The former Home Secretary told us she felt that “these protests do contribute to a view that is antisemitic”Ruying Yang for Varsity

Suella Braverman visited Cambridge For Palestine’s (C4P) encampments today on King’s Parade as she attempted to talk to activists and students about the protests.

Braverman told Varsity that she believes the pro-Palestine protests on UK campuses to be “antisemitic,” while Cambridge Jews for Justice have condemned the MP’s visit, saying that politicians are attempting to “weaponise [their] identities”.

The Queens’ alum and former CUCA chair was seen in conversation with GB News presenter Patrick Christys and was surrounded by a group of media escorts who were attempting to gather protesters to be interviewed.

This comes as C4P set up a new encampment outside Senate House yesterday (15/04) in an escalation of previous actions when the University failed to meet protesters’ demands to open negotiations.

Varsity interviews the Former Home SecretaryRuying Yang for Varsity

When approached for interview, Braverman told Varsity that she was there to “genuinely enquire as to what the protesters are doing and what their message is,” but said that “they’re not keen to talk”.

She described the protesters as seeming “suddenly quite scared and shy”.

Last week, the Prime Minister said that he expected university leaders to take “robust action” in dealing with the protests.

When asked if the University or government should be taking “robust action,” the former Home Secretary told us she felt that “these protests do contribute to a view that is antisemitic”.

Suella claimed that during “marches we’ve seen antisemitic language”. In her view, “chanting ‘From the river to the sea’ is antisemitic”.

“I’m very concerned about this antisemitism on campus. We have a lot of Jewish students feeling very intimidated and harassed on campus,” the MP continued.

All protesters and representatives of the encampment refused to speak to her.

Ahead of Braverman’s arrival one protester announced over a megaphone that they were expecting the media outlet, and encouraged members of the encampment not to engage.

Cambridge Jews for Justice told Varsity: “We’ve seen non-Jewish politicians seeking to weaponise our identities, divide us from Jewish communities, and tell us what is and isn’t antisemitic. Antisemitism on campus is a real phenomenon, and we can’t fight it by fear-mongering and scapegoating each other.”

“Conservative politicians like Braverman, complicit in the ongoing genocide, are seeking to distract us from what their government is funding, by stoking flames in a culture war that makes students less safe here and everywhere,” they continued.

James Orr, a divinity fellow who has been criticised for “racist” remarks towards Arabs and Palestinians, was also seen observing Braverman’s walk past the camps.


Mountain View

Activists stage sit-in outside Old Schools entrance

Media escorts unsuccessfully attempted to convince one heckling passer-by to talk to Braverman. He called the media escort who had approached him a “nasty piece of work,” and said that Braverman’s presence was “playing to the right-wing fascists of this country”.

“These people are brave, sleeping out in a tent, being prepared to put themselves forward for a cause that’s absolutely just”, and “that person there just stirs it up […] and creates hatred”, he continued.

Cambridge for Palestine told Varsity: “We are a movement that focuses on our University’s links to the genocide currently taking place in Gaza. There are people being deliberately starved in Palestine as we speak, and our University has a role to play in this. ”

“We refuse for our movement be used as a tool for an irrelevant person to gain any political relevance they lost, and we will not engage with them,” they said.

All parties have been contacted for comment.