NUS president Dallali dismissed after antisemitism investigation

‘Significant breaches’ in student body’s code of conduct identified by independent inquiry

十一月 1, 2022

The UK’s National Union of Students has dismissed its president after an investigation into antisemitism allegations identified “significant breaches” of the organisation’s code of conduct.

Shaima Dallali had been suspended by the NUS since the start of her term in office while the disciplinary procedure was carried out, and her contract has now been terminated, the organisation said.

Ms Dallali, a former president of the students’ union at City, University of London, was criticised during her election campaign for historic social media posts, sent when she was 18, which referenced a massacre of Jewish people in 628, and for which she subsequently apologised. In 2018, she had also expressed support for the late cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who had defended the Holocaust.

In a statement, the NUS said the independent King’s Counsel-led investigation had “found that significant breaches of NUS’ policies have taken place”.

It said no further details would be shared in “strict accordance with rules around employees and confidentiality”, but “we can assure any interested parties that this process has been incredibly robust and that we can and must trust in the outcome”.

The NUS urged people with strong feelings around the issue to “respect this process and to refrain from taking part in or perpetuating any abuse, particularly online, towards anyone involved in this matter”.

Chloe Field, vice-president of higher education at the organisation, will step up as acting chair of the NUS UK board following Ms Dallali’s dismissal.

A wider investigation into antisemitism within the NUS as an organisation is continuing with the input of the Union of Jewish Students.

The NUS said it was exploring actions it could take “in the near future to build trust and confidence with Jewish students” and apologised “for the harm that has been caused”.

“We hope to rebuild the NUS in an inclusive way – fighting for all students as we have done for the past 100 years,” the statement added.

Ms Field said she would now be concentrating her efforts on addressing the cost-of-living crisis and pushing for greater support for students.

“I am proud to fight on behalf of all of our students, and therefore I am determined to work together with the Union of Jewish Students to re-establish trust in our organisation and tackle some of the biggest issues facing students right now,” she said.

The president of the UJS, Joel Rosen, said his organisation “respected” the decision to remove Ms Dallali from office.

“Antisemitism in the student movement goes beyond the actions of any one individual, and this case is a symptom of a wider problem,” he added. “Jewish students across the country will be asking how an individual deemed unfit for office by NUS was elected in the first place.

“We await the findings of the substantive inquiry into NUS’ treatment of Jewish students.”

Robert Halfon, the education minister, said: “We welcome the verdict to this initial investigation and look forward to the outcome of the next stage, which will provide more detail on [the] National Union of Students’ plans to address antisemitism within the organisation.”



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