Incoming NUS president ‘harassed’ Jewish students outside talk by former Israeli politician

The UK government is now considering suspending all engagement with the NUS over antisemitism allegations

The president-elect of the National Union of Students (NUS) has come under fire for “harassing” Jewish students outside a talk given by an ex-Israeli politician in 2018.

This is the latest in a string of revelations about Shaima Dallali, who has faced widespread criticism for “attacking the Jewish community.”

The UK government is now considering suspending all engagement with the NUS over antisemitism allegations.


Shaima Dallali

The event in question took place at King’s College London in 2018, with former deputy prime minister of Israel Dan Meridor featuring on the bill.

A video has resurfaced in which Dallali (wearing red) and other protestors repeatedly shout “shame” at students leaving the talk.

At the time, KCL’s Israel society released a statement and reported a “great discussion” with “critical questions and lively interchanges between speaker and audience.”

However, according to attendees, the shouts of protestors from KCL’s Palestine society could be heard throughout the talk.

A Facebook post from KCL’s Israel society reads: “There were reported screams of’ ‘Khayber,’ the battle cry against Jews, and we left the room to fingers pointed in our faces with the word ‘shame’ repeated over and over again.”

A Facebook post made by KCL Israel Society shortly after the event

After seeing the video, a spokesperson for the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) commented: “It is concerning to see Jewish students being harangued by the NUS President-elect.

“No matter whose views you may disagree with, Jewish students should have the right to attend speaker events without being harassed.

“We expect the President-elect and the rest of the new leadership of NUS to step up so that Jewish students can be free of harassment on campus.”

Shaima Dallali has recently faced criticism for a tweet she wrote 10 years ago that referenced a historical massacre of Jewish people. She also wrote an article in which she described a homophobic Muslim cleric as “a moral compass.”

The UJS said Dallali had “attacked the Jewish community, UJS, and supported speakers with extremely challenging views.”

In response to these claims, Dallali told The Tab: “My hands are outstretched to all students that work in our movement, including Jewish students.”

She added: “The pre-emptive scrutiny of Muslim women is symptomatic of the nature of Gendered Islamophobia.”

A spokesperson for the NUS said: “There are some very public allegations being made about one of our newly elected officers (who doesn’t take up post until July 2022).

“Some complaints were put forward during the election itself and were adjudicated with by the Returning Officer resulting in a public apology from the candidate in question.

“The other allegations came after the election vote which is why they weren’t dealt with as part of the election process. Now that we are outside of the election process, the responsibility to look into these concerns lies ultimately with the NUS Board. NUS takes all allegations of antisemitism extremely seriously and if we find that action needs to be taken, we won’t hesitate to take it, as we have previously. “

The UK government is now considering suspending all engagement with the NUS over antisemitism allegations.

Universities minister Michelle Donelan wrote in a tweet: “I am deeply concerned by NUS antisemitism, including the remarks of the new president.”

She added: “I am considering a range of possible measures, including reporting the NUS to the Charity Commission and full suspension from all engagement with the government – to be replaced by alternative student voices- unless they take immediate steps to regain the confidence of Jewish students.”

The NUS responded to Donelan’s words with a fresh statement that read: “It is deeply concerning that public allegations are being made by government ministers and government advisors without evidence or engaging in any due process.

“We have reached out on multiple occasions to government colleagues to invite them to ask us any questions, raise concerns, and have full sight of our internal processes. We are now taking legal advice on some of the actions of these individuals.”

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