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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Campus Minority Officer Tells British Jewish Student to ‘Be Like Israel and Cease to Exist’

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(JTA) — A student minority officer at a British university told a Jewish student to “be like Israel and cease to exist.”

Omar Chowdhury, the Black and Ethnic Minorities officer at Bristol University, in southwest England, also told Izzy Posen to “f*** off” and that “your comments are like Israeli settlements: always popping up where they are not wanted.”

Chowdhury ran for his student union position on a platform of “zero tolerance for racism,” the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported.

The exchange between Chowdhury and Posen appeared on the Facebook group Bristruths, where students can post messages anonymously. They have since been deleted but were saved in screenshots.

Another student wrote in a post on Bristruths that if Chowdhury is not removed from his student union post it would be a “double standard.”

“Jewish people are repeatedly swept under the rug, people are continually allowed to get away with this stuff, we need to set a precedent,” the post said. “This is clearly someone who shouldn’t be representing Bristol students. They are being both anti-zionist and anti-Semitic. It personally makes me so uncomfortable as a Jewish student.”

In a response to the post, Sally Patterson, the Bristol Student Union Equality, Liberation & Access Officer, wrote that the union had spoken to both Chowdhury and Posen, and that the case is being investigated under the Student Union Code of Conduct.

“Bristol SU takes accusations of antisemitism extremely seriously and will investigate fully and confirm the outcomes with both the students involved,” she wrote.

Posen, 24, grew up in a Hasidic family in London’s Stamford Hills neighborhood speaking mostly Yiddish. He left the community four years ago and now studies philosophy and physics at Bristol.

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