Watch future NUS president Malia Bouattia endorse violent struggle
While condemning ‘Zionist-led media outlets’
A new video reveals NUS presidential candidate Malia Bouattia endorsing armed struggle while condemning what she calls “mainstream Zionist-led media outlets”.
In a carefully coded speech given at a “Gaza and the Palestinian Revolution” event in September 2014, Bouattia claims a “Zionist-led media” oppresses the global south. She explicitly gives her support to the “resistance” even if this resistance takes a violent form.
Bouattia has been the NUS’ National Black Students’ Officer since the start of the academic year 2014. She was speaking at the event in an official capacity.
The video was passed to The Tab anonymously today. It was taken down from YouTube at some point since September 2014.
In the video, Bouattia argues that Muslims should support Palestinian “resistance” but they fail to do so due to “internalised Islamophobia”. For Bouattia, peace talks between Israel and Palestine aren’t peace talks – they’re “the strengthening of the colonial project”.
This potential future President of all the students in the UK goes on to argue that the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, in which she has been “heavily involved”, is no alternative to resistance:
“To consider that Palestine will be free only by means of fundraising, non-violent protest and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is problematic… Boycott can be misunderstood as the alternative to resistance by the Palestinian people.”
Given the potential damage it could do to Bouattia’s campaign, it’s unsurprising the video was taken off YouTube. Now that it’s been handed to The Tab, it raises fresh questions about her suitability to lead the NUS.
Her past rhetoric has generated controversy throughout the campaign. In the past she’s described the University of Birmingham as a “Zionist outpost” and refused to vote for a motion condemning the Islamic State.
She’s also received the endorsement of MPAC spokesperson Raza Nadim. MPAC a British Muslim lobby group that has been no-platformed by the NUS due to their intense anti-semitism.
Although it’s worded in a knotty way, this radical speech is likely to disturb those who take issue with the idea that Bouattia is a suitable representative for every student in the country. Is it possible to have liberation without violence? What’s the difference between resistance and terrorism?
In an open letter to Jewish students published last week, Bouattia responded to concerns about her campaign:
“I am deeply concerned that my faith and political views are being misconstrued and used as an opportunity to falsely accuse me of antisemitism, despite my work and dedication to liberation, equality and inclusion saying otherwise.”
The new NUS President will be elected at the NUS conference in Brighton tomorrow.