Tolerate this, what's next?

March 29, 2012

Ruth Deech has done a great service by highlighting the failures of some universities to respect the laws that protect students on campus from intimidation, harassment and defamation ("Hate has no place here", 22 March). There is much work to be done to adequately respect these laws while simultaneously protecting freedom of speech and academic freedom.

Deech discusses the fact that the University and College Union has "offended Jews and others among its ranks by claiming to be anti-Zionist rather than anti-Semitic". Irrespective of the debate over the relationship between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, the notion that discrimination on the basis of nationality and citizenship is somehow less morally pernicious than discrimination on the grounds of religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical ability has no reasonable moral defence.

By taking such a stance, the UCU contributes to a climate of intolerance and disrespect for student diversity, contradicts the most basic principles of equality and the universality of human rights, and maligns international law, which respects the sovereignty of Israel and the right of the Jewish people to self-determination. For any nationality to be invidiously singled out and discriminated against constitutes bigotry and injustice, and has no place in the academy or democratic society.

Noam Schimmel, London School of Economics

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy