Statement On the NUS Presidential Election

In response to the NUS electing Malia Bouattia as their president, Liberal Youth wish to make known that we condemn her recent statements on Jewish student bodies at UK universities. Her statements are offensive and illiberal, conflating “Jewish” with “Zionist” and serve only to fuel the growing antisemitism in the UK today, particularly amongst student communities.

We are appalled that the NUS, an organisation that claims to represent the student body in the UK should elect someone whose statements defy everything a representative and tolerant organisation should stand for. If the NUS wish to be inclusive and truly representative, they should ensure that their representatives at all levels demonstrate an attitude that embodies this. Malia Bouattia’s comments are offensive to anyone that identifies as Jewish – they demonize Jewish students and inflame the already incredibly disturbing anti-semitic feeling that can be found on student campuses in the UK.

By electing her as their president, the spokesperson for all their activities and opinions, they endorse her comments and subsequently the anti-semitism which so many Jewish students now endure. Liberal Youth condemn the NUS for these actions and strongly advise them to re-think their approach to inclusivity and tolerance and what relevance they can have to British Jewish students in future. Furthermore, Liberal Youth would like to make it clear that we welcome all Jewish students and young people, regardless of where they stand on Israel or the current Middle Eastern conflict. We believe in a tolerant environment that welcomes debate without discriminating against people based on their faith, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, colour or creed. We would remind the NUS to do the same.

– The Executive of Liberal Youth

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