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November 10, 2016 11:00 am

Following Meeting Aimed at Repairing Relations With ‘Antisemitic’ UK Student Leader, British-Jewish Union Says It’s Still Dissatisfied Over Lack of Apology

avatar by Lea Speyer

NUS president Malia Bouattia. Photo: NUS UK.

NUS president Malia Bouattia. Photo: NUS UK.

Following a recent meeting aimed at mending soured relations with the leader of the country’s largest student union, the UK’s Union of Jewish Students (UJS) announced that it was not satisfied with the outcome of the discussion.

Though talks with National Union of Students (NUS) President Malia Bouattia — who has been accused of antisemitism — were “constructive” and “provided an opportunity to directly address the issues that have been raised since her election,” the UJS said, the meeting by itself is “not proof that we are working together, far from it.”

The group said that it had been clear that its agreement to such a meeting was only if its purpose was “to discuss the concerns of Jewish students regarding her past rhetoric, and her inability to address them.” 

As this outcome was apparently not achieved, the UJS reaffirmed its commitment not to work with Bouattia “until she issues an apology to Jewish students and demonstrates a genuine willingness to listen to their concerns and work towards addressing them.”

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In October, as the The Algemeiner reported, a parliamentary report on the state of antisemitism in the UK criticized Bouattia for continually dismissing and even undermining efforts to combat antisemitism on campus. The report spurred calls for her immediate resignation.

During a BBC interview in September, Bouattia refused to retract a 2011 article she co-wrote, which characterized Birmingham University as a “Zionist outpost” because of its large Jewish population.

That same month, as The Algemeiner reported, 43 NUS campus leaders condemned Bouattia for allowing Jewish students to feel unsafe and unwelcome in the national movement.

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