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As students in the UK, we are deeply concerned that the space to bring the facts of the past and ongoing dispossession faced by Palestinians into the public domain, including in UK universities, is under severe threat by the adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism with its attached examples.

We believe that the IHRA definition is a threat to the fundamental right for Palestinians to describe their lived experience of oppression. The discredited definition, and specifically its illustrative examples, conflates anti-Semitism and legitimate criticism of the laws, policies and constitutional order of the State of Israel.

We are therefore gravely concerned by the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson’s, announcement that he is actively exploring measures to force universities to adopt the definition, including cutting their access to funding streams. The vast majority of UK universities have so far rightly withstood pressure to adopt.

As a broad coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations warned back in 2018 the discredited IHRA examples erase Palestinian history and shield Israel’s far-right regime of occupation and oppression by conflating discrimination against Jews on the one hand with legitimate critiques of Israel’s policies and system of injustice on the other.

The concerns raised about by Palestinian civil society around the definition, and its illustrative examples, are shared by the Institute of Race Relations; eminent lawyers including ex-Court of Appeal Judge Sir Stephen Sedley; civil rights organisation Liberty; leading academic experts on antisemitism Anthony Lerman and Brian Klug; 40 global Jewish social justice organisations; and more than 80 UK-based BAME groups.

These concerns are not merely academic; they have unfortunately been substantiated by many examples across the globe.

The right of Palestinians to accurately describe their experiences of dispossession and oppression, to criticise the nature and structure of the state that continues to oppress them and to openly criticise the ideology of Zionism which informs the actions, policies and laws of that state, is a core right, protected under numerous international laws and conventions, including Article 10 of the European Convention for Human Rights.

Likewise we affirm the rights of all students, alongside all UK citizens, to study and disseminate information around the constitutional order and structure of the State of Israel, as well as to stand in solidarity with Palestinians facing continued dispossession and oppression, including through advocacy for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the State of Israel until it complies with international law. As recently upheld by the European Court for Human Rights, advocating for boycott is a protected right under Article 10.

Attempts to suppress our right to bring information about Palestinian history into the public domain violate our right to free expression, and serve to render Palestinians invisible as a people. These attempts also contradict our academic freedom to learn, discuss, question and test received wisdom.

We call on UK Universities to unequivocally protect our right to describe the facts of Palestinian oppression, to describe Israel’s laws, policies and actions as racist or as constituting apartheid; to criticise the political ideology of Zionism and to call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel as nonviolent measures of accountability to bring about its compliance with its obligations under international law and its respect for Palestinian rights.

