How Can We Fight Back Against Antisemitism on Campus?

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How Can We Fight Back Against Antisemitism on Campus?

27th October 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Antisemitism has been on the rise in recent years with a record number of hate crimes against Jews being registered during the most recent conflict in the Middle East. Students have felt the full force of this resurgence, perhaps more than most other demographics. The swift switch to the online world during Covid-19, as well as another flare up in tensions in the Middle East, has resulted in individuals feeling empowered to harass and abuse students whilst hiding behind their right to free speech. There is no more recent example than that of Professor David Miller, who was recently dismissed by Bristol University as he “did not meet the standards of behaviour we expect from our staff,” following an extraordinary diatribe against Bristol Jewish students and the State of Israel. The panellists will discuss this rise in antisemitism and analyse the case concerning Professor Miller with a particular focus on this question around freedom of speech and at what point freedom of speech develops into hate speech, potentially inciting violence.

The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to welcome you to join the discussion on antisemitism with Dr David Hirsh, Andrew Percy MP and Nina Freedman.



Nina Freedman is the President of UJS for 2021-22. She has just graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in English. She is so excited to represent all the 8500 Jewish students over the coming year and to be leading the fight against antisemitism on campus.



David Hirsh is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is interested in antisemitism, right and left populism, totalitarianism and anti-democratic movements. He has written on antizionism and its relationship to antisemitism. His book ‘Law against Genocide: Cosmpolitan Trials’ won a prize for the best first book in Sociology in 2003. He published ‘Contemporary Left Antisemitism’ in 2018. He is currently editing a book to be published in 2022 on the 20th anniversary of the ‘call for an academic boycott of Israel’, written by scholars who were active in opposing that call.



Andrew Percy was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for the Northern Powerhouse) at the Department for Communities and Local Government from 17 July 2016 until 14 June 2017. He was elected Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole in May 2010.

Andrew’s constituency covers parts of both East Yorkshire, where he was born and grew up, and North Lincolnshire where he has strong ties to both work and family.

Andrew has also previously served as the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Canada, and is currently active on a number of All Party Parliamentary Groups, including co-chairing the APPG Against Antisemitism.

Before getting elected to Parliament, Andrew was a local school teacher who specialised in history. Andrew also served 10 years as a local councillor where he served as chairman of the Licensing Committee.



Isabel Sawkins is a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. She has a BA in Modern Languages at Durham University and an MA in Political Sociology of Russia and Eastern Europe at UCL. She is currently completing a PhD on Holocaust memory in the Russian Federation at the University of Exeter, funded by the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council). Isabel has presented her research at numerous international conferences. She has also published her findings in academic journals, as well as contributing to online media outlets. Isabel’s most recent accomplishment was the curation of an online exhibition about a Nazi death camp in occupied Poland.




On the 27th of October 2021, Isabel Sawkins, a Research Fellow at the HJS, interviewed Nina Freedman; the current president of UJS and a recent graduate from University of Bristol, Dr David Hirsh; a senior lecturer in sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Andrew Percy; a conservative MP and co-chair for the ATPG against anti-Semitism. The panellists discussed the difficulties faced by British University students and the anti-Semitism that occurs within British University establishments. The discussion concluded with the analysis of teaching in a university setting and a debate about the responsibility that academics hold in terms of creating an environment where people think, debate, create, construct and legitimise things that are not legitimate. 


27th October 2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


United Kingdom


Dr David Hirsch, Andrew Percy MP and Nina Freedman


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