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May 10, 2016 12:30 pm

Britain’s University of Lincoln Breaks Ties With National Union of Students Over Election of ‘Antisemitic’ President

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Students at the University of Lincoln have voted to disaffiliate with the National Union of Students over the election of its new president, Malia Bouattia. Photo: Twitter.

Students at the University of Lincoln have voted to disaffiliate with the National Union of Students over the election of its new president, Malia Bouattia. Photo: Twitter.

Students from Britain’s University of Lincoln voted on Monday to disaffiliate from the National Union of Students (NUS) in protest over the election of the organization’s new president accused of antisemitism, The Algemeiner has learned.

“As a group of elected officers, we no longer felt confident that the NUS represented the views of our students,” said Hayley Jayne Wilkinson, University of Lincoln Student Union (ULSU) president, in a statement. “We agreed it was necessary to ask our members themselves if they wanted to remain affiliated with NUS. Our members have now told us through their votes in this referendum that they want to disaffiliate.”

NUS President Malia Bouattia has been at the center of controversy for past antisemitic, anti-Israel and terror-sympathizing comments. In 2014, while speaking at a “pro-resistance” event, 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. In 2011, while attending the University of Birmingham, she called the school “a Zionist outpost” with the “largest [Jewish Society] in the country.” Prior to her election as NUS president, Bouattia voted against a NUS motion condemning ISIS, because it constituted “blatant Islamophobia.” She has also criticized the “Zionist-led media.”

Bouattia — the first black, female, Muslim president of NUS — has defended herself on several occasions against accusations of antisemitism and advocating for violence against Israel. In an open letter to Jewish NUS members prior to her election, Bouattia wrote, “I want to be clear that for me to take issue with Zionist politics is not me taking issue with being Jewish.” However, in her first interview as acting NUS president in April, Bouattia refused to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, leaving many NUS members wondering in what direction she will lead the national student organization.

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“Put simply, this debate has been about what students want from the organization that represents them nationally and, for some time, we have felt that the focus of debate within NUS has been far removed from the issues that our students tell us are important to them every day on campus,” Wilkinson said.

The University of Lincoln is one of several British academic institutions taking part in referendums to disaffiliate from the NUS. Top universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, will be voting on whether to break ties with the organization over Bouattia’s remarks. According to the ULSU, 881 people voted against affiliating with NUS and 804 in favor, representing 12.6 percent of ULSU members.

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  • Nathan

    Just to be clear the disaffiliation of the union of the University of Lincoln is due their feeling of being mis-represented by the NUS and because of the financial burden of the membership in the NUS.

    Until now, the Universities whose unions want to disaffiliate from the NUS over the elections of the president are Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, York Loughborough, Worcester, Warwick, Hull, Newcastle, and Exeter.

  • Lia

    Go, University of Lincoln students! Your honesty is refreshing to the rest of the world.

  • geoffrey ben-nathan

    A further problem not recognised by anti-Zionists, posing as friendly to Judaism is that they little understand the nature of Judaism, the religion. The Land of Israel is CENTRAL to Jewish orthodox prayer all over the world. The orthodox Jew (the vast majority) prays three times a day for the ancient land to be restored to the Jewish people.
    Anti-Zionism but pretended philo-semitism just doesn’t wash.

    • jim cohen

      No. That’s just not true, although you may wish it. “Israel” may be in the prayers but is the “homeland” at the expense of the Arab population on the W Bank or of wanting to physically move to one ? Rather , the prayers indicate a spiritual place rather like , though more intensely, “Jerusalem” is in the famous Blake poem concerning “In England’s Green and Pleasant Land” . Judaism is not the same as the land of Israel per se. Plenty of Jews are opposed to Zionism.

  • nelson marans

    Whatever her ethnic and religious background may be, her views are obvious and bigoted. I now regret the efforts made by many Jewish individuals who fought bigotry against the same individuals who now have shown their antisemitic prejudices.

