+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Anti-Semitic, white supremacist slogans at Exeter University event

Even the most off-hand displays of white supremacism and anti-Semitism — perhaps especially off-hand, “normalized” displays — are not only deplorable in their own right, but directly affect conversation on racism, anti-Semitism and Israel-Palestine.

Students attending an off-campus Exeter University party on Tuesday were seen sporting t-shirts with anti-Semitic and white supremacist slogans, +972 has learned.

Reports of anti-semitic incidents in the UK have risen by 11 percent in the first half of 2016, according to a recent report by the Community Security Trust, a UK organization providing security guards to Jewish schools and synagogues. Anti-semitism has figured heavily in headlines over the past year, especially in the context of the Labour party leadership race. The incumbent leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has been accused of being “too soft” on anti-Semitism among his supporters. The controversy has seen the distinction between anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic comments challenged vigorously by figures from the center rightwards, and a mix of soul-searching and recriminations on the Left.

In this context, even the most off-hand displays of white supremacism and anti-Semitism — perhaps especially off-hand, “normalized” displays — are not only deplorable in their own right, but directly affect national conversation on racism, anti-Semitism and Israel-Palestine.

The Tuesday night event, hosted by the local Snow Sports society at the Timepiece nightclub, saw guests use magic markers to scribble slogans and drawings on each other’s uniform white t-shirts. Most scribbles ranged between the bantering and the generically sexist — belaboured innuendos on the word “slope” appear to have been in vogue during the evening — but two rather different slogans stood out: “Don’t speak to me if you’re not white,” and, “The Holocaust was a good time.”

White supremacist slogan on an Exeter University t-shirt. Photo: Courtesy. Anti-Semitic slogan on an Exeter University t-shirt. Photo: Courtesy

Pictures of the shirts were taken by Palestinian student and posted on Facebook. “Making light of genocide and white privilege is not ‘banter’, you f*** imbeciles,” the student wrote.

She said that the slogans were drawn on the back of the t-shirts, and it’s unclear if the students wearing them were also the ones who wrote the comments.

“They were all wearing theses white t-shirts with stuff written on them,” the student, asked to remain anonymous, told +972. “I asked if I could take the pictures and they didn’t seem to mind.” She added that nobody seemed to be challenging the students about the shirts. Because the photos were taken from the back, the students wearing the shirts could not be positively identified.

Lauren Fry, the president of the Snow Sports society, said she was not aware of the slogans during the event. “Comments like these are not tolerated within our club,” she said. “Unfortunately, as only eight committee members, we can not be responsible for everything written by other students, especially when there is over 1,000 people. Timepiece were asking people to leave or change if they were seen in the venue with any abusive slogans on their t- shirts. As far as I’m aware no complaints were made. We apologise if we offended any one and we feel appropriate action was taken on the night to deal with these type of slogans if they were seen on anyone at our social. Snowsports has a zero tolerance policy for these actions and we will be contacting our members in due course to express this.”

A University of Exeter spokesman said: “The university does not tolerate racist or bigoted behaviour in any form. This is the first we knew of this and shall be launching a full investigation.”

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. Miza

      And it was a Palestinian who uncovered it. He/she will be thanked by getting their hours demolished or taken over and their passport stamped.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Tomer

      The fakestines are a thousand times more dangerous than the Nazi Holocaust. Why?
      Because the latter were defeated 70 years ago whilst the former has not yet been dealt with.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Mark

      It’s hardly surprising there’s trouble down in Exeter given that the university hosts some very undesirable characters in its Centre for Arab and Islamic studies.

      Reply to Comment