Pro-Hamas student union head suspended amid antisemitism probe

Pro-Hamas student union president is suspended from her position, months after UK government cuts off funding to the organization.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The head of Britain’s largest student union, who tweeted an Islamic battle cry celebrating the mass slaughter of Jews, has been suspended from her position amid an investigation into claims that the organization is antisemitic.

Shaima Dallali was elected as the president of the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) in April 2022, immediately sparking a backlash from Jewish students concerned about her public support of the Hamas terror group and her history of on-campus harassment of those attending Jewish and Israeli events.

British outlet The Jewish News noted that Dalalli’s suspension was not necessarily a punitive measure, and that a decision about the future of her role would be made at the end of the probe into what critics say is an overall culture of antisemitism with the student organization.

Queen’s Counsel (senior attorney) Rebecca Tuck is spearheading the probe, and is set to release a final report on the NUS, along with recommendations, in October 2022.

“We cannot comment at this time as we are in the middle of an independent QC-led investigation into allegations of antisemitism,” a spokesperson for the NUS told Jewish News.

“But as we have said before, we are prepared to take any and all actions recommended by Rebecca Tuck QC’s investigation.”

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Just one month after Dallali assumed office, the British government formally cut ties with the NUS and ended funding for the organization.

“I am seriously concerned to hear of so many reports of alleged antisemitism linked to the NUS,” then-Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi said at the time.

“Jewish students need to have confidence that this is a body that represents them, and we need to be sure that the student bodies that we engage with are speaking fairly for all students, which is why we are disengaging with the NUS until the issues have been addressed.”

In an interview with left-wing British newspaper The Guardian in April 2022, Dallali shrugged off antisemitism claims and said she was a victim of Islamophobia and racism.

She claimed that the opposition to her role in the NUS stemmed from the color of her skin and faith.

“Unfortunately, as a black Muslim woman, [the backlash] is something that I expected because I’ve seen it happen to other black Muslim women when they take up positions in the student union or the NUS, where they are attacked based on their political beliefs or their pro-Palestinian stance,” she said.