The National Union of Students (NUS) made headlines after electing a hardline anti-Zionist president who has expressed support for terror groups
Malia Bouattia, formerly NUS’ Black Students Officer, was elected as president in April despite concerns raised by Jewish students.
The chairs and presidents of a number of campus Jewish Societies wrote an open letter to Ms Bouattia in the run-up to the election, asking:
We were recently made aware of an article you co-wrote in 2011 where you explained your experiences in Birmingham. You referred to the University of Birmingham as a “Zionist outpost” and referenced that it has the “largest [Jewish Society] in the country” when describing the challenges you were facing at the time.
…We are shocked that someone who is seeking to represent this organisation could possibly see a large Jewish student population as a challenge and not something to be welcomed.
Our question for you is clear: why do you see a large Jewish Society as a problem?
The letter also noted that she’d blamed the Government’s anti-extremism Prevent programme on the “Zionist lobby”
It also emerged that she’d spoken at an event called “Gaza and the Palestinian Revolution”, which described itself as a “pro-resistance solidarity event celebrating the Palestinian revolution”. The event flyer was a picture of four famous terror leaders, including plane hijacker Leila Khaled and Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah. In her speech, Malia said that simply ” non-violent protest” against Israel wasn’t enough.
Malia is also one of the prime movers behind NUS’s Israel boycott and has worked closely with CAGE, the advocacy group for British jihadis.
Malia Bouattia is the most radical NUS President in decades and possibly in the history of the organisation. Already, individual student unions are considering disaffiliating from NUS altogether.
The next year will tell what impact Malia Bouattia’s presidency will have on NUS, but Jewish students are nervous about a year of boycott motions and anti-Zionist incitement led by a hostile national union, creating a climate of intimidation on campus.