NUS pledges ‘unwavering commitment’ against antisemitism

The National Union of Students has published a report vowing an “unwavering commitment to understanding and tackling antisemitism in all its forms within the NUS and the student movement.”

The report comes a few months after the Muslim president of the NUS, Shaima Dallali, was sacked by the student body following an investigation into antisemitism allegations against her.

After her sacking, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) called on Muslim students to boycott the NUS.

The NUS said Rebecca Tuck KC independent investigation looking at recent allegations of antisemitism was thorough, fair and conducted to the highest standards throughout.

“The KC’s report is a detailed and shocking account of antisemitism within the student movement. It is a truly difficult read for all of us but we welcome the clarity it brings to enable us to act with confidence to tackle antisemitism head on.

“There is no place for antisemitism within NUS and we are committed to ensuring that Jewish students feel safe and welcome in every corner of our movement. Antisemitism is an attack on our shared values of equality and solidarity. We have a proud history of fighting struggles alongside Jewish students. We must tackle antisemitism in all its forms with collective responsibility and in doing so restore our collective. We are stronger united.

“Our priority now is to take forward the recommendations from Rebecca Tuck KC’s independent report to tackle antisemitism in all its forms across the breadth and depth of NUS. We have developed an action plan which will help us achieve this, but it is vital that we listen and learn from others, which is why we are setting up an Advisory Panel to scrutinise this plan and oversee its implementation. We must shine a light on the realities of antisemitism and be transparent in our reporting of progress.”

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Moving forward, the NUS has committed to:

  • A proud and unwavering commitment to understanding and tackling antisemitism in all its forms within NUS and the student movement
  • A Permanent formal representation for Jewish students within a wider Inclusion and Liberation Strategy for NUS
  • Reinstate NUS’ Anti-Racism Anti-Fascism Committee with dedicated representation for Jewish students
  • Associate Membership for the Union of Jewish Students
  • Changing its culture through education, practice and dialogue
  • An enhanced “Candidate Preparation Process” for NUS elections
  • Strengthen the NUS’s governance

Last March the National Union of Students elected Shaima Dallali as its new president at its annual conference in Liverpool.

Dallali, who is of Sudanese-Tunisian heritage, was elected for a two-year term.

At the time she said: “I am immensely proud and humbled to have been elected NUS National President. Access to Education is a right that should be available to everyone regardless of who they are and where they’re from.

“Fighting to challenge injustices is central to our vision as students and with the support of grassroots organisations, we have the opportunity to challenge institutional frameworks that seek to limit the accessibility and experience of students and staff in education.”

But in May the government cut ties with the NUS over “concerns of antisemitism” after Jewish students took offence to a 2012 tweet in which Ms Dallali wrote: “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews… Muhammad’s army will return Gaza.”

The 27-year-old apologised for the tweet, saying she is now “a different person.”

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