Shaima Dallali reaches settlement with NUS over sacking

Shaima Dallali. Pic: NUS

The sacked ex president of the National Union of Students has settled an employment tribunal with the organisation over racial and religious discrimination.

Shaima Dallali was dismissed over allegations of antisemitism in November 2022 but has now reached a confidential agreement with the NUS.

A statement by both parties said:

“We are pleased to confirm that a settlement has been reached between Shaima Dallali and the National Union of Students, bringing an end to the proceedings before the Employment Tribunal. The terms of that settlement are confidential between the parties and shall not be disclosed.

“The parties would like to make the following things clear: NUS accepts that pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist beliefs may be protected beliefs, as may pro-Zionist beliefs. As a private individual Ms Dallali is, and as president of NUS she was, entitled to hold protected beliefs.

“As has been noted repeatedly in the media, NUS was very concerned about a tweet that was written by Ms Dallali when she was a teenager, before she was even a student, in 2012. Ms Dallali has accepted that while it was not her intention, the tweet was antisemitic. Both parties accept that Ms Dallai has repeatedly apologised for that tweet.

“Throughout this matter Ms Dallali has suffered truly horrific abuse which has included death threats, threats of sexual assault and flagrant Islamophobia. This is wholly unacceptable and NUS categorically condemn it.

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“Ms Dallai now has the right to move on with her life and career free from harassment and abuse.”

Speaking after the announcement, Ms Dallali, who was represented by Carter Ruck, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to resolve the matters and that I can put this matter behind me. I am an anti-Zionist and a proud pro-Palestinian. Following today’s settlement I look forward to being able to focus on continuing to dedicate myself to the Palestinian cause and serving my community.

“I am immensely grateful to those who have supported me during this difficult chapter in my life and I am pleased that all parties can now move on. Now more than ever it is important that all communities come together for peace and justice.”

In March 2022 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 2022 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 has since apologised for the tweet, saying she is now “a different person.”

In November 2022 an NUS disciplinary panel concluded that Dallali, who is an outspoken defender of Palestinian rights, should be removed from her post after reviewing the recommendations of KC Rebecca Tuck’s report into the allegations.

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies subsequently called on Muslim students to boycott the National Union of Students.

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