Jewish human rights group furious at Palsoc’s mock checkpoint

They might be bringing legal action.

anti-semitism checkpoint israel soc israeli apartheid israeli apartheid week jewish human rights jewish human rights watch middle east peace week PalSoc

Lawyers for Jewish Human Rights Watch sent a letter to the University of Cambridge hinting that legal action might be taken in response to the mock checkpoint that was erected on Sidgwick site as part of Israeli Apartheid Week. 

The letter described the structure as a “deliberately intimidating paramilitary-style antisemitic ‘checkpoint’” and says that it was adorned with an Israeli flag. The letter goes on to say that “It is clear to our client that no-one whatsoever has given any thought to how a Jewish person in the current climate might feel about being forced to walk through such an intimidating road block on the campus.” Finally, the letter condemned the university for endorsing “such virulent antisemitic elements”.


Scenes from the mock checkpoint

The construction of the checkpoint marked the beginning of Israeli Apartheid Week, a week-long series of events which aim to “to raise awareness about Israel’s ongoing settler-colonial project and apartheid policies over the indigenous Palestinian people.” It is organised by Cambridge University’s Palestine Society, which last week attracted attention over it’s controversial decision to refuse to participate in Middle East Peace Week, an event which it claimed was seeking to draw attention away from Israeli Apartheid Week.


Students manned the checkpoint dressed in camouflage and wielding fake guns

Cambridge University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sir Leszek Borysiewicz was asked for comment by Algemeiner, a Jewish newspaper, about whether the university believed that the mock checkpoint was in keeping with all university norms and codes of conduct and that Jewish students would be unreasonable in feeling intimidated by such a structure. The Vice-Chancellor’s office responded that “Permission was given to the Palestine Society to hold a one-day protest event on the Sidgwick Site which was carried out peacefully. Access to buildings was not restricted and anyone wishing to avoid the protest was able to go around it.”