NUS Israel boycott 'rewards Hamas child death strategy', student claims

A University of Cambridge student has accused the NUS of encouraging Hamas to ensure “as many children as possible die” through its Israel boycott

August 8, 2014

Source: Alamy

Sam Gross, who blogs on The Times of Israel website, describes himself as “a Swiss-born Briton studying Asian and Middle Eastern studies at Cambridge University” who is “involved in pro-Israel activity”. In a 7 August post, titled “Named & Shamed: Complicity in the Death of Children”, he argues that “Hamas was trying their hardest to get Palestinian innocents killed” during the recent fighting in Gaza.

He says that Hamas was “unequivocally successful” in “the PR war”. He adds: “Each person who decided Israel should lift the blockade on Gaza, who thinks that Israel needs to sit down and negotiate with Hamas, who is convinced that Israel’s actions are disproportionate, or that it committed war crimes, each one of those people represents a victory for Hamas – in what can only be called the ‘telegenically dead child strategy’.”

As well as criticising Labour leader Ed Miliband, Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, Mr Gross singled out the National Union of Students, whose national executive committee voted on 4 August to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

He writes of the NUS: “This lot, having recently rejected BDS, adopted it during the operation [in Gaza]. Apart from the anti-Semitic undertones, it rewarded Hamas’ strategy of making sure as many children as possible die, and encouraged them to do it in future.”

Underneath a picture of an injured Palestinian child, a caption reads: “By giving in to Hamas’ tactic of putting children in to harm’s way, the NUS not only passed a motion that will target all Jews, but made horrifying scenes like this one more likely to happen again.”

Comments below Mr Gross’ post have dismissed the piece as “utter muck”, “nonsense on stilts” and “clearly written by a team of comedy writers with very poor taste”.

Asked for a response, a NUS spokeswoman said in a statement: “The motion passed by our national executive council commits us to ensuring that, as far as is practical, NUS does not employ or work with companies identified as facilitating Israel’s military capacity, human rights abuses or illegal settlement activity, and to actively work to cut ties with those that do.”

The statement added: “NUS has reaffirmed our commitment to raising awareness of and combating all forms of racism, including but not limited to Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, that may and have occurred in response to recent events in Israel and Palestine.

“The national executive committee also reiterated NUS’ support for a two-state solution.

“We are committed to creating an atmosphere in which robust debates can take place without creating a climate of fear or intimidation.”​

matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham