Policy title: Antisemitism Statement
Published on this page: 6th October 2021
DN Colleges Group is joining other colleges and university centres across the country in stating our position against prejudice as part of its commitment to promote and advance equality and develop an inclusive and cohesive community. We do this because it aligns closely with our own values.
The Community Security Trust is the leading organisation monitoring and supporting victims of Anti-Semitism. The Trust report on Anti-Semitic incidents during the first six months of 2019 showed the highest total on record over a six-month period, with over 100 incidents a month for the third year running. In the first half of 2020, CST received ten reports of educational or religious online events being hijacked with antisemitic content or behaviour. CST also recorded 26 incidents that contained antisemitic rhetoric alongside references to the pandemic. These statistics are clearly a cause for concern.
By adopting a recognised definition of Anti-Semitism, DN Colleges Group has demonstrated its commitment to tackling racist and religious hatred and all forms of discrimination.
The working definition of Anti-Semitism as defined by the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) is as follows:
“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of Anti-Semitism are directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious families.”
The definition is not designed to be legally binding, but it can be viewed as an invaluable tool for FE institutions and other public bodies to understand how Anti-Semitism manifests itself.
Such an approach provides a strong gesture of support to Jewish communities that their concerns are recognised and understood and assurance to all our communities that Anti-Semitic behaviour and discrimination will not be tolerated.
However, in response to legitimate criticism of state policy and practice, DN Colleges Group affirms that freedom of speech is maintained in the context of discourse about Israel and Palestine, without allowing anti-Semitism to permeate any debate.
The Home Affairs Committee outlines that, “it is not anti-Semitic to criticise the Government of Israel without additional evidence to suggest anti-Semitic intent” and “it is not anti-Semitic to hold the Israeli government to the same standard as other liberal democracies, or to take particular interest in the Israeli government’s policies or actions, without additional evidence to suggest anti-Semitic intent.”
Approved by the College’s Governing Body within the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy