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April 20, 2016 9:27 pm

Britain’s National Student Union Elects ‘Open Racist’ as President; Jewish Groups in Uproar Over Antisemitic Past (VIDEO)

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Malia Bouattia at the 2016 NUS conference. Photo: NUS UK.

Malia Bouattia at the 2016 NUS conference. Photo: NUS UK.

British Jewish student organizations are in an uproar following a decision on Wednesday by the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) to elect a controversial president with a history of anti-Israel and antisemitic remarks, The Jewish Chronicle reported.

Malia Bouattia, originally from Algeria, has come under fire for her previous comments supporting terrorism against Israel and denouncing “mainstream Zionist led media outlets.” In 2014, while speaking at a “pro-resistance” event celebrating “Gaza and the Palestinian revolution,” Bouattia asserted that it is “problematic” to consider that “Palestine will be free” only by means of “non-violent protest” and bemoaned the fact that “resistance” is presented as terrorism.

She also expressed disappointment that some in the Palestinian camp reject the path of “armed struggle” for various reasons.

In a 2011 article co-written by Bouattia, the incoming NUS president referred to the University of Birmingham as a “Zionist outpost” with the “largest [Jewish Society] in the country” after taking part in Israeli Apartheid Week there. 

During the NUS presidential campaign, the presidents of major UK Jewish student groups penned a letter, titled “Questions that need to be answered,” asking Bouattia to explain her comments. “Our question for you is clear: why do you see a large Jewish Society [JSoc] as a problem?” they wrote. In response, Bouattia denied having any problems with Jews, claiming in a letter, The answer is that I do not now, nor did I five years ago when I contributed to the article…see a large Jewish Society on campus as a problem…I want to be clear that for me to take issue with zionist politics, is not me taking issue with being Jewish.”

Following Bouattia’s election, the Union of Jewish Students issued a statement presenting a pessimistic prognosis. “Antisemitism has been something of a buzzword at NUS Conference 2016 and in the student movement this year,” the group said. “This looks set to continue…Jewish students have not yet received adequate answers from Malia on these concerns…There is now a choice to be made. Jewish students need to decide whether NUS has gone too far for them to want to be involved, or whether now is the time to step up the fight from within.”

University College London JSoc president Adam Schapira called for Bouattia’s resignation in a statement published by the Jewish Chronicle. “Jewish students are deeply shocked and saddened by Malia’s recent election victory. Anybody who refers to the University of Birmingham as a ‘Zionist Outpost’ should not be given a platform, let alone lead our national student union,” he wrote. “There should be zero tolerance for antisemitism, implicitly or otherwise…As NUS president, Malia will leave an indelible mark on an organization that claims to fight against all forms of hate and intolerance. It frankly discredits NUS as an organization, and Jewish students are rightly outraged by this. In light of this, I am calling for her immediate withdrawal from NUS.”

Paul Charney, chairman of the Zionist Federation, described Bouattia’s election as “a deeply challenging day for Jewish students.” While the NUS repeats “mantra-like phrases…of liberation, inclusivity and diversity…we saw today that these are hollow words when it comes to one specific minority,” he said.

Another Jewish group, North West Friends of Israel said the NUS election results presented “a dark, dark day for UK Jewish students.” The group criticized Bouattia for using “age old antisemitic tropes such as ‘the Zionist led media’” and asked, “How can this make Jewish students feel safe on campus?”

Media and government officials took to Twitter in denouncing the NUS elections. International Business Times columnist James Bloodworth wrote: “The NUS has elected an open racist. With the votes of supposed socialists. Shocking.” Jewish Labour chair Jeremy Newmark tweeted: “As an NUS honorary life member I’m appalled. A once great organization has abandoned Jewish students & elected a President unfit for office.” Conservative Barrister Jeremy Brier posted, “Every significant donor to a UK University should now make it conditional upon disaffiliation from antisemitic, terror-backing NUS.”

NUS represents 600 student organizations, comprising 7 million student voices. The election took place at the NUS national conference in Brighton. Bouattia garnered 372 votes, beating incumbent president Megan Dunn, who received 328 votes.

