(April 24, 2019 / JNS) A student at Bristol University in the United Kingdom was told by the school’s ethnic minority officer to “be like Israel and cease to exist.”
After pledging “zero tolerance of racism,” Omar Chowdhury won the position of black, minority and ethnic (BME) representative last month within the school’s Students’ Union.
But Chowdhury’s comments during a debate on the Facebook group Bristruths included telling Izzy Posen, “Your comments are like Israeli settlements: always popping up where they aren’t wanted,” and that “Just because you have an opinion does not mean it is valid and worth entertaining.”
“I never see you even try to contribute anything. You just always come with some hella smarmy, asinine s***,” he added. “So please, be like Israel and cease to exist.”
Posen replied, “Well that escalated quickly. And you even managed to get Israel in there!”
Members of Bristruths called for Chowdhury to be ejected from his role.
“If they don’t kick [him] off the SU committee, it is such a double standard,” posted one student. “Jewish people are repeatedly swept under the rug. People are continually allowed to get way with this stuff. We need to set a precedent.”
Nina Freedman, president of the Bristol Jewish Society, condemned Chowdhury.
“Jewish students are upset that an elected BME officer has made such a deeply offensive anti-Semitic remark, and we hope that an appropriate course of disciplinary action will be taken,” she said.
A university spokesperson told The Times that the university is investigating the matter, and that the administration is “committed to providing a positive experience for all students and staff, and actively encourage members of our community to report concerns.”