Jewish students attacked at Cambridge University

Three Jewish students at Christ’s College were violently attacked last month amid allegations of a cover-up by university officials.

Shlomo Vile ,

אנטישמיות באירופה
אנטישמיות באירופה
צילום: רויטרס

According to a report in The Telegraph News, three Jewish students at Christ’s College in Cambridge, Britain were subjected to vile anti-Semitic abuse and physically attacked by members of the Cambridge University drinking society.

One of the victims has accused the university authorities of failing to investigate the incident properly and punish the perpetrators. Two members of Christ’s College were disciplined for their role in the attack but were cleared of charges of anti-Semitism.

According to the report, the students were attacked by a mob after they entered the graduate union building at the end of last month. The bar area had been rented for a party by the sporting societies of Christ’s College.

One of the victims, Shlomo Roiter-Jesner, 25, told The Telegraph: “It was a closed party so we walked out but as we did so these individuals started getting more physical and more vocal and they noticed our kippot. All of a sudden they were shouting: 'Jew, get f------ out of here’. We tried to leave but they were yelling at us.”

Another of the victims wrote an email to the head of Christ’s College, Professor Jane Stapleton, stating “We, and other bystanders, heard a number of vicious anti-Semitic slurs including 'f------ Jew, you don’t belong here’, 'dirty Jew’ and to myself, 'f--- off, darkie’.

"They then proceeded to try and choke my friend with his scarf, leaving him gasping for oxygen, and to push me and the third friend around, despite our attempts to de-escalate the situation. They eventually went back in after threatening to 'smash our faces in’.”

The university obtained security camera footage of the incident but no audio recording.

Two and a half weeks later, Mr. Roiter-Jesner received a perfunctory reply from Stapleton, stating “The internal disciplinary process of the tutors is now concluded and two students have been disciplined. Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.”

The students were shocked by the response and the lack of appropriate recognition and disciplinary action. “The college has not confronted the issue at all,” said Mr Roiter-Jesner, “They have brushed it under the carpet.”

Prof Stapleton told the The Telegraph: “The internal investigation did succeed in identifying two Christ’s College students who admitted using foul language and participating in a scuffle but they denied initiating the physical hostility and denied using any anti-Semitic or racist language. In relation to the former they were disciplined.”

She added: “I reject categorically that Christ’s College has engaged in a cover-up on this matter.”

The attack comes amid a background of increasing anti-Semitism in Britain in general and on British university campuses in particular. A watchdog group, the Community Security Trust registered 557 separate incidents during the first half of 2016, This is an 11% increase compared to the first half of 2016. However, the number of anti-Semitic incidents on campus during that period more than doubled, continuing a recent trend of increasing anti-Semitism on British Campuses.