UK academic sues University College Union over anti-Semitic treatment
Ronnie Fraser, Director of Academic Friends of Israel, says UCU policies ‘violate his dignity’, in breach of the Equality Act.
A British academic and pro-Israel activist has filed a lawsuit against the University College Union (UCU), of which he is a member, claiming it has created a “degrading, humiliating and offensive environment” for its Jewish members. Ronnie Fraser, Director of the Academic Friends of Israel (AFI) has sought legal counsel in the matter, and his lawyer, high profile attorney Anthony Julius, wrote a letter to the UCU last week demanding it amend its policies.
The UCU represents over 120,000 academics, and Fraser claims their policies are anti-Semitic, “violate his dignity” and are in breach of the Equality Act.
The letter, addressed to Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the UCU, said the union “harassed” Fraser because he is Jewish, adding “in simple terms, the UCU is not a place that is hospitable to Jews.”
Julius said the union’s conduct is not only a violation of the Equality Act, but is also a scandal.
The London lawyer cited the UCU’s anti-Israel boycott resolutions, penalization of anti-boycott activists and the continued deterioration of conditions for Jewish union members, among other allegations of blatant anti-Semitism.“My client has had enough,” Julius wrote, saying “he believes that the UCU’s conduct, over so many years now, has limited his options to either resigning or suing. He has chosen to sue.” Julius gave the UCU until August 5, 2011 to comply with Fraser’s demand to rectify the “hostile” environment created by the union for its Jewish members.The UCU was unavailable for comment on the matter.