Oxford student officials condemn invitation of anti-Israel filmmaker

Marie van der Zyl, Board of Deputies president penned a letter to Prof. Judith Buchanan, Master of St Peter’s College at Oxford University, condemning the educator for extending an invitation to anti-Israel English filmmaker Ken Loach to lecture her students.

Van der Zyl called the decision to invite the filmmaker “entirely unacceptable,” and called for the event to be cancelled.

“That an Oxford college would not conduct its due diligence and allow Ken Loach to address students is entirely unacceptable,” van der Zyl said. “Higher education institutions have a duty of care to their students, which must include a zero tolerance policy to antisemitism and those who minimize or deny it.

“We have been in touch with Jewish students in Oxford and wholeheartedly support their condemnation of the event,” she added. “This event should not take place.”

Oxford Jewish Society president Samuel Benjamin also spoke out with regard to the lecture.

“It is deeply disappointing that Ken Loach is due to speak at St. Peter’s College this evening,” said Benjamin. “Professor Buchanan, though she may have been unaware of Loach’s antisemitic remarks when she extended the invitation, has decided not to cancel the event in spite of being informed of his views over the weekend.

“This has come at the expense of the welfare of Jewish students in Oxford, especially those at St Peter’s College,” he added. “As a Jewish Society, we will not shy away from our duty to protect the interests of Jews on campus.”

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