An MP has condemned the National Union of Students after Jewish students were “pushed out” of an anti-racism campaign.
A motion was passed at the National Executive Committee of the body (NUS NEC), ending the ‘tradition’ of handing a Jewish student automatic representation on ARAF – the Anti-Racism, Anti-Fascism campaign.
Former NUS president, and Member of Parliament Wes Streeting, told Jewish News the decision “is completely unjustifiable and tells us all we need to know about the brand of ugly hard-left politics that is dominating the NUS executive.”
The vote, called an “absolute disgrace” by Union of Jewish Students (UJS) Campaigns Director Russell Langer, ended the practice, previously done because “Jewish students are the only group who are not represented by any of the NUS liberation campaigns”.
Historically, the NUS president had appointed a black and Jewish student as conveners of ARAF. Following the decision, one convener will be a representative of students of African, Asian, and Latin American descent and will be appointed, whilst the second convenor will be from a representative of an ethnic minority group, including the Jewish community, and will be elected by the NEC.
Langer said Jewish students are “being pushed out” of a campaign that was the “only area of NUS’ work where Jews have been traditionally welcomed”.
Streeting, who was president of NUS between 2008-2010, also commented on ‘virulent campus-based anti-Semitism’, adding that when it “continues to hit the headlines, we should question the motivations of those who want to exclude leading members of UJS from the fight against racism”.
He claimed this vote was “the latest in a string of events in the last 12 months where hard left members of the NUS leadership completely undermine the credibility of NUS” and called for Students Unions to “take back” control.
The National Executive Committee was also accused of “hypocrisy” by UJS, after it voted to condemn anti-Semitism earlier in the meeting, before ending automatic Jewish representation.