• Thursday, December 01, 2022

UK News

NUS president Shaima Dallali sacked over anti-Semitic posts

By: Pramod Thomas

The National Union of Students (NUS) dismissed its president on Tuesday (1) over anti-Semitic allegations after an independent inquiry found ‘significant breaches’ of the policies of the union, reports said.

Shaima Dallali was elected during the NUS’s National Conference in March. At that time Jewish students raised concerns about her comments on social media. She was due to assume the role in July but was suspended in August as a result of the investigation.

In 2012, Dallali tweeted: “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews … Muhammad’s army will return Gaza,” referencing a historical massacre. Though she apologised for the tweet the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) wanted her to be removed from the role.

In a statement the UJS welcomed the ouster of Dallali and said that it respects the decision.

“Jewish students across the country will be asking how an individual deemed unfit for office by NUS was elected in the first place. We await the findings of the substantive inquiry into NUS treatment of Jewish students,” it said.

The union body further said that her election was ‘a symptom of a wider problem’ in the NUS.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies termed the decision as ‘disgraceful’, and urged student unions to disaffiliate from the organisation.

This is the first time a president has been dismissed in the organisation’s 100-year history. Earlier, it was reported that more than 20 former NUS presidents, including three former ministers, had warned the organisation’s trustees to address concerns from Jewish students.

While responding to the decision, Dallali, former student union president at City, University of London, said that she came to know about the verdict through Twitter, which was ‘unacceptable’. She also removed the reference as NUS president from Twitter bio.

It is reported that she can appeal against the decision.

“Following the independent [King’s Counsel]-led investigation into allegations of antisemitism, specifically into the then president-elect under the NUS code of conduct, an independent panel has found that significant breaches of NUS policies have taken place. As per this finding, we have terminated the president’s contract,” the NUS said in a statement.

Chloe Field, an NUS vice-president, will be acting chair of the NUS UK board for the time being.

Education minister Robert Halfon has welcomed the decision and said that expects to see more details about NUS’s plans to address anti-Semitism within the organisation when the inquiry report is published by the year-end.

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