NUS bans Jewish students from picking Jewish anti-racism representative

Malia Bouattia had the casting vote

The NUS have passed a motion meaning that Jewish students will no longer have a say on who represents them in the NUS’ Anti-Racism, Anti-Facist taskforce.

Previously the Union of Jewish students was consulted and talked to about the identity of the Jewish representative on the committee. But from now on, the Jewish member will be decided by the NEC and President Malia Bouattia.

The UJS have condemned the decision, saying that it is just another example of “Jews being pushed out of university life.”

In a statement, a spokesman for the organisation said: “It was no surprise that the NUS President, Malia Bouattia, who had the deciding vote, once again showed that she has absolutely no interest in defending Jewish students’ interests by voting to remove the ability of Jewish students to shape for themselves the student movements’ fight against racism and fascism.

“Malia is still yet to adequately answer the concerns of Jewish students regarding her past rhetoric, and today provided further proof that Jewish students are right to feel unsafe in the national union that she leads. After today’s vote, it is clear that NUS, and specifically the NUS President, has no desire to listen to Jewish students.”

Before taking office earlier this year, Malia was filmed endorsing “violent struggle” and has been accused of anti-semitic rhetoric. The election campaign which saw her win by just 50 votes was rife with controversy,  after an article she co-wrote in 2011 in which she called the University of Birmingham a “zionist outpost” emerged.

The ARAF taskforce at the heart of the vote helps to decide the NUS’ position on key racial and anti-semitic issues. Izzy Lenga, a former Jewish member of ARAF who has suffered antisemitic abuse, told the Jewish Chronicle that ARAF was the only structure in the NUS that allowed Jewish students to talk about antisemitism on campus.