Alex Chalmers, now former OULC Co-Chair, has resigned over the club’s decision to support Israel Apartheid Week, a movement he declared had a ‘history of targeting and harassing Jewish students’.
In his resignation he drew attention to the creeping anti-Semitism within the club and the Oxford left in general, referring to the tendency of senior members of the OULC executive to refer to Jews as ‘Zios’. He mentioned one particular incident of a former OULC co-chair describing anti-Semitism as ‘just the Zionists crying wolf’. He also cited the support for Hamas as another indication of anti-Semitism within the club.
The motion passed Monday evening, and included clauses which would have required Chalmers to make his opposition to Israeli ‘apartheid’ known if approached by the media. Chalmers is known for being on the right of OULC, often frequenting P&P dressed in a Michelle Bachmann T-shirt.
A red Tory if ever I saw one
This is not the first time anti-semitism has been cited as a problem for liberation groups. Certain prominent figures in campaign movements being called out for purported anti-semitism in Twitter posts and others have been accused of bullying Jewish students on Facebook groups. You all know who – VERSA’s problematic fave.
The comments below his public resignation on Facebook from friends expressed support for his bravery in making the decision, and his principled decision to resign. Are you paying any attention, Hilary Benn?
Chalmers finished his statement by praising various other former senior members and his fellow co-chair Noni Csogor, saying he respected her decision to carry on leading OULC. He told VERSA: ‘Accepting that I’d reached a point of no return with OULC was difficult, but I hope my decision will result in more people recognising just how serious a problem anti-semitism on campus is.’