The National Union of Students (NUS) is set to expose itself to an independent investigation into anti-Semitic allegations following a wave of complaints from Jewish students and the intervention of former NUS presidents and senior political figures.
The announcement came after a crisis meeting of the NUS board on Wednesday, which issued a statement saying there could be no place for anti-Semitism in the student movement and promised to resolve any wrongdoing.
The statement said, “We are hearing concerns and are deeply concerned about the pain and trauma we are experiencing.”
“We will take any and all steps necessary to remedy any wrongdoing and rebuild trust with Jewish students as well as our members, partners and stakeholders.”
The announcement comes after more than 20 former NUS presidents, including three former cabinet ministers, sent an unprecedented personal warning to the organisation’s trustees, urging them to address the concerns of Jewish students.
Among those who signed the leaked letter to the Guardian were former cabinet ministers Jack Straw, Charles Clark and Jim Murphy, shadow health secretaries, Wes Streeting and Labor peer Mayev Sherlock. “This is not just a matter of protecting NUS’s reputation, but of respecting NUS’s proud anti-apartheid policy,” the letter said.
NUS says the investigation will cover all public allegations made over the past two months about NUS and its president-elect, Shaimaa Dallali – in particular, the decision to invite rapper Loki to one of its events, as well as the widespread culture of anti-Semitism within its ranks.
“In relation to the president-elect, an independent investigation will look into various allegations and actions that have been alleged to have taken place over the past decade,” NUS said.
Dalli’s comments on social media have been criticized by the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), which included a post when he was a teenager, which read: “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews … Muhammad’s army will return to Gaza,” one noted. AD628 genocide. He has since apologized for the post.
In addition to independent investigations, NUS has promised to meet regularly with UJS to “listen to concerns, receive input, and see how we can move forward together.”
“We will appoint a highly respected independent team to investigate and we will consult with the UGS on the appointment,” NUS said. “Anyone who is hired must have the confidence of the Jewish students.”
NUS added that it adopted the definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2018 and in the recent past, it has worked on anti-Semitism, removed a member of the National Assembly in 2018 and removed the candidate in 2019. Anti-Semitic policy.
The chairman of the Commons Education Committee, Robert Halfon, has called on the NUS to investigate the allegations. NUS responded that it was not a charity and therefore was not the subject of such an investigation. “However, NUS voluntarily maintains its highest standards,” it added.
Last week, Higher Education Minister Michelle Donnelly warned that the government could suspend its involvement with the union over the allegations. Donnelly called on student unions across the country to “consider deflation until things improve quickly.”
NUS replied: “We hope that this will not happen and government colleagues will be satisfied that we are taking swift and appropriate action to address the allegations.”