The president of Britain’s National Union of Students (NUS) has been suspended after the completion of an investigation into alleged antisemitic tweets.
In the spring, Shaima Dallali stepped aside from her position heading the union pending the results of an investigation after the allegations came to light earlier in the year.
In May, Dallali apologized after being called out for a past tweet referencing the Islamic chant calling for “the army of Mohammed” to attack the Jews.
After she won the election, the Union of Jewish Students released a statement calling on her to discuss their misgivings over her “extremely challenging views.”
According to the UK Jewish News, in 2012 Dallali posted a tweet that said: ”Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud” (“Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning”). The chant is used in Islam as a battle cry for attacking Jews.
Weeks later, the UK government made the unprecedented move of severed ties with the NUS. The decision came after multiple antisemitism accusations were levelled against the national student body over a span of several years, including the controversy over Dallali’s presidency.
Universities Minister Michele Donelan instructed her department and its agencies to refrain from working with the union, and reported the NUS to the Charity Commission. The government also cut its funding.
The NUS represents 95 percent of all higher education student unions in the UK. The announcement from Donelan meant it would no longer be allowed to sit on government panels overseen by the Department for Education, the Office for Students and the Student Loans Company.
The Department for Education described the decision as being necessary due to “allegations of antisemitism, which have been well-documented and span several years” and which have caused “a feeling of insecurity amongst Jewish students across the country and a worry systemic antisemitism within the organization is not being properly addressed.”
Dallali, who would have served a two-year term, was also denounced for fundraising for a group linked to antisemitism as well as voicing opposition to a lecture by an Israeli politicians at King’s College in London, the Daily Mail reported.
In April, the NUS was referred to the government agency that oversees British charities after numerous complaints about its treatment and attitude toward Jewish students.
That month, in response to unprecedented criticism of the NUS for its response to antisemitism allegations, 21 former union presidents penned a private letter to the organization warning that it must seriously address complaints by Jewish students.