There are three candidates vying to be the next President of the Union of Jewish Students. Zionish sent them each ten questions on the key – and not so key – political issues they may face. In the first of this series, here are the responses from University of Manchester student Lawrence Rosenberg:
Zionism: the national liberation movement of the Jewish people or racist settler-colonialism?
National liberation movement of the Jewish people, simple as.
How would your views on the Israel-Palestine conflict translate into policy as UJS President?
I am a proud Zionist and my message is clear. As UJS President, I will work with any group which helps students to engage with their identity. As an estimated 93% of students identify with Israel, I will be supporting policy which ensures we keep students both safe and engaged in relation to Israel based activities.
How should Jewish students in the UK react to the rise of the nationalist right?
However they want to. UJS isn’t here to dictate how Jewish students politically affiliate themselves and indeed some students’ may identify with the nationalist right.
Which Jewish political figure – dead or alive – best represents your politics?
Golda Meir, she was a patriot who loved her country and generally the gift of life.
Should JSocs do Israel events?
Each Jsoc is autonomous and should cater to the needs and wants of their specific society. Some JSocs are Jewish and Israel societies, and some are just Jewish Societies, so that is up to committees to decide – but UJS will support any and all Israel events that JSocs put on however it can.
How should UJS engage with the BDS movement?
The BDS movement is not nationally organised and I would not endorse national cooperation if they did. I think this has to be left to individual JSocs to decide what course of action to take. UJS should support them in whatever path they choose to take, like they did when I met with the BDS leader in Manchester. Sometimes on a more localised level creating an understanding can help Jewish students to feel more safe, so if that’s what works for them then it works for me. Giving support to localised committees and ensuring constant lines of communication is key to helping ensure Jewish students feel safe whatever action they wish to take.
Does the Labour left, and its student equivalent, have an antisemitism problem?
I don’t think Labour is antisemitic. I think there are though people within the Labour left which are antisemitic and they do seem to keep cropping up more and more frequently. Whether their antisemitism is linked to their politics, their race or their background seems to vary with each individual case.
Who would you have voted for in the 2016 US election? Primary candidates allowed.
I followed the election a lot and I hopped around. Probably most likely Rand Paul or Ted Cruz.
Let’s say you become UJS President, and you are given £10,000 for a political project or campaign. What would you do?
Give it to students to run localised campaigns which are appropriate for their campuses. Go and speak to students who want to create greater engagement in the discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and work with them to create a campaign which works for them.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Theresa May, Donald Trump. Shag, marry, kill?
Donald- Marry (for the big old inheritance which I can donate partly to UJS).