The National Union of Students (NUS) in Britain is under fire after declaring it would “stand in solidarity” with activists planning to smear Israel as an “apartheid state” next month, the UK-based Jewish Chronicle reports.
The annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), which begins on March 21, has been widely criticized for intimidating Jewish students and stifling reasoned debate about the Middle East. The NUS has supported it in the past.
Israeli Apartheid Week is a campaign of anti-Israel propaganda funded by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to put international pressure on Israel to submit to the demands of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
Nina Freedman, President of the Union of Jewish Students, said it was disappointing that the students’ union had again backed IAW, adding, “NUS have placed themselves in a position of division not dialogue.”
“Israel Apartheid Week is a divisive and confrontational tool used to damage and polarize communities, rather than building consensus and co-operation around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We see year on year that it creates a hostile environment on campus and online for Jewish Students,” she added, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
The declaration by the union came after the Community Security Trust revealed last week that incidents of antisemitism on campus rose three-fold in 2021 to 128 cases.
An NUS spokesman said, “Israeli Apartheid Week is a tactic chosen by Palestinian people to peacefully fight their own oppression. NUS is supportive of student activists that choose to stand in solidarity with them in that spirit.”
The NUS has made anti-Israel decisions in the past. In 2014, it endorsed the BDS movement and encouraged students to participate in actions against Israel.
A year later, the NUS decided to boycott all Israeli companies and officially affiliate with BDS.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)