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Response to the Home Affairs Select Committee Report on Anti-Semitism

Sunday 16-10-2016 - 14:41

Statements from NUS and Malia Bouattia in response to the Home Affairs Select Committee Report on Anti-Semitism.

Responding to the comments about NUS a NUS spokesperson said:

"NUS takes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, extremely seriously. As such, we recognise the importance of the report and its deeply troubling findings regarding the sharp rise in anti-Semitism across society.

It is concerning that the report identifies that 3/4 of politically motivated anti-Semitic incidences come from far-right groups, yet focuses almost exclusively on NUS in relation to anti-Semitism on campus. This fails to address the reality for students.

We are only too aware of the reality, hence our continued work on Anti-racism and Anti-fascism, including more recent work with the Runnymede Trust on racism, and research into the experiences of Jewish Students. It is disappointing that the report is partial and inaccurate in relation to NUS work in tackling anti-Semitism, although we offered a detailed submission to the Inquiry.  

NUS has a long and proud history of fighting all forms of racism and fascism in the UK. NUS has always sought to build strong, positive relationships with the Union of Jewish Students and many other student-led groups to tackle racism and fascism and we will continue to do so."

Responding to the report Malia Bouattia said:

"The report's data on increasing anti-Semitism and targeting of the Jewish community is deeply concerning. I welcome the report's highlighting of the issue and its call for action across society, including in such areas as online platforms. This is also a priority for NUS. 

I will continue to listen to the concerns of Jewish students and the Jewish Community. As I wrote upon my election as President, and in the submission to this Inquiry, if the language I have used in the past has been interpreted any other way then let me make this clear – it was never my intention and I have revised my language accordingly. Our movement has students, both Jewish and otherwise, who hold a variety of deeply held beliefs on Israel-Palestine but it is a political argument, not one of faith. There is no place for anti-Semitism in the student movement, and in society.

Following two years as co-chair of the NUS' Anti-Racist Anti-Fascist Campaign, I will continue to work across the student movement to eradicate all forms of hate, including anti-Semitism. We are stronger when we work together and I will continue to encourage progressive and inclusive working relationships across our movement."

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