Leeds University (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)
Leeds University

“If students are penalized for defending Israel, then that may constitute indirect discrimination,” the student’s lawyer said.

By United with Israel Staff

Leeds University is being sued for failing a student because her essay did not criticize Israel, The Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday.

Jewish graduate student Danielle Greyman, 23, said that this was the first time she has ever failed a university essay.

The essay in question concerned crimes committed by the Hamas terror organization against its own people. According to Greyman, the reason for the failing grade was that she didn’t mention alleged acts of violence committed by the Jewish state against Gaza civilians.

For example, Greyman referenced Hamas’s use of human shields, saying it was viewed as “a betrayal of the Palestinian people by their government,” the report said. The moderator’s note on that point read: “This ignores the fact that the Israeli state commits acts of violence.”

Greyman also gave eight examples of antisemitism being taught to children in UNWRA schools in Gaza, including a teacher who praised Hitler and others who celebrate acts of terror against Israelis, the report said.

One of the academics who marked Greyman’s paper was Claudia Radiven, who had signed a petition defending virulently anti-Israel Prof. David Miller. Bristol University had fired him for claiming Jewish students were being used as ”political pawns by a violent, racist foreign regime,” TheJC noted.

Leeds could potentially have discriminated against Israelis and Jews, legal experts say, according to TheJC report. “Jewish students are more likely to write a pro-Israel essay that is critical of Palestinian terrorists, while Arab and Muslim students are more likely to write an essay that is critical of Israel,” UK Lawyers for Israel Director Jonathan Turner told the outlet.

“If students are penalized for defending Israel, then that may constitute indirect discrimination,” he said.

After a review, an external examiner gave the essay a passing grade, but suggested that it could be improved, the report said.

However, it was too little too late. It took almost an entire year for the results of the appeal to be issued, and Greyman therefore did not qualify for acceptance to a Master’s program at Glasgow University.

“We welcome this recognition that Danielle’s essay was wrongly failed but are appalled by the fact that it has taken a whole year to get this far,” Turner said.

“We are also very concerned that the underlying bias has not been addressed and remains liable to result in discriminatory treatment of other students,” he added, noting that it’s common for essay markers at university to penalize students who defend Israel.

“After this happened I had an entire meltdown where I was like, my dream isn’t going to happen, there’s no other career that appeals to me, what I am going to do, where am I going to go. I don’t think returning to sociology is an option,” Greyman told TheJC.

“I can’t retrain in another subject, I’ve used my student loan, I’ve basically wasted this time in my life. If retroactively I’d known what I know now I wouldn’t have studied sociology.

“It was a field created by Jews, and now the hostility towards Jews and Jewish students is insane. It’s really crazy,” she said.

Her lawyers are suing Leeds for “negligence, discrimination and victimization.”



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