After passing a motion to oppose anti-Semitism on Friday, the National Union of Students Executive Committee voted to end a long running tradition of handing a Jewish student automatic representation on ARAF – the Anti-Racism, Anti-Fascism campaign.
Following the decision, Union of Jewish Students (UJS) Campaigns Director Russell Langer labelled the decision an “absolute disgrace”.
“Today we saw the hypocrisy within this NUS NEC,” Langer said in a statement. “In one breath the NEC voted to condemn antisemitism and in the next they removed the ability for Jewish students to be guaranteed representation in the Anti-Racism, Anti-Fascism (ARAF) campaign.”
He went on to explain that Jewish students are the only group without representation from any of the NUS liberation campaigns and that, although Jews had been traditionally welcomed by the ARAF campaign, they were now being “pushed out.”
Labour MP, Wes Streeting, who is a former NUS president, slammed the NUS. He told the Jewish News the decision “is completely unjustifiable and tells us all we need to know about the brand of ugly hard-left politics that is dominating the NUS executive.”
Historically, the NUS president had appointed a black and Jewish student as conveners of ARAF. Following the decision, one convener will be a representative of students of African, Asian, and Latin American descent and will be appointed, whilst the second convenor will be from a representative of an ethnic minority group, including the Jewish community, and will be elected by the NEC.
Last year the NUS voted to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in a move that was roundly criticised. The NUS had previously voted not to condemn ISIS for fear it may be seen as “Islamophobic”.