The National Union of Students has terminated the contract of its President, Shaima Dallali, following an investigation which found there had been significant breaches of the NUS policy.
UKLFI wrote to the NUS in on 11 April 2022 to warn them of incendiary views expressed by the incoming National President, Shaima Dallali, in statements on Twitter and elsewhere. UKLFI pointed out that her statements were contrary to NUS policy and were antisemitic when judged against the IHRA’s working definition and that this should result in disciplinary action. Ms Dallali was due to take up her new position in July 2022.
Following UKLFI’s letter, as well as complaints from others, the NUS set up an independent investigation, headed by Rebecca Tuck KC, into allegations of antisemitism: The investigation was in two parts: one investigation into the President under the Code of Conduct; and a separate investigation looking at allegations against the NUS. UKLFI provided substantial evidence to the investigation.
Kat Stark, NUS UK Director has now informed UKLFI that “Following the independent KC-led investigation into allegations of antisemitism, specifically into the President Elect under the NUS Code of Conduct, an independent panel has found that significant breaches of NUS’ policies have taken place. As per this finding, we have terminated the President’s contract. The decision of the panel may be subject to an appeal.”
The Second part of the investigation by Rebecca Tuck KC into recent and historic forms of antisemitism, and broader culture in the NUS has not yet concluded. Rebecca Tuck KC has advised the NUS UK board that she has been unexpectedly delayed but will complete all investigatory interviews by 4 November and will provide her report to the NUS by the end of the year.
The NUS also said that it would continue to work closely with the Union of Jewish Students on the wider investigation into the allegations about NUS and are exploring actions that NUS can take in the near future to build trust and confidence with Jewish students. “We are sorry for the harm that has been caused and we hope to rebuild the NUS in an inclusive way – fighting for all students as we have done for the past 100 years.”
UKLFI pointed out to the NUS, in its April 2022 letter, that the current NUS policy on antisemitism in the student movement states that the NUS should re-affirm its commitment to tackling antisemitism on campus. However, instead of tackling antisemitism on campus, Ms Dallali had been stoking antisemitism by her promotion of BDS and her incendiary tweets against “Zionists” (most of whom are Jewish).
In a tweet in May 2021, Dallali appeared to justify violent attacks on Israel, saying that ‘the Palestinians have the right to resist in all possible ways, even with weapons‘.
She tweeted on 20 May 2021 “From the river to the sea” – this is part of the slogan “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” which implies support for the obliteration of Israel and denies the Jewish people their right to self-determination.
In May 2021 she tweeted “Good morning to everyone except Zionists, settler colonialist and apartheid sympathisers. Free Palestine”, attacking Zionists (most of whom are Jews) and suggesting that the State of Israel is a racist endeavour.
She ran the Palestinian Society at City University where she participated in anti-Israel protests. On 12 Feb 2018 she can be seen screaming “shame” to Jewish students as they exited a joint City and KCL Israel Society event at which Dan Meridor, former deputy prime minister of Israel had been speaking. Students were reportedly intimidated by the actions of the protestors,
Caroline Turner, director of UKLFI, commented: “We are pleased to see that the NUS is now implementing its policies on antisemitism, and has acknowledged and apologised for the harm caused to its Jewish students”