Watch a video of Bouattia’s 2014 remarks below:

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  • E Pluribus Wombat

    Fair enough. Terrorist tactics is the order of the day. I’m ready to go against the NUS and others like it. They endorse violence and mass murder. Ok. Seems like an entirely appropriate response to them.

  • Martin Gray

    The U.K. is lost. Jews get out while there’s still time.

  • Yale

    There is a rather obvious response to this:

    Organize a student union in opposition to the NUS and invite both student organizations and individual students who are “opposed to racism” to join. Continue labeling the NUS under Bouattia a racist organization and invoke the hostility toward it that usually goes with the term “racism”.

  • Myron Slater

    This is a woman who, as a so called intellectual, does not understand the truth, that if she would do her research, she would discover the truth.

  • Michael Elofson

    As I have written many times before: Britain is very pro-Arab and now so dominated by Muslim culture and Islamophiliac and anti-Semitic left wingers that this comes as no surprise.

  • jakob wasi

    The same old, hoary charge: any criticism, duly deserved, of Zionism and Israeli is labeled racist and anti-Semitic. The charge has become tiresome in the face of the extreme turn in Zionism, favoring a Nietzschean privilege and superiority and belief that might is right. This continual ‘little boy cry of Wolf’ in the longer run undermines the state of Israel.
    In today’s New York Times, I am told, is a full page ad, a day before the beginning of Passot calling for a Palestinian state…in other words a two-state solution. Let’s us not forget we, too, were slaves in Egypt, and so there is no reason to enslave Palestinians and deny them a land of their own.

  • Wm. J. Levy

    This is like Mosley in the 1930’s all over again.

    Jews have to unite and protest and demonstrate with force if need be but they can’t allow these anti-Jews to win especially with an Algerian.

    Algerians and Morrocoans were the most primitive people below even the Syrians.

    Where is Jewish leadership and you have to be strong, not as Bibi said about the Jews in the Holocaust-MEEK.

  • Antisemitism is alive and well in the U.K.

  • D Cripps

    Seemingly an Islamic supremacist has been voted in, Islamic colonialism being A-OK. Of course she is against antisemitism, that would be ‘racist’; it’s just that Jews (whatever their genetics) should accept historic Islamic colonialism and their re-subjugation under Muslim Arabs.

  • Robert Davis

    Evidently anti zionists use antisemitism as a blackmail tool to steal Western Palestine from Jews and the Israeli PM is responsible for not expelling arabs from Western Palestine so as to end the arab (not “palestinians” who are only arabs’ puppet)Israel conflict in a way not to weaken Israel. The longer Israel will be politically weak the longer antisemitism will continue. All of former and present Israeli “leaders” are responsible for antisemitism.

  • David

    Well, her speech clearly supports terrorism and there is an immediate need to investigate her and to prosecute her to the full extent of the law. On the bigger picture we say – well, bring your violence and we will show you who will win this battle. I am all for peace and helping the Palestinians build their own country along side Israel, but when hearing such nonsense, It only draws me further from showing any sympathy to the Palestinian people.

  • A Simple Jew

    “Anti-Zionism isn’t anti-Semitism”, the BDSers argue. But,this gal is living proof that these ideas are one and the same.

  • fred

    German Universities of the 1930 had the same anti Jewish( Israel ) view as British Universities have now. Same picture different time. As a Algerian Malia newcomer shows she should be recognized as being virulent racist. To her Judeophobia OK but Islamophobia NO.

  • Peter Joffe

    I wonder if the time will ever return when people go to University to learn? It is becoming more and more apparent that they have become outlets for hatred and lie? If I were president of the world I would shut them down to anything that is not about learning. Freedom of speech is now freedom to spread hatred and war. Why does Islam not do this to themselves?? They would not tolerate any criticism but universities are courting total suppression of all things that will result from Islam taking over. Democratic Rights will be destroyed altogether and women like Malia will be reduced to a meaningless shadow in a black batwomen outfit. Its time for all comments to have both sides of the story. Not only the bad side. Shut up Malia and get yourself educated which is why you supposedly went to a University??