Signed

Aakifah Faisal-Shah University of Manchester
Aamena Fatema Dewji De Montfort University
Aamina Davdani Brunel University London
Aamina-Noor Shah University of Leeds
Abbas Husain University of Oxford
Abbey Peebles University of Glasgow
Abdullah El-saadawy Bradford University
Abdullah Raja London School of Economics and Political Science
Abraar Majid Aston University
Adam Ferron The University of Edinburgh
Adan Hussain University Of Manchester
Adhiyan Jeevathol University College London (UCL)
Adrian Abdul-Bahá SOAS
Adriana Disman Queen Mary University of London
Ahmed Alagha University of Cambridge
Ahmed Fidson University of Hertfordshire
Ahmed Karim Queen Mary University of London
Ahmed Mohamud UCL
Aidan Cooke University of Nottingham
Aisha Kherallah The London School of Economics and Political Science
Aisha Muhammad Lancaster University
Aisha Yasin Lancaster Uni
Alayna Ismail University of Warwick
Alec Neil UWE Bristol
Ali Dehghan-Nayeri University of Surrey
Ali Jafar Keele University
Alia Manjouna Kings College London
Aliakber Dewji UCL Medical School
Amaar Baloch Keele University
Amier Amily Kings College London
Amin Hussain Queen Mary university of london
Amina Al-Sharifi Middlesex University
Amina Boudjella Canterbury Christ Church University
Amina Solkar Lancaster University
Amir M Anglia Ruskin
Amira Rahman University of Portsmouth
Amjad Duhaini Queen Mary, University of London
Amna Ali Keele University
Anas Wahba Aston University
Aneurin Tomkins SOAS
Anita Kanani Birkbeck College
Anoosha Abid University of Manchester
Anoushka Kapoor UCL
Anya sivan Soas
Anysa Badran SOAS, University of London
Areeba Ahmed University of Liverpool
Arham Khan London School of Economics
Arjun Nanning Ramamurthy University of Edinburgh
Asma Saeed SOAS
Asraa Hafeez University of Manchester
Assala Mihoubi Cardiff University
Ateff Nabhani Kent University
Atif Khan University of Strathclyde
Awais Alam King’s College London
Ayaj Patel University Of Bradford
Ayesha Maqbool Keele University
Baqir Datoo Lancaster University
Baramee Thummatewin University of Chichester
Bashaar Karim London School of Economics and Political Science
Benjamin Davy Plymouth University
Bernardo Amaro-Monteiro SOAS
Bilal Vahidy London school of economics
Bryar University of Exeter
Bukola Peace Eniola-Olaitan Aston University
Bushra Bibi University of Cambridge
Caitlin Odell The University of Manchester
Caitlin Perry University of Warwick
Cameron Michie Imperial College London
Cara Tajabor Warwick University
Caroline Rosalie Brouard University of Westminster
Cathie JAYAKUMAR QMUL
Charles Melville Pembroke College Cambridge
Charles Perry University of Oxford
Charlie Thomas SOAS
Charlotte Dignam SOAS
Charlotte Dignam SOAS
Charlotte James University of Warwick
Charlotte Young Queen Mary University of London
Chavonne Brown Lancaster University
Chiara Ferlito London South Bank University
Christopher Griffin University of Brighton
Cole Hine University of Exeter
Connor Moylett University of Sussex
Cuba Litterick London School of Economics
Daniel Lewis University of Leeds
Darius Samadian University of Manchester
David Longworth University of Birmingham
David Thomas Birkbeck College
Derek John Smith London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Diaa Wazait University of Leeds
Dina Zayed University of Sussex
Doaa Saleem University of west london
Dominyka Vinčaitė University of Gloucestershire
Dounya Boumaza university of southampton
Duncan Michie IOE/UCL
Eesha Choudhary London School of Economics and Political Science
Elena Christaki-Hedrick London School of Economics
Elissa Sebaaly King’s College London
Ella Spencer SOAS
Ellen McNamara University of York
Elvira Thomas University of Sussex
Emilio Risoli London School of Economics and Political Science
Emily Man SOAS University of London
Emma Fraser Reid Dundee University
Emma Taaffe Open University
Emma Taylor University of Hertfordshire
Esther Kaner UCL
Ewan Maart University of Reading
Fahmid Ahmed University of Warwick
Farah Taleb University of Edinburgh
Faraz Khalid London School of Economics and Political Science
