Former NUS President Shaima Dallali reportedly joked about killing Zionists
The former NUS President Shaima Dallali is reported to have joked about killing Zionists.
According to the JC, Ms Dallali, who was removed from her position as NUS President amidst investigations into her conduct following allegations of antisemitism, made the inflammatory comments in 2014 in relation to entering the West Bank.
She is alleged to have said of Israeli border guards: “I don’t want no Zionist near my passport, I’ll probs kill him tbh.”
Ms Dallali’s lawyers have apparently said that her remarks were “clearly not remotely serious”.
The JC added that in a Facebook comment, Ms Dallali said that fatwas from radical clerics meant “we’re not allowed to go to occupied Palestine…Israel and that…It’s still not allowed because you’ll need Israeli authorities to stamp your passport and that’s like recognising Israel…”
One of the clerics reportedly cited was Yusuf al-Qaradawi who, in 2009, said on Al-Jazeera TV that he would “shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews” and called upon God to “kill them, down to the very last one.”
Ms Dallai is alleged to have described him as the “moral compass for the Muslim community at large”.
In a 2010 interview on BBC Arabic, Mr Yusuf al-Qaradawi reportedly said: “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.”
Ms Dallali’s lawyers are said to have stated that she does not endorse all of the cleric’s views and added that the JC’s newest findings was an example of old posts being dredged up to “besmirch her reputation”, that it was “not language she would use now” and “would not have been taken remotely seriously by anyone reading it”.
Her removal as NUS President, which came after she became the first President in the Union’s 100-year history to have been suspended, arrived in the wake of Rebecca Tuck KC’s damning report into the allegations of antisemitism within the NUS.
Ms Tuck’s report, which was released in January and followed an investigation into which Campaign Against Antisemitism, the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and others provided input, observed that NUS allowed the development of a “hostile environment” for Jewish students, with instances in which Jewish students were “subjected to harassment” likely to be in breach of the Equality Act 2010, in addition to NUS’s own code of conduct. It rightly recognised that there had been a “poor relationship” between NUS and Jewish students for a long time. Ms Tuck drew on Campaign Against Antisemitism’s input and past research, including our annual Antisemitism Barometer survey of the Jewish community.
The report recommended improvements in NUS’s record-keeping, elections, due diligence of candidates, and code of conduct complaints. It also called for antisemitism training and the provision of educational materials, and a governance review. Ms Tuck also advised improvements in discussions about Israel, including the inclusion of an “experienced facilitator” in such debates.
Importantly, the report also called for the establishment of an advisory panel to ensure the implementation of the recommendations and for a survey of Jewish students to test that implementation, which were among the suggestions made to Ms Tuck by Campaign Against Antisemitism to ensure the durability of any recommendations that the report made. Indeed Ms Tuck observed how the recommendations of past reports relating to NUS have often not been implemented, a point that we stressed to her.
The announcement of Ms Tuck’s investigation last April came after Robert Halfon MP (then the Chair of the Education Select Committee) wrote together with Campaign Against Antisemitism to the Charity Commission calling for an investigation into the union’s charitable arm, which the Commission agreed to launch. The full dossier on NUS, produced by Campaign Against Antisemitism, can be read here.
There were numerous controversies involving NUS in 2022. In one scandal, the rapper Kareem Dennis, known as Lowkey, was due to headline NUS’s centenary conference but, after initially dismissing the concerns of Jewish students, who pointed out the rapper’s inflammatory record, the Union came under media scrutiny and eventually Mr Dennis withdrew from the event. As the scandal erupted, Robert Halfon MP excoriated NUS for failing to send a representative to attend a hearing held by the Education Select Committee, which he chairs.
This scandal was immediately followed by the election of Shaima Dallali as NUS’s new President, despite her history of antisemitic tweets and other inflammatory social media posts. Ms Dallali was forced to apologise for tweeting the words of an antisemitic chant. In 2012, during an escalation of tensions between Israel and the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group Hamas, Ms Dallali tweeted the words “Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud.” Translated into English, this chant means “Jews, remember the battle of Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning.” It is a classic Arabic battle cry referencing the massacre and expulsion of the Jews of the town of Khaybar in northwestern Arabia, now Saudi Arabia, in the year 628 CE.
These scandals come after decades of atrocious relations between NUS and Jewish students. Ms Tuck’s investigation is at least the third major such inquiry into NUS’s relations with Jewish students in the last twenty years.
It was reported recently that, claiming that her dismissal was discriminatory, Ms Dallali is taking legal action against NUS.
If any students are concerned about antisemitism on campus or need assistance, they can call us on 0330 822 0321, or e-mail [email protected].