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St Anne’s College alumni condemn ‘one-sided’ pro-Palestine JCR motion

Over 60 St Anne’s College alumni have signed a letter in opposition to the recent passing of a JCR motion which condemned “the ongoing genocide within Palestine being carried out by the Israeli government,” expressed support for the Oxford Action for Palestine (OA4P) encampment, and demanded that Oxford University and the College make “progress towards full divestment” from companies and institutions with ties to Israel.

The letter criticised the St Anne’s JCR motion for “the absence of any condemnation of Hamas,” claiming that it was “one-sided” in nature and that it did “little more than inflame the already binary views that are so entrenched…at a time when antisemitism and discrimination against Israeli and Jewish students and staff is rife across the University.”

In addition, the alumni called on the College to release a “public statement highlighting that this motion reflects the view of the voting members of the JCR only and does not reflect the view of the College or alumni… college members hold a range of views and that Israeli and Jewish students are welcome at St Anne’s.”

Speaking to the Jewish Chronicle, the Principal of St Anne’s, Helen King, said: “It is neither possible nor desirable for the College to seek to directly control this [JCR motion]… The position of St Anne’s governing body is that it does not vote on and will not debate motions that take a position on political or world events.”

King added: “We also have to ensure that the academic freedom and principles of freedom of speech, which are so core to what a university is, are preserved.

“I am meeting with and listening to individual members of the College who are Jewish… I want to understand any concerns they have, offer support, and assure them that the College is committed to being an inclusive community.”

St Anne’s College was contacted for comment.

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