Bristol students petition for future BME officer to resign after making anti-Semitic comments
The petition already has over 250 signatures since being created this morning
A group of Bristol students have created a petition demanding that future BME officer, Omar Chowdhury, resigns from his role next year.
The petition was created today, and has already been signed by over 250 people. This amounts to more than half of the petition's target of 500 signatures.
The petition was created by Bristol Students Against Antisemitism, who describe how "making racist comments makes someone unsuitable for an anti-racism role."
The group have also claimed that the actions taken by Bristol Students' Union were "NOT enough".
This has formed in response to the anti-semitic comments made by the Bristol university Student Union’s BME Network chair to a Jewish student to “be like israel and cease to exist”.
The Students Union investigation confirmed that these comments were unacceptable and anti-semitic,
— Bristol students Agaisnt Antisemitism (@UoBantisemitism) May 3, 2019
This comes after Chowdhury's comments to a Jewish student were confirmed as being antisemitic by an external investigator earlier this week.
In a Bristruths comment, Chowdhury told the student to "be like Israel and cease to exist". The future BME officer also told the student that their opinions are “like Israeli settlements: always popping up where they aren’t wanted.”
Following the investigation, Bristol SU have written an official warning regarding Chowdhury's conduct, and have designed a plan to help him follow the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
The organisers of the petition had this to say: "Mr Chowdhury’s role is to represent Black and Ethnic Minority groups, and was elected to his position on a platform which included a “zero tolerance for racism."
"Mr Chowdhury, we support your policy of zero tolerance for racism, which is why we will not tolerate you or your racism.
"Ethnic minorities cannot reasonably expect someone found to have been antisemitic to be their champion and representative in fighting antisemitism on our campus, making Omar clearly unfit and incapable to fulfill his role effectively.
"By remaining in his position, the Students' Union and Mr Chowdhury are tolerating and standing by antisemitism. We will neither tolerate nor stand by as antisemitism is allowed to remain in our Union.
"We will continue to combat antisemitism as well as hatred in all its forms even if Bristol SU will not, and we implore them to take a stand against racism and for what is right."