with their staff and under the pressure of Gavin Williamson Tory Sec[retary of State] for Education,” he said.

According to the senior lecturer, Williamson, who recently resigned from a government position for the third time, had “blackmailed” universities “and threatened to cut state funding if they did not adopt” the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Opposition to the definition has grown over the years, due to concerns about its chilling effect on free speech. Jewish academics are among the many individuals, groups, and institutions to take a stand against it.


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