January 2015 Council Meeting

Manchester University is proposing to end the teaching of modern Hebrew (along with Turkish and Persian), because these subjects are taken by relatively few students. This has been strongly opposed by the Centre for Jewish Studies because of its likely effects on research and on the university’s standing in the Jewish community, but without success. Therefore the following was proposed:

“That, in view of the proposal in the Faculty of Humanities of Manchester University to discontinue the teaching of modern Hebrew, the Council send a letter to the Vice-Chancellor, setting out the reasons why this would be a mistake and asking her to use her good offices to have it reconsidered. That Daniel Langton, the Head of the Centre for Jewish Studies, be asked to meet with the Honorary Officers to discuss the situation.

This was passed by an overwhelming majority vote.

Motion put forward by the Zionist Central Council:

“In view of recent anti-Zionist activity, the ZCC would like to ask the Manchester Jewish Representative Council to consider leading a campaign to make the former Human Rights Commission’s working definition of antisemitsm to become law after the next General Election in May. The key aspect of this working definition is that it includes certain aspects of anti-Zionism.  Current legislation does not appear to cover anti-Zionism, for example:
a)  Holding Jews collectively for the actions of the State of Israel, eg Kedem
b)  Applying double standards to Israel by requiring behaviour not expected by other democratic nations.”

This was passed unanimously.

The following link will be useful as it defines the working definition of antisemitism: