Most Jewish British students say they have been targeted for their religion, study finds

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Two-thirds of Jewish British university students believe they have been targeted due to their religion and more than a quarter worry about being the victim of an anti-Semitic attack, a new study found.

Twenty-six percent of Jewish university students told a survey conducted by the National Union of Students that they were either “fairly worried” or “very worried” about suffering a physical attack, property damage, verbal abuse or theft because they are Jewish.

The study results released Monday come as the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported at British educational institutions nearly doubled from last year, to 41 from 21, The Independent newspaper reported. It also comes as Jewish students continue to express concern about anti-Semitism within the National Union of Students, or NUS.

Fewer than half, or 49 percent, of Jewish students who responded to the survey said they would feel comfortable attending NUS events, while two-thirds thought the union would not respond appropriately to allegations of anti-Semitism.

Some 485 students responded to the survey carried out by an NUS research team in cooperation with the Union of Jewish Students between November and February.

The survey also found that 45 percent of Jewish students said they did need feel comfortable voicing their opinions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It also found anecdotal evidence of students feeling victimized by lecturers who made anti-Semitic remarks.

Nearly two-thirds of Jewish students said they had encountered problems with classes and exams being scheduled on important Jewish holidays, and almost half reported difficulties accessing kosher food on their campuses.