Farhana Rashid UCL
Farhana Yasmin University of Liverpool
Fariha Chowdhury King’s College London
Faris Abulula University of Leeds
Fatima Habib-Zahmani The University of York
Fatin Umi Nailah University of Liverpool
Feras Abulula  University of Bradford
Fidak Naqvi University of Portsmouth
Finlay Purcell University of Durham
Finley Gore University of Manchester
Fiza Mir The University of Manchester
Frances Toomey Cranfield University
Francesca Barbieri University of Warwick
Franklin Dawson The London School of Economics and Political Science
Gabriella Palmer Bristol Trinity College
George Reed Loughborough University
George Turner London School of Economics and Political Science
H A Imperial College London
Habiba Elbeiali Keele University
Hadeel Himmo University of Warwick
Hajra Williams University of Brighton
Hamed Al Khalifa King’s College London
Hanane Kahoul University of the West of Scotland
Hannah Borai London School of Economics and Political Science
Hannah Szeto London School of Economics and Political Science
Hannah van weert Birkbeck University
Hanya University College, London
Hareem Ali University of Birmingham
Haris Raja London School of Economics and Political Science
Hasan Ikram Quraishi University College London
Hasan Joumaa Warwick Business School
Hashim alhakim Brunel
Hassaan Naeem University of Leeds
Hayder Abbas University of Leeds
Hazem Jamal Zeidieh University of Dundee
Heba Kusseibati SOAS
Hedda Guddim London School of Economics and Political Science
Helen Clare Dixon University of Brighton
Helena Zucker King’s College London
Hélène Marie Abiraad University of Brighton
Hugh Cameron University of Warwick
Humaira yusuf UCL
Husein Alghaban London School of Economics and Political Science
Ibrahim Al-Ghraibawi London south bank university
Insiya Fatima Merchant Queen Mary University London
Iona Walker University of Edinburgh
Iona Walker University of Edinburgh
Isabel Arce Zelada Wilberforce Institute (University of Hull)
Jack McGinn London School of Economics
Jack Walton University of Exeter
Jacopo Condò University of Brighton
James Godfrey Birkbeck, University of London
James Robertson University of Reading
James Warren University of Nottingham
James Wrathall Cambridge University
Jamie Weiner University of Oxford
Jana Aljeeran University of Nottingham
Janina Moninska University of Brighton
Jasmin Jumaa King’s College London
Jaswinder Blackwell-Pal Birkbeck, University of London
Jawed Siddiqi Sheffield Hallam
Jayne Hughes Lancaster University
Jessy Nassar King’s College London
Joel Hooper London School of Economics
Jonathan Dennison Open University
Joseph Faire University of Sheffield
Joseph S Sammut Queen Mary University of London
Josephine Lambert University of Manchester
Josh Curtis Ravensbourne
JS Titus Brunel University
Jubaer Islam Queen Mary university of london
Julian Portland Sheffield Hallam University
Kamal Idrissi Warwick business school
Kamaladiin Ahmed The University of Leeds
Karar Ali Warwick University
Karim Ali King’s College London
Karim Damji Durham University
Karim El-Houssami University of Sussex
Kasim ali shah De Montfort University
Kat Cecil University College London
Kelly-Jo Bluen London School of Economics and Political Science
Kenza Cheikh King’s College London
Khalid Abdulghani UCL
Kieron Cadey Canterbury Christ Church
Kiren Shoman Birkbeck University
Kirsten Marner-Foley University of Warwick
Kumayl Johe university of strathclyde
Ky Hall Birkbeck College, University of London
Laiba Butt University of Manchester
Laila Alrobey Queen Mary
Lara Marlen Fricke University of Exeter
Lauren Corelli Goldsmiths Students’ Union
Layan Choufani SOAS
Leila Benbetka London School of Economics
Leila Sackur University of Cambridge
Light Okah University of Warwick
Lilah Aptroot University of Bristol
Lorenza Ippolito University of Brighton
Louis Collins Hull University
Louis Sugunasabesan City, University London
Louis Tom Cochrane Stringer Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Luca Kamleh Chapman Oxford school of drama
Lucy Freedman Queen Mary, University of London
Lucy Irwin UWE
