On 1 November a social football match between teams representing our Arab Society and our JSoc was postponed, which led to public commentary and allegations of antisemitism in light of current events in Israel and Palestine.These social football matches are fixtures organised by the University of Leeds, where teams representing LUU societies participate in a friendly league.
LUU facilitated a conversation between the two club captains to better understand the reasons for the postponement, and to enable them to share their perspectives with each other. It transpired that ArabSoc FC pursued a postponement of the fixture against Hapoel Hyde Park (JSoc’s team), due to the availability of players and wanting time to ensure the wellbeing of all those involved in the match.
Both captains have agreed a productive, constructive way forward, and the fixture has been rescheduled. They are communicating directly with each other, and plan to check in on each other often amidst the trauma their communities face with the ongoing crisis in Israel and Palestine.
The postponement notification sent to the Hapoel Hyde Park captain by event organisers was, on reflection, too brief. This led to the misunderstanding that the postponement was requested due to the fact they are part of a Jewish society. This was not the case, and neither the University of Leeds nor LUU will tolerate antisemitism or any other form of hatred.