Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Great Cambridge Cover Up

I avoid the Jewish Chronicle. This stems back to their ludicrous decision to apologise for an advert they ran during the last Gaza escalation. I blogged about it here. Today, an article that attacked me personally appeared on its pages. An article that is a damaging, offensive and baseless attack on a Jewish Society that I am proud to have served. The article can be found here. Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the nonsense you will read should you click on that link. I recommend you take it with a pinch of salt. I wrote a letter in response. I publish it here in case they decide not to publish it or publish it with edits:

"Sir

I read Shlomo Roiter-Jesner's article (Cambridge Jewish Society let us down over antisemitism complaint, May 17th) with interest. I was a member of the JSoc leadership (vice-president Lent 2017) that, it is alleged, offered no support in response to this incident but I write, I should emphasise, in a personal capacity.

I can assure you that Cambridge JSoc took the incident seriously. What might be confusing Mr Roiter-Jesner is the fact that he then, in the national press, accused Christ's College of attempting to cover up the incident. This was a serious (and baseless) accusation that hurt his cause and threatened the excellent relationship Jewish students, who benefit from a number of Kosher kitchens, Kosher food at formal and in hall, the provision of ovens and so on across Cambridge colleges, and the University. A number of students and the JSoc leadership at the time took the decision that such an accusation was damaging, needless and false. The victim of antisemitism is obviously to be believed. The individual who accuses an institution (which has already made provisions for its Jewish students) of a cover up is not afforded the same right - with good reason.

It is a shame that the JC decided to further this individual's publicity stunt that has culminated in a horrendous, offensive, serious, damaging and (crucially) categorically false claim against the Jewish Society at Cambridge. Your readers should be reassured that there is a vibrant and flourishing Jewish Society at Cambridge that will do its utmost for its members. I will be sad to leave it at the end of the year and can only hope that this article filled with untruths and misleading nonsense does not deter Jewish A Level students from applying.

Raphael Levy"

The JC should be careful with the nonsense it chooses to publish. Publishing falsehoods attacking Jewish Societies that have a difficult enough job attempting to cater for its immensely diverse membership is not the way forward.

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