M R Wadud University of Essex
Madia Iqbal University of Manchester
Mahbabur Rahman University of Edinburgh
Mahdi BaeidiNejad Queen Mary university of London
Majeed Bawendi UCL
Malak Khalil University of Oxford
Mana Rose University of Bristol
Mandy Bhari University of the West of Scotland
Manpreet Garcha Keele university
Maram Abulula The University of Sheffield
Maria Abdullah Keele University
Maria Battul University of Bradford
Maria Hanif University of Liverpool
Maria Torres-Quevedo University of Edinburgh
Mariam Fayad University of Leeds
Mark Ayyash Mount Royal University
Marral Shamshiri-Fard London School of Economics and Political Science
Marriah Hossain Queen Mary’s University of London
Marriam Albukai King’s College London
Marwar Mohammoud London School of Economics and Political Science
Maryam Al-makhzoumi Queen Mary University of London
Maryam Fini University of Reading
Masa University of Essex
Maximiliane-Sophie Michels University of Edinburgh
Maxwell Hammer London School of Economics
Meg Day University College London
Mehdi Khan UCL
Melanie Rose Steele Gloucestershire University
MG Gaitan University of Warwick
Michael Sackur Goldsmiths University
Michal Rotem Queen Mary University of London
Miles Grant University of Glasgow
Militsa Stefanova University of Reading
Milo Aylward London Contemporary Dance School
Miri Davidson Queen Mary University of London
Misbah Waziri King’s College London
Misha Feinstein University of Leeds
Misk Hassan King’s College London
Moayed Aljamal Birbeck College, University of London
Mohamed UCL
Mohamed Talaat South&City College Birmingham
Mohammad Abbas Warwick University
Mohammad Abdullah London School of Economics and Political Science
Mohammad Abid Sarfraz King’s College London
Mohammed Adnan Mahmud University of Cambridge (Clare College)
Mohammed Ismael Ali Queen Mary University of London
Mohammed Naqi Naqvi University of Birmingham
Mohammed Rezwanur Rahman Kings college london
Mohammed Samir University of Leeds
Momena Saqib Keele University
Moncef Bendebiche Canterbury Christ Church University
Moni Serneabat Ungar University of Glasgow
Montezer Al-Gersani London South Bank University
Mouki Kambouroglou London School of Economics and Political Science
Mr Michael Lewis Arden University
Muhammad Ali Dhirani Keele University
Muhammad Fahad University of Bradford
Muhammad Hossain King’s college
Muhammad Ubaid Amin University Of Leicester
Muhammad Zainuddin London School of Economics and Political Science
Muhammad-Abbas Lalji St Georges University London
Mukarma Zakria UCL
Muneeb Naik Queen Mary University of London
Muntazir Jaffer Keele University
N.E. BRAHIMI Canterbury Christ Church University
Nabila Ahmed London School of Economics
Nader Andrawos London School of Economics and Political Science
Naila Choudhury UCL
Naima Ali Brunel
Najat Ali Lancaster University
Nancy Breton London School of Economics and Political Science
Naof Assiri Queen Mary University of London
Nasser Al-Khalidi University of Aberdeen
Nazifa Chowdhury University College London
Neha Mohamed Queen Mary University of London
Nellia Halimi London School of Economics and Political Science
Nemo abdelrahman Sheffield Hallam University
Nicholas Shaw University of Leeds
Nihed Messadek University of Kent
Noga Levy-Rapoport University of Warwick
Nora Sadeddin Northumbria University
Nour Almazidi London School of Economics and Political Science
Nour HADJADJ University of Leicester
Nur Arafeh Oxford University
Nurin Sabrina Rashdan Fitri Lancaster University
Nuriyah  Malik University of Leicester
Nuzha Nuseibeh University of Oxford
Olivia Hart University of Manchester
Olivia Millar University of Warwick
Olivia Mustafa Cambridge University
Olivia Smith SOAS
Oona Ellis Warwick University
Ourania Jones University of West london
Pamela Laidman University of Brighton
Pascale Pean SOAS
Patrick longmate Durham University
Paul Musso SOAS University of London
Paul-Enguerrand Fady King’s College London
Pauline Ertel London School of Economics and Political Science
Peter Jones Sheffield Hallam University
Phil Wilson Portsmouth University
