Ali Milani, a candidate for Vice President of Union Development of the National Union of Students (NUS), has apologised for a series of antisemitic tweets from 2012 and 2013. In one of the many antisemitic tweets, he calls someone a “Jew” for being stingy, writing: “Nah u won’t mate. It’ll cost you a pound #jew.” The stereotype of the miserly and cheap Jew is extremely offensive.
In a tweet to Piers Morgan, Milani wrote: “u are a zionist and a corperate [sic] jackass.” In a string of tweets about Israeli-US relations and the Israel-Palestine conflict, he commented: “Israel has no right to exist.”
Just last week, the NUS released its survey on The Experience of Jewish Students in 2016/17, showing that only 49% of the 485 Jewish students polled said that they would feel comfortable attending NUS events, and just 40% would feel comfortable engaging in the NUS policy making process.
Milani, who is the current President of the Union of Brunel Students, is contesting the Vice President position at the NUS National Conference in Brighton from 25th to 27th April. Speaking to The Tab, Milani said: “I have apologised unreservedly for these comments before and I do so again. They do not reflect how I see the world today. These tweets are from an incredibly long time ago – when I was 16 to 17 years old. It’s unacceptable, I know that now. Education taught me that.” The NUS was contacted by The Tab but declined to comment.
Milani is a supporter of Malia Bouattia, the current NUS President, who was found by an NUS inquiry to have made antisemitic comments. According to The Tab, Milani signed an open letter in defence of her when her antisemitic comments were under investigation. Following outrage from the Jewish student body, which last summer wrote an open letter condemning Bouattia for her comments, an internal report for NUS found that Bouattia made antisemitic comments but outrageously she has faced no action whatsoever as a consequence. Milani was also quoted in an article in The Guardian praising Bouattia’s activist credentials, saying: “She is the most hardworking, dedicated and principled person I have ever met in my time as a sabb [sabbatical officer].”
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