UK Jewish Students Blast National Union Leader for False Claim of Backtrack on Decision to Exclude Jewish Voice
A major British Jewish student group blasted the head of the country’s largest student union for falsely claiming to have backtracked on what they consider an offensive decision, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday, just as an incriminating video in which she is featured surfaced.
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) called out National Union of Students (NUS) President Malia Bouattia for alleging that Jews will, in fact, be able to select a representative to a prominent anti-racism committee — after she had voted against their being able to do so.
As reported by The Algemeiner, earlier this month, during a NUS National Executive Committee (NEC) vote, Bouattia had the final say when she reversed the traditional policy of allowing Jewish students to appoint their own representative to the Anti-Racism, Anti-Fascism (ARAF) committee. The decision was the latest manifestation of what many students say are Bouattia’s anti-Zionist and antisemitic views.
In response to the ire this aroused on the part of Jewish students, on Tuesday Bouattia penned a letter claiming she “issued an interpretation of policy which will ensure that representatives of the committee will be elected autonomously by self-identifying caucuses.”
However, according to UJS Campaign Director Josh Nagli, “The 8,500 Jewish students in Britain will still not get a say in who represents them. This post will probably be given to a Jewish student on the executive who has not been elected and therefore cannot be held to account.”
Bouattia, as reported by The Algemeiner, has been at the center of controversy in recent months after being accused of supporting violence against Israel and offending the Jewish community. In past remarks, she referred to the University of Birmingham as a “Zionist outpost” because of its large Jewish population and endorsed violent “resistance” against Israel.
In a newly surfaced video which was filmed earlier this year, Bouattia is seen praising anti-Israel activists in Gaza and voicing her commitment to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
According to reporting by Heat Street on Thursday, Bouattia was addressing the Palestinian Students Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI), which is “tied to anti-Israel figures who have supported violent struggle” against the Jewish state.
In the minute-long video, Bouattia says she “draws strength from their resistance” and is working hard in her role at NUS to “extend solidarity by passing BDS policy in our unions.”
The NUS boasts of representing 7 million student voices — made up of some 600 student unions — across the UK.