British university to pay Jewish student over anti-Semitic harassment

(JTA) – A Jewish law student in Britain subjected to anti-Semitic abuse will receive about $1,300 from the University of York along with a public apology from its student union.

The payment to Zachary Confino is reported to be the first of its kind for a British university. The apology reportedly will be published online.

The settlement was reached after the intervention of the university’s minister, Jo Johnson, who is the brother of former London mayor Boris Johnson.

Confino said he was subjected to the abuse from fellow students for over two years and the university did not intervene to help. He said he suffered from about 20 such incidents during each of his second and third years of law school.

The stress from the incidents ruined his experience at the university, Confino told the British media, and prevented him from achieving a degree with top honours, which he narrowly missed.

Among the reported anti-Semitic abuses, Confino was called a “Jewish prick” and an “Israeli twat,” and was told that Hitler was “on to something,” The Guardian reported.

Confino had opposed a student union motion to boycott Israeli goods and leafleted against a staging at the university of the anti-Israel play “Seven Jewish Children,” dealing with Israeli rocket strikes on Gaza, by the Palestinian Solidarity Society.

“The University is committed to preserving the right to freedom of expression while also combating anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and any other form of race hate. We welcome students from all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities in our diverse community,” a spokesperson for the university said in a statement.

The university said it had acted as a mediator between Confino and the student government.

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