Jewish student representatives have said it is “disappointing but not surprising” that the only candidate to lead the Student Union at the University of Exeter has used “deeply anti-Semitic rhetoric”.
Post-graduate student Malaka Shwaikh, 25, also known as Malaka Mohammed, previously studied law and politics at Sheffield, and is active in student politics, having been one of 15 student representatives on the National Executive Council at the National Union of Students.
She recently led campus protests against U.S. President Donald Trump, but it is her comments about Israel that have most concerned Jewish students, with Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) highlighting past comments, such as a tweet to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, reading: “The shadow of the Holocaust continues to fall over us from the continuous Israeli occupation of Palestine to the election of Trump”.
The group said she Shwaikh also claimed that “Zionism ideology is no different than that of Hitler’s” and that “Hitler did his deed and the Palestinians had to pay for it.”
A spokeswoman at the Union of Jewish Students this week said: “It is a disappointing but unsurprising state of affairs that a person who has used deeply antisemitic rhetoric on social media can be elected in a Student Union election.
“There is no way that any individual who compares the Israeli government to the Nazi regime, a comparison recognised as anti-Semitic according to the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism, can adequately represent the Jewish students at their university or in their Students’ Union.”
A spokesman for Exeter Jewish Society said the matter had been raised and investigations were ongoing, so declined to comment further at this stage.