“I’m not an anti-Semite,” claims UK student who posted photo mocking Orthodox Jew on dating app.
A British student whose profile on a dating app included a grotesquely anti-Semitic image of himself deriding an Orthodox Jew on the London Underground has been suspended by his university pending an investigation.
The photograph, uploaded to Tinder, showed a 20-year-old student of south Asian origin — who gave his name as “Jonathan” — posing next to a Hasidic Jew who was snoozing while traveling on a Piccadilly Line train on the London Underground.
A sticker bearing the image of a Palestinian flag had been photoshopped over the sleeping man’s mouth while Jonathan sat alongside him, wearing a huge grin and pointing mockingly at his Jewish neighbor.
After activist group StopAntisemitism.org shared the photograph on Twitter on Wednesday, the university responded quickly with a statement that the freshman had been suspended from school.
“We launched an investigation the moment we were made aware of this post,” the university said in a statement. “We are dealing with the matter urgently and have interviewed an individual who was about to begin his first year. This individual is suspended and a disciplinary panel will now decide on appropriate action.”
Student news outlet The Tab tracked down the student for an interview without revealing his full identity.
The paper noted that “Fresher Jonathan posted the photoshopped picture onto his Tinder profile earlier last week.”
Asked why he had chosen this image, “Jonathan” responded that it was “indeed a terrible picture, absolutely insensitive and should not have been taken in the first place.”
He then added: “I should also mention the fact that I am in no way anti-Semitic or have any kind of prejudice towards Jews.”
Daniel Kosky, campaigns organizer of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS — a student body representing Jewish students in the UK — told the same outlet: “We are disgusted by what appears to be an anti-Semitic photo circulating online.”
Kosky added: “There can be no place for anti-Semitism in society or on campus, and we are working with Nottingham Trent Jewish Society to ensure this situation is swiftly dealt with. We urge any Jewish students at Nottingham Trent University to contact UJS if they have any concerns or would like support.”