Independent investigation reportedly concluded that Shaima Dallali’s views could have impacted her dealings with Jewish students.
By Pesach Benson, United with Israel
The President of Britain’s National Union of Students, Shaima Dallali, was dismissed in the wake of an independent investigation into claims of antisemitism against her and the organization, the Jewish News reported on Tuesday.
According to the Jewish News, a disciplinary panel decided to remove Dallali from her post after reviewing a report by King’s Counsel Rebecca Tuck, who investigated the allegations.
According to the Jewish News, Tuck’s report is believed to have concluded that Dallali’s views could have impacted her dealings with Jewish students and also included an action plan to rebuild trust between the NUS and Jewish students.
The National Union of Students is a confederation of 600 British student unions representing seven million students.
Dallali was elected president of the union in March, and quickly got herself in hot water over antisemitic social media posts.
The situation deteriorated to the point that the British government severed its ties with union, with then-Minister of State for Universities Michelle Donelan saying the NUS had an “antisemitic rot at its heart.”
That was all before Dallali began serving as president in May. By August, she was suspended from the position as Tuck investigated.
Violence and Hatred
In the bio line at the top of a now-closed Twitter account which went by the twitter handle, @TunisianRose, Dallali wrote in Arabic, “death for the sake of Allah is our most exalted wish,” a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood slogan. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. The slogan appears in the Hamas’s 1988 charter and is an integral component of jihadist ideology.
Dallali now has a new Twitter handle, @ShaimaDallali.
Jewish students denounced Dallali as a history of other antisemitic and inciting tweets surfaced.
Dallali labeled Emirati preacher Waseem Yousef a “dirty Zionist” after he criticized Hamas for firing rockets at Israeli civilians. She also praised firebrand Islamic preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi as a “moral compass” even though he is banned from entering the US, Britain, France and Germany for incitement.
Dallali further antagonized Jewish students by accusing them of “bullying” pro-Palestinian student leaders and saying former UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn should never have been suspended over antisemitism in his party.
In 2012, Dallali tweeted a prayer for the soul of Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari on the day he was killed in an IDF targeted assassination. Jabari was connected to several suicide bombings in the 90s and masterminded the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
That same year, she tweeted in Arabic, “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews … Muhammad’s army will return #Gaza.”
That tweet referred to the Battle of Khayber in 628 C.E. An army of Muslims led by Mohammed overran an the Khayber oasis in the Arabian peninsula inhabited by Jews. Scholars suggest that the terms of surrender set a precedent in Islamic law for the status of dhimmis, or non-Muslims living under Muslim rule.
Dallali apologized for Khaber tweet and removed it, calling it “wrong” and “unacceptable.” She said she posted it as a teenager.
Jewish issues with the NUS, unfortunately predate Dallali.
In March, the NUS invited rapper Lowkey to perform at an event celebrating the Union’s 100th anniversary. When Jewish students complained about the performer’s history of antisemitic statements, then-president Larissa Kennedy responded that Jews could segregate themselves in a separate area.
In 2016, three NUS vice presidents took the unusual step of denouncing then-president Malia Bouattia‘s “antisemitic rhetoric.” Bouattia, who is of Algerian descent, had described Birmingham University as “something of a Zionist outpost.”
Britain’s Union of Students applauded Dallali’s dismissal. UJS represents more than 8,500 Jewish students and 69 Jewish societies in the UK and Ireland.
The UJS said in a statement, “Antisemitism in the student movement goes beyond the actions of any one individual and this case is a symptom of wider problem. Jewish students across the country will be asking how an individual deemed unfit for office by NUS was elected in the first place. We await the findings of the substantive inquiry into NUS’s treatment of Jewish students.”
Dallali responded to her dismissal by tweeting, “On the first day of Islamophobia Awareness Month, I find out I have been dismissed through Twitter. That is unacceptable.”
She subsequently tweeted a thread portraying herself as a victim of “racist and Islamophobic abuse.” Dallali did not address the issues raised by the UJS or Tuck’s report.
Education Minister Robert Halfon said, “We welcome the verdict to this initial investigation and look forward to seeing the outcome of the next stage, which will provide more detail on NUS’s plans to address antisemitism within the organisation.”
According to the NUS, the panel’s dismissal of Dallali may be subject to appeal. The union also announced that Chloe Field, Vice President of Higher Education, is now serving as acting-President pending the appointment of Dallali’s replacement.
Field said in the statement, “I am proud to fight on behalf of all of our students and therefore I am determined to work together with the Union of Jewish Students to re-establish trust in our organisation and tackle some of the biggest issues facing students right now.”
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