  • Joseph Feld

    The NUS is there to protect the interests of UK students. The NUS should not be getting involved in Middle East politics. By definition ‘Zionism’ is based on Wilsonian principles of self-determination for indiginous populations in the former Ottoman Turkish Empire. An indigenous population is one that predates colonialism and shares a common language, religion, literature, government, legal system, significant cities etc. The Hebrew/Israelites/Jews of Eretz Israel share the Hebrew language, Judaism , Bible, Kingdom of David, Halacha, cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, Sefas, Tiberias. The Arabic speaking Arabs, as their name suggests, invaded from Arabia when they spread Islam across the Middle East. If you oppose Zionism you oppose the right of Jews to have one microscopic Jewish state alongside 50+ Muslim states.

  • Alan

    She is not black, she is an arab from Algeria.

    • George

      She is not arab, she is berber

  • Reform School

    Ten comments? Where are they? Hillary Clinton’s server?

  • Reform School

    It won’t be long before the B is outlawed in the U.K., be it Beatles, Belles of St. Trinian’s, Benny Hill or Britain. If they take down the BBC with them, it will be worth it!

  • Reform School

    It won’t be long before the B is outlawed in the U.K., be it Beatles, Belles of St. Trinian’s, Benny Hill or Britain.

  • Richard E Sherwin

    i guess focussing on oxford cambridge and london isnt the way to discover what kind of morals and brains university students possess and arent frightened to show. the Univ of Lincoln is very impressive and clear. Not accepting the National Univ Students spin on a very bad behavior by its new president. And apparently even more significant, NOT considered ‘representative’. Congratulations. You about saved the reputation of British Universities — students anyway.

  • Boycott BDS

    Boycott BDS

  • nat cheiman

    Well done. Who needs this anti semitic rubbish inflicted by pseudo intellectuals

  • OAP

    Well done. I hope other universities will follow suit. I am very concerned about the current rise in anti-Semitism both here and in Europe and fear that it is based on predjucice, rather than reason.

  • Ani

    So glad to see students beginning to take back their schools from the hate-filled propaganda and lies disseminated by the likes of Bouattia.

    I just don’t get why it’s been so acceptable to voice such anti-Semitic statements and even get oneself elected President of the NUS, while anyone saying such derogatory things about blacks, gays, Muslims, Asians etc. would surely have been silenced, let alone being elected its president.

  • Cecilia Keuffer

    I just would like to know how she got elected in the first place after all those antisemitic remarks. What? Someone thought that in voting for her she would think more pluralistic, or would decide to represent ALL student regardeless of international politics? If the president of the Union were a Jew and decided to boycott all arabic business, or declare that arabic countries should not exist for the blatant agression in muslim countries towards women, and other minorities, anyone think he or she would be elected? I just dont get it. Actually I do. Common sense is dead.

  • Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz

    Why is anyone surprised? I have refused to correspond with my English cousins who are Jews married with Christians after hearing snide out and out anti-Semitisn in their homes. The Chancelor of Oxford a Peer n leading social democratic paraphases the Procols of the Elders of Zion n none of the major donors to Oxford says boo

  • Baguette

    Just to be clear to those unfamiliar with UK universities Lincoln university is not one that even Bouattia could claim to be a ‘ Zionist outpost ‘ . So far as I can tell it does not even have.a J doc although I would be delighted to be corrected if it does. This disafiliation is from the grass roots of the general ,almost entirely non Jewish student body ,fed up with being mis represented by the NUS .

    • ARON STERK

      I am a Jewish researcher at Lincoln University. And you are quite right there is no JSoc, the Jewish presence here is minimal so there is no way this decision can be dismissed as that of either an unrepresentative ‘élite’ like Oxbridge or down to the influence of a ‘Zionist’ pressure group. This is ordinary students who are fed up with the NUS being hijacked by bigoted activists. I am very proud of our students that they have taken this decision on this issue.

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