Alex Chalmers, co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) has resigned from office after the OULC decided last night to endorse Israel Apartheid Week.
In his resignation statement he highlighted his concerns, alleging there were growing anti-Semitic tendencies within the OULC. Chalmers said, “The decision of the club to endorse a movement with a history of targetting (sic.) and harassing Jewish students and inviting antisemitic speakers to campuses, despite the concerns of Jewish students, illustrates how uneven and insincere much of the active membership is when it comes to liberation.”
During his two terms as co-chair of the club he further alleges he witnessed a range of declarations regarding Zionism and the Hamas including “members of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon” and “senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explicitly defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians.” This led him to believe that “the attitudes of certain members of the club towards certain disadvantaged groups was becoming poisonous (sic.).”
The remaining co-chair, Noni Csogor, released a statement saying, “We take allegations of anti-Semitism in the club very seriously and I will be discussing, with my executive committee, how to deal with the kinds of statements Alex mentions, and what concrete steps we can take in future.”
However, despite these fine sentiments OULC tweeted in response to the passing of the IAW motion, “OULC just voted to support Oxford Israeli Apartheid Week in a continuation of its solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
The Israeli Apartheid Week, closely associated with the BDS movement, has equally stirred up controversy with accusations of systemic anti-Semitism.