York university pay student four figure sum over antisemitic abuse

The abuse ruined his university experience

Zachary Confino, a third year Law student, was subject to anti-semitic bullying during his final two years at the University of York and is being compensated by the uni. 

The University of York only agreed to make the payment of £1000 after the intervention of ex Arch Bishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and Universities’ Minister, Jo Johnson. The payment is thought to be the first of its kind by a UK university. However, Communications Director at the Campaign against Antisemitism, Jonathan Sacerdoti said the apology and payment were not enough.

Zachary Confino, victim of antisemitic attacks

The stress, caused by comments including, “Jewish prick”, and “Israeli twat” alongside a suggestion made anonymously on Yik Yak that Hitler was “on to something”, cost him a first in his degree. He told the Sunday Times that,“it ruined my experience at university. I can never get that time back.”

According to Confino, the abuse went from nothing at all in his first year to 20 incidents in his second and third years, all coming from far-left students. He said that, “The far left say racism is a black/white issue. They seem to think Jews are fair game.”

When asked by the Tab if he wished he’d chosen another place of study, Confino said: “I feel like this can happen at almost any university in the UK. The trouble is when the authorities – whether at the University or Students’ Union level – are unwilling to tackle it. It leaves the victims entirely helpless and it also creates an environment in which more of this can occur.”