Today, the National Union of Students (NUS), the body representing seven million students in the UK, has its national conference. One Jewish delegate, Izzy Lenga, has written an article “Why I won`t be at tomorrow`s NUS NEC meeting”, in which she describes the hostile environment that Jewish students are facing on campus in general, and from student leadership in particular.
The current President of the National Union of Students is Malia Bouattia, who has said that British government policy is controlled by the Zionist lobby, and whose language is so extreme that a government committee said it “smacks of outright racism.” The current President of the Union of Jewish Students said that Malia Bouattia`s attempt to deal with concerns of Jewish students have been half-hearted.
This is part of a general climate where many British students are scared to openly mention their connections with Israel, and the atmosphere is so hostile that Israeli students at British universities sometimes do not even reveal their country of origin.
This situation leading to potential action from Jewish students. On Sunday 11th December, the UJS has its annual conference, and a motion has been submitted by two students that the UJS should suspend ties with the NUS. The President of UJS has written that if Malia Bouattia does not apologise, he would not be surprised if they do choose to break ties.
Regardless of how UJS vote on Sunday, hopefully the NUS and Malia Bouattia will change their rhetoric, and ensure that Jewish students and not scared on UK campuses.