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NUS President Sacked After Antisemitism Investigation

NUS President

The National Union of Students (NUS) has sacked its president, Shaima Dallali. An independent panel found “significant breaches of NUS’ policies” in an independent investigation into allegations of antisemitism within the union.

Ms. Dallali claimed she was given no prior warning of her dimsissal, tweeting: “On the first day of islamophobia awareness month, I find out I have been dismissed through twitter. That is unacceptable.” Her lawyers released a statement saying she would be considering “all available legal remedies following her summary dismissal.”

The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) responded to the news, saying in a statement:

“UJS respects the decision of the National Union of Students to dismiss their President. Antisemitism in the student movement goes beyond the actions of any one individual and this case is a symptom of a wider problem. 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.”

The independent investigation, headed by Rebecca Tuck KC, was announced in May this year, days after the government cut ties with the NUS over concerns about antisemitism.

Ms Dallali has faced criticism over a 2012 tweet which read “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews… Muhammad’s army will return to Gaza”, a reference to a massacre of Jews in 628AD. The Jewish Chronicle stated that when they contacted Ms Dallai for comment, she responded, “This is a tweet I posted 10 years ago during Israel’s assault on Gaza in 2012. This reference made as a teenager was unacceptable and I unreservedly apologise.”

However, this is not the only criticism Ms Dallali has faced. In March this year, an article in The Jewish Chronicle reported that Dallali had described Islamic Brotherhood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi as a “moral compass of the muslim community at large.” They further stated that Qaradawi had previously called on God to kill jews, “every last one.”

Ms Dallali has not commented on this allegation, and has since defended a number of other tweets subject to criticism, maintaining she does not believe they are antisemitic.

The NUS did not address specific allegations against Ms Dallali, citing “rules around employees and confidentiality.” They added that they expected to receive the full report of the larger investigation by the end of the year and apologised to Jewish students by the harm caused.

In Ms Dallali’s absence, the NUS announced that Vice President of Higher Education Chloe Fields would be stepping up as chair of the NUS UK board. Ms Fields said:

“As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, I will continue to hold the government to account and push for greater support for students. As students and apprentices reach breaking point, at NUS we have developed a series of clear recommendations for the government and education institutions to ease the burden on students, and I look forward to championing them during my time at NUS.

I am proud to fight on behalf of all of our students and therefore I am determined to work together with the Union of Jewish Students to re-establish trust in our organisation and tackle some of the biggest issues facing students right now.”

King’s College London Student Union have not released any response to Ms Dallali’s sacking.



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