Today, the National Union of Students has plumbed a new low, electing as its President a candidate who has been prominently revealed in recent weeks as having extremely troubling views about Jews. Malia Bouattia has called Birmingham University a “Zionist outpost in higher education” because it has “the largest Jsoc [Jewish student society] in the country.” She has railed against “Zionist-led media outlets”, defended Palestinian terrorism as “resistance” and voted against condemning ISIS.
Shortly before her election, the National Union of Students Conference debated whether to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, with fierce applause for the students who argued against joining in with the national memorial for the genocide which wiped out more than one third of the world’s Jewish population. Though the Conference voted to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day in the end, it was abundantly clear that those opposing the move had the backing of a very large number of delegates.
The National Union of Students has positioned itself as a fierce opponent of racism, with a ‘no platform’ policy which prevents racists from speaking. However today, the new President of the union is someone whose actions contravene the definition of antisemitism adopted as policy by the union.
Today Campaign Against Antisemitism calls on Malia Bouattia to retract her comments; condemn Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS (all of which espouse the most extreme antisemitic ideology possible); and endorse the definition of antisemitism used by the union, including antisemitism which masquerades as political discourse about Israel.
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