NUS reaches undisclosed settlement with ‘anti-Zionist’ former president

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NUS reaches undisclosed settlement with ‘anti-Zionist’ former president

Shaima Dallali admits that tweet that got her sacked was antisemitic as she settles with student union

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Former president of NUS, Shaima Dallali [Twitter].
Former president of NUS, Shaima Dallali [Twitter].

The National Union of Students has reached a settlement with ex- president Shaima Dallali, after she admitted a tweet posted on social media in 2012, for which she apologised, was antisemitic.

A statement agreed by both parties confirmed that “a settlement has been reached between Shaima Dallali and the National Union of Students, bringing an end to the proceedings before the employment tribunal.

“The terms of that settlement are confidential between the parties and shall not be disclosed.”

Dallali was dismissed over allegations of antisemitism in November 2022. It followed an independent code-of-conduct investigation after allegations were made against her, including by Jewish students.

In March 2023, she tweeted a press release from her solicitors Carter Ruck announcing that they had commenced employment tribunal proceedings against NUS.

Ahead of confirmation of the settlement Jewish News understands that Dallali has now accepted that a tweet posted in 2012, when she was 18, was indeed antisemitic.

The Union of Jewish Students had raised concerns about Dallali’s election as student union president, including a tweet that used an Arabic chant that referenced what has been described as a massacre of Jews in the year AD628.

Dallali became the first president to have been fired in the 100-year history of the NUS after ‘significant breaches of policy’ were found back in 2022.

Dallali has now accepted that while it was not her intention, the tweet WAS antisemitic. Both parties accepted that Dallali has repeatedly apologised for that tweet.

Rebecca Tuck KC

In their joint statement released on Tuesday, the NUS also accepted that holding pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist views MAY be “protected beliefs”.

A report in Middle East Eye suggested incorrectly that the student body had a accepted anti-Zionism and pro-Palestinian views are protected beliefs. Dallali has maintained that she was targeted because of her support for the Palestinian cause and her criticism of Zionist ideology.

In a statement in March 2023, Carter Ruck said: “She considers her dismissal (and the unfair process preceding it) to have been motivated by antipathy towards her anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian protected beliefs, the fact that she supported the Palestinians and her religion as a Muslim.”

The NUS accepted  Dallali has suffered abuse, which has included death threats, threats of sexual assault and flagrant Islamophobia.”This is wholly unacceptable, and NUS categorically condemn it,” the student body said.

In a statement through her lawyers Dallali said: “I am an anti-Zionist and a proud pro-Palestinian.

“Following today’s settlement, I look forward to being able to focus on continuing to dedicate myself to the Palestinian cause and to serving my community.” She added.”I am immensely grateful to those who have supported me during this difficult chapter in my life and I am pleased that all parties can now move on.”

UJS conference 2023

In May 2022, NUS commissioned Rebecca Tuck KC to lead an independent investigation looking at contemporary allegations of antisemitism as well as historic allegations and broader culture.
NUS worked closely with the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) throughout.

In January 2023, they published the NUS Antisemitism Action Plan alongside the Tuck Report.

Incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia have risen to unprecedented levels across the UK including on UK campuses.

The Community Security Trust report a 600 percent increase in antisemitism and Tell Mama a
300 percent increase in Islamophobia since 7 October.

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