‘Antiracist’ British student union invites antisemitic, anti-Israel rapper to perform at conference, brushes off Jewish students’ concerns.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
After facing criticism for selecting antisemitic, anti-Israel rapper Lowkey to perform at their conference, the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) suggested that Jewish students fearing for their safety hide in a secluded room during the performance.
Lowkey, whose real name is Kareem Dennis, is an outspoken anti-Israel activist and performer. He has a long history of remarks that have sparked concern among Jewish students planning to attend the conference.
Lowkey has repeatedly promoted conspiracy theories regarding “Zionists,” said that the State of Israel is a “racist endeavor,” and has supported multiple politicians and other public figures facing backlash for antisemitic comments.
Recently, he said that the media had “weaponized the Jewish heritage of [Ukrainian president Volodymyr] Zelensky” in order to push a political agenda.
Despite pledging to be a progressivem inclusive organization, the NUS selected Lowkey as a headlining performer for an upcoming conference celebrating the organization’s 100th anniversary – a move that Jewish students say could place them in physical danger.
“I’m feeling incredibly anxious about attending the NUS conference,” an anonymous Jewish student told the Jewish Chronicle. “NUS claims to be an antiracist organization, but they’re platforming a 9/11 truther who spreads conspiracy theories about Jewish students.
“My faith shouldn’t stop me engaging with student politics, but thanks to NUS creating a toxic atmosphere, I and other Jewish students are intimidated and silenced.”
In a statement, the president of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said they met with NUS organizers about their concerns but the organization brushed them off.
“When we met with the leadership of NUS and asked them to reconsider their choice of performer, we were instead offered insufficient and frankly offensive mitigations,” said UJS President Nina Freedman.
She said NUS staff suggested that “Jewish students go into an existing safe space designated for…students who are sensitive to loud noise for the duration of Lowkey’s performance.”
Even after the UJS explained that Lowkey’s performance could make Jewish students feel unwelcome and concerned for their safety, the NUS president responded that “she was more concerned about who she might hurt if the event was cancelled,” Freedman said.
“This demonstrates a clear prioritization of the needs of some students over others. NUS has a duty to treat all students equally instead of once again leaving Jewish students at the bottom of the list.”
Freedman noted that students registering for the conference were offered dietary options including halal, vegan, and vegetarian food, but not kosher food.
The fact that the NUS thought it was appropriate to invite Lowkey is “simply unacceptable,” she added.
“NUS has completely disregarded the impact Lowkey’s performance, and his presence, will have on Jewish students, and these ‘mitigations’ are woefully inadequate.”