NUS conference opens with apology to Jewish students

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NUS conference opens with apology to Jewish students

NUS leaders tell Jewish students 'You have been let down by the very organisation that you should have been able to trust the most'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Previous NUS conference in Harrogate
Previous NUS conference in Harrogate

The National Union of Students have repeated its apology to Jewish students over the “failure to address antisemitism head on” at the start of a two-day conference.

In a move intended to show the body’s commitment to the findings of Rebecca Tuck KC’s damning investigation into antisemitism claimsChloe Field, NUS vice president for higher education, and Nehaal Bajwa, vice president for liberation and equality, read out statements in front of delegates at the event in Harrogate.

Field, who has taken over as interim leader of the organisation after Shaima Dallali was dismissed as president earlier this year, announced: “We really want to open conference today with a moment of accountability for NUS and a moment of humanity towards our Jewish friends and members.

“On behalf of NUS today and the past, I am genuinely, truly sorry that it has taken us so long to address antisemitism head-on.

“You have been let down by the very organisation that you should have been able to trust the most. My team and I will do everything that we can do to make sure that you never have to fight this fight on your own again.”

She added:”Let us say this to anyone in doubt: antisemitism is real and it is happening in student politics today. Antisemitism is an attack not just on Jewish people, but on all of us and the shared values we hold.”

Bajwa urged students to look closely at their own friendship groups and societies to establish any further signs of antisemitic conduct.

Union of Jewish Students president Joel Rosen later welcomed the apology tweeting: “A very different feel to the conference this year. Feel incredibly proud of the change we’ve collectively made and are making in the student movement.

“It is bittersweet as there are generations of Jewish students who didn’t get to witness moments like these.”

Rebecca Tuck’s investigation into antisemitism following outrage over historic posts by NUS president-elect Shaima Dallali and widespread allegations by Jewish students that antisemitism was widespread within the organisation over a lengthy period of time.

Dallali was dismissed as president last November after Tuck concluded there had been “significant breaches” of union policy by her.






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