NUS Apologises After New President's Allegedly Anti-Semitic Tweet

NUS Apologises As New President Gets Backlash For Allegedly Anti-Semitic Tweet

Rachael Grealish April 5, 2022

NUS UK has released a statement apologising following backlash the president-elect, Shaima Dallali, received for an allegedly anti-Semitic Tweet she posted in 2012.

The NUS UK released a statement yesterday, Monday April 4, saying it is ‘truly sorry’ to Jewish students after the recent allegations have ‘given Jewish students cause for concern about NUS’ and insist the organisation will continue to fight for their rights.

What Are The Allegations Against Shaima Dallali?

Dallali was voted president-elect of the NUS on Monday, March 28, but Jewish students have raised concerns after historic tweets emerged referencing the massacre of Jews in the 628 Battle of Khaybar.

In a tweet from 2012, which has now been deleted, she allegedly wrote: ‘Khaybar Khaybar O Jews … Muhammad’s army will return #Gaza.’

She responded to the Tweet prior to the election saying she these comments were made as a teenager and apologised.

No word has been given as to whether Dallali will continue to be the NUS president from July this year – when she is due to take up the role – or be forced to resign.

The NUS reacts

In a statement the NUS said it takes ‘allegations of antisemitism extremely seriously’ as well as making a direct address to Jewish students across the UK in order to help restore confidence in NUS.

It read: ‘There are some very public allegations being made about one of our newly elected officers (who doesn’t take up post until July 2022). One allegation was put forward during the election itself and was dealt 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 statement continued: ‘This is a message directly to Jewish students across the UK. We unequivocally support and fight for Jewish students’ right to live and study free from the threat of antisemitism.

‘We have a proud and longstanding relationship with the Union of Jewish Students who we welcome warmly within the NUS community; we see UJS as an important voice in improving our work to make education, and the student movement, safer for Jewish students.

‘The past few weeks will have given Jewish students cause for concern about NUS and you may be wondering if this is a safe space for you at all. For that we are truly sorry and want to reaffirm that this is and will continue to be a safe space for you.

‘But our actions must speak louder than our words so we will be reviewing what has happened over the past few weeks and making changes in the future. And the next time we have an event or activity where we’re asking you to join us, we’ll communicate these changes proactively so you have extra assurances that you will be welcome and safe.’

The full statement can be read here.

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Rachael is the Senior Content Editor at Freshered. She is NCTJ qualified with an MA in journalism. Rachael has almost ten years experience as a journalist in regional, national and international press and is passionate about creating engaging content.