Pushpi Bagchi The University of Edinburgh
R Sinaj City University
Rachel Annor-Agyei University of Warwick
Radja Bouchama Cardiff University
Rafia Khan University College London
Raggi Kotak Birkbeck
Ram Bhat London School of Economics
Rania Al-Ali King’s College London
Raul Madden University of Kent
Rawaha Husam Al-Deen UCL
Rayane Anser University of Warwick
Rebekah Burland SOAS
Rémy London School of Economics and Political Science
Resna Begum Keele University
Resume Akhter University College London
Rija Ali Khan London School of Economics and Political Science
Robert Quinlan University of Oxford
Roger Higginson University of Sussex
Roxanne Taylor University of Manchester
Ruby Hirsch Glasgow School of Art
Ruth MacGilp Heriot Watt
Saaim-un-Noor Bahar UCL
Sabina Yeasmin Keele University
Sabrina Shah SOAS
Sadek Al-Saabari Queen Mary, University of London
Safa khan University of Liverpool
Safia Kayum Aston University
Safiya K Lancaster University
Saifullah University of Warwick
Sakeena Naqvi-Jukes University of Brighton
Salah Chaaban University of Warwick
Salah Eddine Belhenniche Canterbury Christ Church University
Salma Jafri Kingston University
Salma Nasser university of lancaster
Salman Samir Manchester Metropolitan University
Samir Abdul University of Essex
Samir Saad University of Cambridge
Samirah Chowdhury Keele University
Sampson Koo University of Reading
Samra Saddique University of Essex
Samuel Kavanagh University of East London
Sana Shafi London School of Economics and Political Science
Saoirse Genoni University of Oxford
Sara-Jane Armstrong SOAS University of London
Sarim A Samad Poonawala University of Warwick
Saskia Bigg SOAS
Sayed Aqeel Sarwari University of Leicester
Sayed Azam City University
Sayed Fadhul University of leeds
Sgianach Hindhaugh SOAS
Shahd Haj Khalil City, university of London
Shahd I Abusalama Sheffield Hallam University
Shaimaa himdan Kings college london
Shazmen Jan University College London
Shehab Ismail University of Leeds
Sheherbano Hanif London School of Economics
Sibba Abdelhadi London School of Economics and Political Science
Sky Golding Liverpool Hope University
Sofia Cotterill University of Oxford
Sohil Salim London School of Economics and Political Science
Sophia Beach University of Bristol
Sophia Hoffinger University of Edinburgh
Sophie Stedman Goldsmiths University of London
Sowsan Bilal University of Birmingham
Stella Arnold University of Sussex
Syed Hussain Naqvi Queen Mary, University of London
Syed kazmi University of Leeds
Syed Muhammad Hadi Rizvi Royal Holloway, University of London
Syeda Zahra The University of Manchester
Symran Annika Saggar Queen Mary University of London
Talal Ahmad UCL
Tara Constantine The London School of Economics
Tawfik AbouKhaled Birmingham City University
Theodore Williamson University of Cambridge
Thom Barnes-Wise University of Warwick
Thomas Hill University of Oxford
Thomas Johnson University of Strathclyde
Thonika Syeda London School of Economics and Political Science
Titas Grambovskis University of Bristol
Tomasz Jabłoński SOAS University of London
Umar S Khan London School of Economics and Political Science
Urfan Ali Teesside University
Urooj Fatima University of Bradford
Usha Bholah University of Leeds
Vanessa Birkhahn SOAS – University of London
Victor Crainic University of Hertfordshire
Wahida Walibhai University of Manchester
William Hewetson University of Sheffield
Xinyi Chen SOAS
Yaar Peretz Keele University
Yamna Paradis Keele University
Yasmin Elsouda SOAS
Yasmina O’Sullivan London School of Economics and Political Science
Yousuf Abdullah Qureshi University of Leeds
Yousuf Bin Tahar Queen Mary University
Yusra Siddique SOAS
Zahi Zafar University College London
Zahra Adoul Staffordshire University
Zain Abbas Syed University of Oxford
Zain Raza Oxford University
Zain Zaman University of Bradford
Zaina Shouman University of Essex
Zainab Ahmad King’s College London
Zamin Shabir University of Oxford
Zanya Fechner SOAS, School of Oriental and African Studies
Zona Ismail University of Manchester
Zoya Kamran University of Warwick
常鹏飞 University of Edinburgh