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September 29, 2016 2:30 pm

43 UK Campus Leaders Slam President of Country’s Largest Student Union for Repeatedly Dismissing Concerns of Systemic Antisemitism

avatar by Lea Speyer

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NUS President Malia Bouattia. Photo: Facebook.

NUS President Malia Bouattia. Photo: Facebook.

In an open letter on Wednesday, campus leaders across the UK slammed the head of the country’s largest student union for her repeated dismissal of concerns regarding systemic antisemitism on campuses. 

“Over the past six months, the [National Union of Students’ (NUS)] Leadership has rightly come under increased scrutiny for its attitude towards Jewish students,” said the letter, signed by 43 student leaders and directed at NUS President Malia Bouattia.

Referring to a recent interview with the UK’s Guardian — in which Bouattia acknowledged that she applies double standards when it comes to racism against Jews — the student leaders wrote that despite an ongoing discussion about antisemitism within the NUS, the voices of Jewish students have been ignored.

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“Time and again Jewish students have not felt safe participating in our national movement, because of the actions and rhetoric of leadership of NUS,” the letter stated.

The student leaders demanded that Bouattia and the organization under her leadership “listen to Jewish students when they say something is antisemitic.”

They also addressed Jewish students in the letter, saying: “We…promise to respect, champion and listen to your concerns. The students movement and NUS is absolutely a place for you.” 

Signatories to the letter included 10 members of the NUS’ National Executive Committee, 28 student union presidents and vice presidents, three NUS vice presidents and NUS representatives from Scotland and Wales.

The publication of the letter comes a day after Bouattia failed to apologize for comments widely condemned as antisemitic.

As reported by The Algemeiner, when challenged by BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday about her characterization of the UK’s Birmingham University as a “Zionist outpost” because of its large Jewish population, Bouattia was unrepentant.

“I would certainly review my language and would definitely want to explain the political context which I was discussing. I absolutely was not saying the things that it has been interpreted as [being antisemitic], if you will,” she said.

As The Algemeiner previously reported, the Algerian-born Bouattia first attracted controversy when she was running for the NUS leadership position, and comments she had made in support of terrorism against Israel came to light. In 2014, for example, while speaking at a “pro-resistance” event celebrating “Gaza and the Palestinian revolution,” she 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.

The NUS represents some 600 student groups and 7 million individuals across the UK.

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  • Hilltop Watchman

    Time for this “student” to be chucked out of college. If the other campuses are so concerned at the antics of this fascist and her hand picked coterie of haters, here’s a suggestion: Get out of your “safe spaces”, grow a backbone, call an EGM get rid of the cancer and replace this disgusting Jew hater with someone more suited, and do the same each and every time with those who promote hatred. Stop navel gazing and get on with it as I did in the early seventies with the Marxist shill who was Union President at a London University at the time of the Yom Kippur war. He decided that capitulation to us was preferable to being sacked and publicly shamed.

  • A Sander

    This woman is not fit to be the head of such a prestigious organisation as the NUS. She is clearly an activist for the Palestinian movement and at the same time is , as in common with this type, blurring the line between criticism of Israel and Jews in general. She should not be using her position for politically motivated aims. In other words another run of the mill anti-Semite. Could one imagine a Jew in the same position disrespecting Muslims by calling them names. Ms Bouattia you are never going to get peace in the Middle Est by condoning terrorism, calling Jews Zios, you should be using your position to promote understanding and peace. If you cant do that then resign and move to Palestine and become a terrorist but beware they dont live long.

Algemeiner.com