The event was twice postponed after JSoc raised concerns over the rapper, but ultimately went ahead onlineTim_Dennell

The Palestine Solidarity society (PalSoc) has been accused of “betraying the anti-racism values they claim to uphold” after a committee member allegedly leaked emails expressing concern about an upcoming event to a “hateful media outlet”.

The Jewish society (JSoc) said that their private concerns surrounding the society’s invitation of a controversial rapper, Lowkey, were leaked to The Electronic Intifada, an online blog, which led to a student being publicly named and, according to the SU, receiving “extremely distressing abuse as a result of [the] story.”

The Jewish society said yesterday (24/3): “Rather than listening to our concerns about antisemitism, Palestine Society instead betrayed our trust.

“An email to Palestine society was leaked to a hateful media outlet, famed for doxing Jewish students. That a Jewish student with concerns about antisemitism has been publicly named by this outlet is a testament to the validity of our concerns.”

Though PalSoc denied their leadership giving up “any of the information underlying” the article, the only people with access to the emails were members of PalSoc committee, the SU president and BME officer, and the JSoc.

The event was twice postponed after JSoc raised concerns over the rapper, who has publicly voiced conspiracy theories about 9/11 and called Israel a “racist endeavour”, but ultimately went ahead online on 15th March.

The JSoc’s concerns centred on Lowkey’s suggestions that Jewish students do not act in their own interests, but on behalf of the so-called “Israel lobby”.

He praised the sacked professor David Miller, who was fired from Bristol University last year after accusing Jewish students of being loyal to a foreign power, and calling the University’s Jewish society “political pawns [used] by a violent, racist foreign regime.” Lowkey said that Miller’s dismissal was instigated by the “Israel lobby”.

In the talk to Cambridge students which eventually went ahead this month (15/3), Lowkey made similar claims.

He attacked the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) – the group which represents Jewish students across the UK – as having “the potential to enlist people into an army involved in war crimes” and said that the UJS was “mobilising young people into an army that is harming people in a major way”. Comments which the Jewish society said left Jews attending the talk “visibly uncomfortable”.

Elsewhere, he’s peddled conspiracy theories about 9/11, repeatedly dismissed antisemitism allegations within Labour as a “witch-hunt”, and defended Chris Williamson, a former Labour MP expelled from the party over antisemitism allegations.

PalSoc have since distanced themselves from the talk, saying in a statement released yesterday (24/3), that “the event mentioned [in The Electronic Intifada] was not held or advertised by PalSoc or by any of its executive committee members.

“The PalSoc leadership did not give any of the information underlying the Electronic Intifada article nor do we know where it came from.

“We strongly oppose Electronic Intifada singling out a student in their inaccurate and misinformed article.”


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However, the society’s Instagram has previously promoted articles by The Electronic Intifada, and their account is also followed by an editor of the website.

The Student Union (SU) also condemned the article in a statement on their website: “It is absolutely unacceptable for an international news outlet to name students, without offering them right of reply, in an inaccurate story which describes the University’s Jewish Society as a ‘pro-Israel lobby group’.

“This is a clear example of antisemitism, and Jewish students have experienced significant and extremely distressing online abuse as a result of this story.”

The SU originally refrained from saying where the leak came from: “We do not believe a student provided the news outlet with the information to run their article. Whoever did so behaved unacceptably, and put students in harm’s way.”

However, this passage was removed from the statement this afternoon (25/3).

This article was updated at 16.35 on 25/3 in light of changes to the SU’s statement.