The NUS have proved, yet again, that they don’t really care about Jewish Students
I for one am not shocked at all
In a national survey sent out to students all across the UK, the NUS asked participants to select a religion from a list of options but managed to omit Judaism, the fifth largest religion in the country.
The poll was sent out as part of an NUS initiative to understand the experiences of Muslim students in further and higher education and as a result had to ask for the religion of participants. So far, so boring.
The list of faiths included all the big ones, and even some more obscure beliefs like agnosticism, but weirdly not Judaism.
This may seem like a fairly insignificant omission to the average student, but given the context of the NUS's attitude towards Jewish students, it feels like a little more than a coincidence.
The NUS has never had what you'd call a strong relationship with the Jewish community. In the last few years, they've done a few things that didn't exactly endear them to a lot of Jews at university. Firstly, former president Malia Bouattia was caught on camera throwing around some dog-whistle anti-semitism, calling Birmingham uni 'a zionist outpost' and complaining about 'zionist led media'.
They also heard arguments in their national assembly against officially commemorating the Holocaust for reasons which I still don't understand.
Then, just a couple of weeks after an NUS report found a quarter of Jewish students face anti-semitic abuse at uni, Ali Milani, a candidate for VP was caught calling Jews stingy on Twitter.
And, topping off a pretty huge couple of years for NUS anti-semitism was their Edinburgh delegate Daniel Yahia, who was kind enough to call a Jewish footballer a "subhuman rat".
So, yes, in the grand scheme of things, missing out one of the world's most famous religions on a fairly insignificant form is not really a huge deal. But if you put it in the context of NUS delegates either being openly or implicitly anti-semitic, it feels like more of a slight.
The NUS is supposed to be a group that represents all students in the UK fairly and equally. They're supposed to care about the needs of even tiny minority groups and for some people, I'm sure they're great advocates.
But when you continually ignore Jewish students and praise and promote anti-semites, then even something as trivial as being left off a form shows how little you really care.