EX-NUS president fights sacking over antisemitism

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EX-NUS president fights sacking over antisemitism

Lawyers for Shaima Dallali argue her pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist views are protected beliefs

Ex-NUS president Shaima Dallali was ousted from the union in November 2022 over antisemitism claims.
Ex-NUS president Shaima Dallali was ousted from the union in November 2022 over antisemitism claims.

Sacked ex-president of the National Union of Students Shaima Dallali is taking legal action against her dismissal, claiming discrimination.

Shaima Dallali was dismissed last November during an independent investigation into antisemitism in the NUS which said that Jewish students had faced a hostile culture.

Dallali’s lawyers argue that her pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist beliefs amount to protected beliefs under the Equality Act.

They said Dallali “was the subject of numerous complaints as well as personal abuse and threats, to the effect that her past articulation of her anti-Zionist beliefs amounted to antisemitism.”

Her sacking was confirmed after she made four tweets, three of which were not antisemitic, Carter-Ruck said.

The fourth had been tweeted a decade earlier and deleted by Dallali once she realised it could be understood as antisemitic.

This was a reference to a tweet that repeated the words  “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews… Muhammad’s army will return Gaza,” referring to the Battle of Khaybar in 628 CE, during which Muslim troops reportedly attacked Jewish natives in the town of Khaybar.

Confirming the legal action, her lawyers wrote:“Ms Dallali has deeply held, publicly articulated beliefs on the right of Palestinians to live free of occupation. Ms Dallali’s pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist beliefs amount to protected beliefs for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010.

“She has publicly articulated those beliefs throughout her adult life, just as she has consistently and repeatedly condemned antisemitism.”
Lawyers for the ex-president said she learnt via social media that she had lost her job, which is disputed by the NUS, and that she had been subjected to threats and personal abuse.

She was dismissed when allegations of antisemitism were upheld after an investigation into comments she made on Twitter.

“There is no room for doubt that this process has been as robust as it gets. We understand the former president has now submitted employment tribunal proceedings,” a spokesperson for NUS said.

“Our focus is to represent all students and to rebuild NUS to be an inclusive and progressive force for good. We are taking steps to enact our antisemitism action plan and to mobilize students to campaign for a better future.”

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