Ms Dallali was removed from her position as NUS President amidst investigations into her conduct following allegations of antisemitism.
However, nowhere in yesterday’s motion was there any mention of the antisemitism allegations.
Ms Dallali’s removal came after she became the first President in the Union’s 100-year history to have been suspended. The decision to remove Ms Dallali is subject to appeal.
The removal follows an internal investigation conducted by NUS, while an independent investigation is underway, led by Rebecca Tuck KC. Campaign Against Antisemitism has provided input into the latter investigation.
The investigations arose following a string of controversies surrounding the NUS and its leadership, and were announced after Robert Halfon MP wrote together with Campaign Against Antisemitism to the Charity Commission calling for an investigation into the Union’s charitable arm. The full dossier on NUS, produced by Campaign Against Antisemitism, can be read here. In addition, over twenty former NUS Presidents wrote a letter expressing their “serious concerns about antisemitism”, and another letter, organised by the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and signed by over 1,000 Jewish students and allies, called for NUS to launch an independent investigation.
The Queen Mary University Students’ Union motion accused the NUS of having “spread of anti-Palestinian racism” which was a “part of a wider pattern of endemic and systematic bigotry and prejudice,” calling the removal of Ms Dallali is a “direct attack on pro-Palestine student activism.”
Another motion was also proposed which endorsed the BDS movement to boycott Israel, the tactics of which an overwhelming majority of British Jews find intimidating.
In a statement on Friday, Queen Mary Jewish and Israel Society criticised both the proposal to disaffiliate and the fact that the Society had not been informed by the Students’ Union of the motion.
In a joint statement with the Union of Jewish Students, Queen Mary Jewish and Israel Society addressed the motion, stating Jewish students at the University “feel betrayed and let down by their Students’ Union, with many Jewish students now feeling unsafe in their own Students’ Union which shrugs its shoulders at the expense of Jewish students.”
Last year, Queen Mary University Students’ Union failed to represent and show solidarity with their Jewish members by adopting the Jerusalem Declaration, which is a wrecking document intended to undermine the globally-recognised International Definition of Antisemitism. The University’s decision to repeal the Definition was reportedly not discussed with Jewish students, who reacted with disgust.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Of all the reasons that there may be to disaffiliate from NUS, it is revealing that QMUL Students’ Union did so because of the sacking of Shaima Dallali as NUS President. Her inflammatory social media activity alienated Jewish students even more from NUS, which already had an atrocious record on Jewish issues. Yet this first remedial step that the Union has taken to affirm that Jewish concerns do actually matter was too much for QMUL’s SU. This motion, which did not even include reference to antisemitism, comes after QMUL adoption of the ‘Jerusalem Declaration’ earlier this year. QMUL has made it abundantly clear what it thinks of the views of Jewish students.”
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].