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Speaking at the Department for Communities and Local Government on Tuesday, Lord Sacks said: “Over the last few years, Jewish students have become demoralised at the failure of university authorities to take firm and decisive action. When restraint isn’t self imposed it must be imposed by the university authorities. And that means banning preachers of hate and intolerance, who would, if speaking outside universities and if at other groups, be prosecuted under the law, under incitement to racial and possibly religious hatred.”
The government supported Lord Sacks’ forthright stance in its annual response to the All Party Inquiry Into Anti-Semitism, which was published on Wednesday. It states: “The government expects universities to have measures in place to ensure that their students are not subject to threatening or abusive behaviour on campus. Institutions have access to a strong legislative framework and guidance to help them deal effectively with instances of intolerance, racism and harassment on campus. We expect them to vigorously tackle these issues when they arise.”
It continues: “Institutions and students have recourse to the law to tackle anti-Semitism, and institutions themselves are accountable to the courts for their actions in relation to equality and tackling harassment.”
The report also revealed that government ministers will host a European-wide seminar next spring to ensure continued progress on tackling hate crime including anti-Semitism on the internet.
Danny Stone, secretary to the all-party group against anti-Semitism, said: “The government has highlighted the importance of stopping hate speech on campuses when it will clearly offend people.
“Early next year, university heads will be responding to the government in writing about how they plan to better manage the problem.”
He added: “This government paper highlights that a lot has been achieved this year. In particular, the department of education committing to funding schools’ security, the continued success of the Holocaust Educational Trust school trips to Auschwitz and, for the first time, the police publishing hate crime figures.
“Overall I’m delighted at the progress being made. We will continue working with partners in government and parliament to continue to eradicate anti-Semitism.”Students 'demoralised' by Campus extremism by James Marin