The Union of Jewish Students is set to deliver training on antisemitism to the executive body of the National Union of Students after a motion was passed at the NUS national conference in Glasgow on Tuesday.
The motion, together with another condemning Islamophobia, was put forward by Bristol student Sally Patterson.
“Antisemitism is unacceptable in all its forms,” the motion read. “There is a problem with antisemitism in the NUS and the student movement, and previous efforts by NUS to challenge this have clearly not been working.”
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS), in its 100th anniversary year, said the motion’s adoption represented “hugely positive strides in combatting antisemitism on university campuses,” according to UJS campaigns organiser Daniel Kosky.
“We look forward to delivering antisemitism training for the NUS National Executive Committee (NEC). There is still a long way to go to ensure that NUS is fit for Jewish students. We hope to continue our collaborative work long into the future.”
Jewish representatives also thanked the NEC for beginning the annual conference with a “meaningful” minute of silence for the victims of Christchurch and Pittsburgh, where far-right gunmen targeted a mosque and a synagogue respectively.
However the prelude to the conference included statements of “deep concern” from UJS over the past use of antisemitic tropes from NEC candidate Zeid Truscott, who on Monday tweeted a photo of a plastic bag reading “Free Palestine” and “BDS” in reference to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
“We are deeply troubled by social media posts made by [Truscott],” said UJS in a statement. “The suggestion that Israel or the Mossad trained ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is antisemitic, echoes age-old antisemitic tropes of Jewish world domination and has been used by infamous conspiracy theorist David Icke.”
NUS president Shakira Martin said: “The National Union of Students believes that all forms of hate and prejudice are unacceptable.
“Our national conference has been abundantly clear – anti-Semitism has no room in our movement, in our campuses and throughout society. This is part of our long-term, ingrained effort to eradicate anti-Semitism in all its forms.
“All NUS student officers will now undergo training to combat it, reaffirming our opposition to hated and discrimination. “