Dozens of student leaders from around the UK have signed an open letter condemning antisemitism within the National Union of Students (NUS).
The letter condemns the leadership of NUS, but the specific criticism is all aimed at the actions of Malia Bouattia, the new President NUS. In the letter, the student leaders write: “Over the past 6 months, NUS’ Leadership has rightly come under increased scrutiny for its attitude towards Jewish students. They have been held to account for undermining Jewish students’ ability to elect their own representatives, and challenged on antisemitic rhetoric.”
The letter said that “Time and time again Jewish students have not felt safe participating in our national movement, because of the actions and rhetoric of leadership of NUS.” The letter ended with a plea to Jewish students not to feel isolated, and the student leaders even apologised to Jewish students for what had been done in the name of NUS: “We, the undersigned, stand with Jewish students in their right to feel represented, safe and welcome in participating in NUS’ democracy. We must listen to Jewish students when they say something is antisemitic. We apologise for anything or anyone that would make you feel otherwise, and promise to respect, champion and listen to your concerns. The student movement and NUS is absolutely a place for you.”
NUS has been plagued by students’ unions disaffiliating from the national union over antisemitism and other issues.