It appears to many in the Anglo-Jewish community that while the UJS exists for the commendable purposes of enabling Jewish students to eat kosher, daven, and have fun, its heart is not really in getting involved in Israel advocacy in a committed, strenuous way.
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/douglasmurray/100034452/how-to-lose-friends-and-alienate-people-a-lesson-from-islamist-cowed-jewish-students/), citing as cases in point the UJS's withdrawal of its invitations to well-known public intellectual Douglas Murray, a strong friend of Israel and critic of Islamofascism, to speak at Gateshead and to Benny Morris to speak at Cambridge, and its attempt to prevent prominent pro-Israel activist Jonathan Hoffman from demonstrating in support of Israeli deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon in a public street outside LSE.
Now comes news that will strike many people as utterly depressing.
'Jewish students arriving at universities in the next fortnight will be asked to pledge their support to "two states for two peoples", hand out Israeli and Palestinian flags, and support "freedom, justice and equality" for all.'
'There is a belief within UJS that standard advocacy efforts "do not cut it any more" because "students are not stupid". Students will be encouraged to back the "liberation" of Israelis from Palestinian terror, and Palestinians through the formation of a new state.
"We have done our research. Old campaigns regarding Israel have not worked, so we are trying a bold approach.
The report notes thatNot everyone will agree with our bold campaigns this year, but we're hoping to start a conversation, to get our community properly engaging with and discussing Israel. Already, we've sat with everyone from Yachad to StandWithUs to start that dialogue."'
"Efforts to overturn the National Union of Students' anti-Israel policies adopted earlier this year will continue, as will opposition to campus extremism and invitations to hate speakers."http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/54741/union-jewish-students-shows-commitment-peace
Let's hope the new policy - which the UJS admits may alienate some of its members and which has reportedly infuriated the Israeli Embassy in London - does not, unwittingly, play into the enemy's hands.
Jonathan Hoffman, for one, is certainly less than impressed. He says:
"Hamas is committed to the genocide of all Jews and the PA refuses to recognise the State of Israel. The vast majority of Israeli Jews and indeed of UK Jews will find the image of UJS pressing Palestinian flags on Jewish students utterly repulsive. Fortunately there are now alternatives on campus to UJS - namely Stand With Us and British Israel Coalition. I would urge Jewish students and indeed their parents to vote with their feet."