(October 4, 2019 / JNS) A university and college trade union in the United Kingdom apologized for failing to include Jewish people on a list of groups persecuted in the Holocaust.
The University College Union sent out an email last week to “branch and local association secretaries” to encourage the observance of Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on Jan. 27.
The email included a list of nine groups of people oppressed by the Nazi regime, including “disabled people,” non-Jewish Poles and Slavic POWs,” but Jews were noticeably missing from the list. A link in the e-mail led to a page on the UCU website about Holocaust Memorial Day that also omitted Jews as victims of the Holocaust while mentioning other groups.
Social-media users called the omission “shocking” and “sickening” after the email was publicized, and some suggesting that the inclusion of “non-Jewish Poles” showed that the Union deliberately decided who to include and leave out on the list.
In a subsequent e-mail from the union’s “equality support official,” the organization apologized for what it called “drafting errors,” adding that “UCU apologizes for the offence this caused and reassures all members that it continues to fight against all forms of antisemitism, hatred and bigotry in society.”
UCU further said on Twitter that an “incomplete version” of the email was sent out. The website has since been updated to include mention of Jewish persecution.
Those dissatisfied with the apology described it as “mealy-mouthed … adding insult to injury,” and pointed out that it did not “even directly say what they are apologizing for.”
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