London (archive)
London (archive) Nati Shohat/FLASH90
The British National Union of Students (NUS) was denounced by Jewish groups who accused it of “segregating” Jewish students during its upcoming conference, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

The NUS reportedly said that Jewish students who are outraged that anti-Israel rapper Lowkey is the headline musical act at the conference would have the option of being placed in a separate room while he performed.

The rapper, whose real name is Kareem Dennis, has released songs with inflammatory language about Israel, including “Love Live Palestine,” whose lyrics include: "You say you know about the Zionist lobby. But you put money in their pocket when you're buying their coffee. Talking about revolution, sitting in Starbucks."

Union of Jewish Students President Nina Freedman told the Chronicle that she met with NUS leaders, sharing the concerns of Jewish students. But they would not cancel Lowkey’s headlining appearance.
As an alternate, they instead suggested “insufficient and frankly offensive mitigations.”

“It was 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,” she said. “In doing so, NUS have brushed Jewish students aside and have shown a complete disregard for their needs and experiences.”

The NUS’s suggestion was described as “segregationist” by Binyomin Gilbert, Campaign Against Antisemitism’s program manager, who charged that “NUS knows exactly what it is doing by headlining Lowkey.”

“Headlining such a person is bad enough, but telling appalled Jews to go and stand in the corner whilst everyone else dances is segregationist and disgusting. Instead of showing solidarity with Jews, NUS is literally casting Jews aside,” he told the news outlet. "This is sickening hypocrisy from a union that proclaims itself to be ‘anti-racist.'”

In a Twitter statement, Freedman said: “This speaks to a wider problem of NUS failing to make Jewish students feel at home within their movement. We have tried to engage in good faith to work with them to make NUS welcoming for Jewish students, but time and time again NUS have brushed Jewish students aside.”

She called the actions by NUS “simply unacceptable.”

“[NUS] have completely disregarded the impact Lowkey’s performance, and his presence, will have on Jewish students. How are Jewish students supposed to feel included in the wider student movement when NUS choose this figure to perform?”