A newly approved British anti-Semitism law may pose legal hurdles for Israel Apartheid Week events on university campuses in the United Kingdom. This week, one university canceled a speech critical of Israel and other campuses are considering nixing events to avoid running afoul of the new law, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
Israel Apartheid Week is an international event of speeches and activities to draw attention to what organizers say are Israeli abuses of Palestinian rights. In 2016, Apartheid Week events were held in more than 225 cities.
Pro-Palestine activists at the University of Central Lancashire were planning to hold an Israel Apartheid Week the last week in February. According to the Chronicle, the events included a panel featuring activist Ben White, who has written two books, including “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide,” according to the Chronicle. A university spokesperson told the newspaper the event would be “unlawful” under the new law.
The law defines anti-Semitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.”
The law includes examples of anti-Semitic activities, which “might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity.”