We welcome the report’s in-depth criticism of the NUS National President and her organisation as it tells the world what so many Jewish students have been saying for some time.
This report clearly and correctly outlines the current conduct of the NUS National President: that some of her previous comments “smack of outright racism”, and that Jewish students’ concerns have not been “effectively addressed”. We welcome many of the recommendations in the report, and believe that they can provide the foundations to ensure a safe space for Jewish students.
As the report makes clear, the National President of NUS should not be making the kind of abhorrent and unacceptable comments that she has previously made. Her inability to fully represent all parts of the student population is disgraceful, and for no part of the student population is this truer than for Jewish students. The President of NUS should listen to and address the concerns of its members, but too often the concerns raised by Jewish students have fallen on deaf ears. The evidence outlined in the report all points to the fact that the NUS National President treats Jewish students’ concerns differently to those of others, proving that there’s one rule for Jewish students, another for everyone else.
NUS should be doing more to ensure a welcoming and safe environment for Jewish students, but whilst the National President continues to ignore Jewish students’ concerns and use the national newspapers to defend her past rhetoric, we do not see any evidence that anything is changing. The lack of action from NUS is startling, and it is only right that as an organisation they take a firmer stance against antisemitism. This starts with their National President.
UJS continues to work with those NUS officers who consistently champion Jewish students’ voices. We will only meet with the National President to discuss her past comments and continued inability to address the valid concerns that Jewish students continue to raise. This report must act as a wake-up call for the NUS President and her organisation, because the culture being created on UK campuses is, unacceptably, one that accepts and fails to challenge antisemitism; a culture that is being manifested on her watch.