Hate to interrupt Shabbat for this post, but it is the latest tempest in a teapot, or fury in a felafel. The Guardian British newspaper reports that one of Oxford’s rugby squads had a party at a local curry shoppe in which members were asked to bring a “fit Jew,” or a fit Jewish girl, or actually, to dress up as an Orthodox Jew with glued on a sidelocks and bags of money. Some Jews, fit and unfit alike, threw a fit; and some Jewish women (they got invites), as this particular rugby team’s captain reported, attended the party. The party, which was supposed to be an awesome social, has been condemned by Oxford’s Jewish community as “at best insensitive and ignorant: at worst blatantly antisemitic”. The Oxford University Student Union is said to have convinced the team’s captain to change the post-match party’s theme to “bring a fit girl”. Aaron Katchen, Oxford University’s Jewish chaplain, said the original “theme” had gone ahead. A spokesman for the Union of Jewish Students in the UK said: “The actions of a few students have caused real offence. We are appalled that in 2008 old myths and antisemitic stereotypes are still appearing among supposedly educated students.”
In other fun news from Oxford: Jewish students at Oxford University have condemned the student union after it passed a motion to twin Oxford with a Palestinian university student union made up of Hamas reps. The motion to twin the union with Bir Zeit University, put forward by Oxford Universityâ€™s Palestinian Society, has caused outrage. Jewish student leaders opposed to the motion have highlighted that at Bir Zeitâ€™s Student Unionâ€™s elections in April, organisations affiliated to terrorism and deemed illegal by the UN, EU and US, won a majority of seats. Hamas won 23 of the 51 seats, the PFLP won 5 and Islamic Jihad won 2. Andrew Freedman and Olga Bermant, co-presidents of Oxford Universityâ€™s Jewish Society, condemned the affiliation. â€œOUSU is overstepping its authority. It is not a political organisation, its priority should be to serve students and not mix in political affairs over which it has no influence,â€ they said.
There is no word on whether there is a good curry shoppe near Bir Zeit, or a rugby team.