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StandWithUs UK: Response to Report about National Union of Students

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

London – 12 January 2023

For too long, the National Union of Students has allowed Jewish student voices to be sidelined and ignored. The institutional nature of antisemitism within the NUS has now led to yet another investigation of discriminatory practices within the charity, the 8th one since 2005. The independent Tuck Report confirms what we know already; Jewish students feel excluded from NUS spaces, Jewish students feel hostility within NUS spaces, and the NUS does not treat allegations of antisemitism seriously.

A key finding Rebecca Tuck KC highlights is the need for education. In order to fight antisemitism, you must define it. We urge widespread education within NUS and across British universities and urge them to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism and its 11 guiding examples of contemporary manifestations of antisemitism. The IHRA is the gold standard definition, endorsed by multiple countries, city councils, clubs and associations. Hundreds of institutions of higher education have adopted the IHRA globally.

Executive Director of StandWithUs UK, Isaac Zarfati said, “We constantly receive reports from Jewish students across the country experiencing of antisemitic threats, intimidation and abuse. It is time for NUS to draw a clear red line when it comes to anti-Jewish hate on British campuses. This includes cases where words and actions related to Israel lurch from legitimate criticism of a country to vile, antisemitic conspiracy theories and slurs. Decisive and robust action must take place to ensure no other students are subjugated to the vile harassment as detailed in the report.

Our charity is ready to deliver nuanced educational training and workshops so that participants understand exactly what antisemitism is and how to combat it. We urge all those who seek to banish the scourge of antisemitism from UK campuses to take this moment to rollout widespread education to ensure that what has been termed “the longest hatred” has no place at British universities in 2023 and beyond.

StandWithUs is an international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism. Founded in 2010, StandWithUs UK has become a recognised support system and leading resource for students on UK campuses. We empower and energise students and communities with leadership training and educational programmes on both school and university campuses. StandWithUs informs through social media, printed materials, digital platforms, film and newsletters. The StandWithUs flagship Emerson Fellowship programme seeks to raise students into future leaders, equipped to stand strong in the face of antisemitism and anti-Zionism. We believe in the right of the Jewish People to self-determination in their historic homeland of Israel. We educate the facts in an unbiased and holistic manner, with an open mind, reflecting on views from all sides of the political, social and humanitarian spectrum whilst promoting peace. StandWithUs UK believe the current discourse surrounding Israel on campus all too often crosses the line between legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies and the dangerous, mainstream, antisemitic rhetoric which stands contrary to the IHRA definition of antisemitism. We work to educate on that distinction, encourage civil discourse on legitimate criticism of Israel, and to fight antisemitism wherever it emerges.


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