The society expressed their support for “all Jewish students who have been affected” Sam Harrison

The Cambridge University Jewish Society (CUJS) yesterday (13/01) issued a statement in solidarity with Jewish students who have recently been “subject to unfounded conspiracy theories and online intimidation” by Professor Priyamvada Gopal.

The society said that “attacks on our members are unacceptable and we will always advocate fearlessly on their behalf”, adding that “Jewish students must be able to feel safe at Cambridge and feel that they are supported by their tutors and supervisors.”

The statement condemned a series of tweets put out by Gopal yesterday, which CUJS said “echoes historic tropes about media control, and goes on to insinuate that the Jewish journalists are acting out of fidelity to the IHRA definition of Antisemitism.”

The tweets followed the publication of two pieces in Varsity, a news article and an opinion piece, concerning a spat between Gopal and David Abulafia, a former chair of the University’s history faculty.

Gopal claimed that she had been targeted by an “attack” from Varsity over her opposition to the adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism following “editorial changes” at the paper.

One of the journalists concerned, however, tweeted yesterday that he is also opposed to the implementation of the IHRA definition.

CUJS have called Gopal’s claims “baseless”, writing “we condemn these lazy generalisations and misassumptions, applied to a diverse group of students. Student journalists should be judged on the merit of their writing, not their background.”


Mountain View

Caius historian slams ‘insulting’ Gopal racism claim

The society expressed their support for “all Jewish students who have been affected” and wrote that “if Professor Gopal would like to change course and desist from tweeting conspiratorial attacks on Jewish students, our door is always open.”

When asked for her response to the CUJS statement, Professor Gopal sent the following statement to Varsity: “It is a matter of puzzlement and grave regret that Varsity has published misleading and false claims about my words that have predictably subjected me, yet again, to a concerted racist and misogynist attack across the British right-wing press.”

She continued, alleging that “Varsity has also carried an unprovoked, vitriolic, racist and highly personal attack on me which has breached basic editorial, ethical and fact-checking standards, adding to the falsehoods of the initial news report. As one of very few female professors of colour in the public eye, I am no stranger to racist media pile-ons, accompanied by a sustained barrage of abuse, which put me and my family in danger each time.”

Gopal did not comment on any of the accusations made against her by CUJS, instead concluding her statement with “it is my hope that Varsity will recognise the consequences of their actions, and in due course, return to a higher standard of journalistic integrity.”