We call on  Malia Bouattia, the President-elect of the National Union of Students to recognise that NUS needs to be a national union for all students, including Jewish students and other students who feel an affinity with Israel, and that the beliefs and identity of students who identify as Zionists should be respected in the context of debating NUS’ stance towards the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

We ask Malia to honour the policy passed by NUS Conference requiring it to tackle seriously all forms of antisemitism, including attempts to deny Jewish people the right to self-determination and use of antisemitic rhetoric in attacks on State of Israel.

We are deeply concerned by Malia’s past remarks that the University of Birmingham is “something of a Zionist outpost”, and “it also has the largest Jewish Society in the country, whose leadership is dominated by Zionist activists”; her description of “mainstream Zionist-led media outlets”; and her statement that “non-violent” resistance is not enough.

We call on Malia to withdraw her implied support for violent tactics by Palestinians against Israelis; to meet with the Union of Jewish Students to develop an understanding of what Zionism actually is (a movement for the national self-determination and liberation of Jews) and to understand that their  connection to Israel is a key part of Jewish identity for over 90% of British Jews; and to meet the Community Security Trust to learn about contemporary left-wing antisemitism and how to recognise and avoid the use of classic antisemitic tropes in debating Israel and Zionism.

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