  • Reform School

    There are few differences between what NUS did in 2016 and what US did in 2012. Pat Condell’s response will be good!

  • nat cheiman

    The UK better get used to this because this is the future for Europe. Happy Days guys. You deserve the government you vote for and the government in turn deserves these halfwits

  • stevenl

    The EU including GB are going the Titanic way! With great music. Inch Allah!

  • Leslie Benjamini

    NUS NATIONAL CONFERENCE has 600 Jewish groups & 7 million voices represented. This is not an insignificant number. For them to feel marginalized & insulted by this should not be taken lightly. It seems the UK is following in the footsteps of the rest of Europe in its hatred of all things Jewish & Israel.

  • As has so often been said -” To be silent in the face of evil is in itself evil.” A few British people may protest about the election of an open racist – but what are the majority , and the government ,going to do about it?

  • Mickey Oberman

    “There is now a choice to be made. Jewish students need to decide whether NUS has gone too far for them to want to be involved, or whether now is the time to step up the fight from within.”

    Now is the time to get out. With no Jews in their sordid organization they will soon grow weary of insulting nobody. With luck they might even turn on themselves.

    I am sure the Jewish students can function very well on their own and perhaps much better than with despicable would be terrorists always sniping at them.

  • PS: why can I not see the comments, of which there are 9 according to the head of this article?

  • Oh and incidentally: If Hitler should come back, today he would call himself an “Anti-Zionist” who really has “NOTHING” against JEWS.

  • I always thought that the deadly Jew hatred of Muslims/Arab-Palestinians and their ilk at the BDS was due to their complete lack of education (how else could they believe literally in 72 virgins for eternity fro blowing themselves and innocent victims up), but this nasty piece of work has obviously been to school. From this I just HAVE to conclude that murderous (not only limited to Jews) hatreds are in their DNA. Perhaps centuries of inbreeding in that specific petri dish have led to those nasty mutations?

  • Ian Bersten

    Such comments can only be based on ignorance. It is time that we used the word IGNORANT before their name so that we delegitimise their name and their comments.
    The IGNORANT Malia …

  • Larry

    Comes as no surprise. You elect a muslim and anti-semitism will follow.
    Most college student in the united Kingdom as well as the United States are to gullible as well as stupid to realize what anti-semitism and it’s evil effects lead to.

  • Hillel

    And so the pall of anti-Semitism comes down upon the world once again. In full view and blanket approval of all the do-gooders who were instrumental in every other pogrom on Jews from time immemorial. They cross them selves and comfort each other to ward off the evil spirit and indelible mark of evil that the Jews have brought upon their society. Its never too far from the surface and was bound to well up again. Especially when tacitly approved by Obama, his cronies and his establishment. Stupid Jews like Sanders and Soros personally benefit thinking they’ll never come for them. How quickly they forget especially two old fools like them.

  • Peni Elika

    Shut your stinky smelly toilet mouth, can’t stand the stench coming from your Algerian mouth. Do something useful with your life and stop waisting time and effort on things you have no knowledge of. palestine has never been a country and never will. They are arabs who came from Egypt and Saudi arabia.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    A Jew leading any organisation in this world breathing anti-Zionist fire into human endeavours upon which the core of the Jewish people has been established should be considered–must be considered–anathema to Klal Yisrael. Each one of us Jews represents the whole lot of us. There is no room for error in our ways when what we represent is not only our present, but our future. To vote in a person as president of the UK’s National Union of Students who stands for intolerance, hatred, upheaval, and indignation against the very core values of the collective Jewish people is an appalling mistake which will have grave, egregious influence on the next generation toward Israel and the associations and ties between Diaspora Jews and Israel.

  • enufizenuf

    There is no surprise here. Enemies of the Jewish people must be taught that they are not invulnerable.

  • Rab

    The Prime Minister of Isreal should never doubt that he has your full support.
    1948.. Is for pride not fear. Let them Yama on, Ask her why there’s no tolerance
    In Meca.
    I would empty Israel of all opposed, put them over the border and give them a loaf!
    Israel should never have concern for what the world thinks. Your not Alone.