We, the undersigned, unequivocally support Malia Bouattia, the current NUS president and applaud her impeccable record fighting anti-Semitism, racism and her unwavering support for international students.
The Home Affairs Select Committee this week released its report into anti-Semitism. As well as gratuitously levelling attacks against twice elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and former director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti, judgment is also reserved for Ms Bouattia. It claims that she has "failed to take sufficiently seriously the issue of anti-Semitism".
Ms Bouattia has fought tirelessly against all forms of racism, anti-Semitism, sexism and homophobia. To name but a few of her many achievements and commitments, she previously called for a review into institutional racism (including anti-Semitism) in the NUS, spearheaded solidarity initiatives for migrants and refugees in Calais, campaigned against the deportation of international students, worked on interfaith projects and safe spaces for faith students, co-led the largest opposition to the controversial PREVENT agenda; and all alongside her constant work with student unions across the country to dismantle racism.
The disparity between the report’s representations of Ms Bouattia compared with her actual record should be cause for real concern. The misuse and abuse of anti-Semitism belittle genuine threats against the Jewish community, primarily posed by a newly consolidated far-right in a post-Brexit landscape.
The full list of 181 signatories can be found here. Dr Tanzil Chowdhury, University of Manchester Professor Norman Finkelstein, Sakarya University Emeritus Professor Moshe Machover, KCL Deborah Maccoby, Signatory of Jews for Justice for Palestinians Emeritus Professor Colin Green, UCL Professor Haim Bresheeth, SOAS