Attacks on NUS President-elect are designed to legitimise latest crackdown on Palestine solidarity in universities 

April 1, 2022
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<i><span style="font-weight: 400;">London </span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">- Following the election of Shaima Dallali as the new NUS President, the pro-Zionist media outlet Jewish Chronicle has been quick to highlight her past Palestinian solidarity and support for CAGE as part of a smear attempt, followed thereafter by attacks in The Times, Telegraph and Daily Mail . </span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">CAGE extends our solidarity to Shaima, who is the latest in a line of NUS Presidents who have faced attacks and smears due to their support for Palestine.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">The Jewish Chronicle has also increasingly made it a habit of using individuals’ support or perceived proximity to CAGE as an angle of attack.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Unsurprisingly, the outlet appears to have little appetite to cover CAGE’s vital work on the systematic attacks facing Muslims, such as our internationally recognised research into the </span><a href="https://www.cage.ngo/we-are-beginning-to-spread-terror-report"><span style="font-weight: 400;">state-sponsored persecution</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of Muslims in France, or the unprecedented </span><a href="https://www.cage.ngo/repression-of-palestine-solidarity-in-schools-report"><span style="font-weight: 400;">crackdown on Palestine solidarity</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in schools during Israel’s 2021 war on Gaza.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">This is no doubt due in part to the fact that the consortium which </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/apr/23/jewish-chronicle-saved-by-consortium-after-messy-takeover-battle"><span style="font-weight: 400;">purchased the paper in 2020</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> include some of Britain’s most prolific security hawks, and individuals that have made a career out of attacking Muslim organisations. This consortium included ex-Henry Jackson Society chair William Shawcross, as well as the government’s current Independent Adviser on Political Violence and Disruption John Woodcock - a.k.a. Lord Walney, the ex-Labour MP made peer by Boris Johnson in 2019.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Moreover, the attacks on Shaima and the NUS are an attempt to create the background music to a renewed attack on British universities, under the pretense of ‘tackling antisemitism’.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Last week in Parliament, Boris Johnson pledged that</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> he would institute a '</span><a href="https://www.thejc.com/news/politics/boris-johnson-says-british-universities-have-tolerated-casual-and-systematic-antisemitism-for-too-long-12b1NFV9EWQ6R7dBRJPxLs"><span style="font-weight: 400;">taskforce to root out antisemitism at all levels of the education system</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">', in response to a question about NUS inviting rapper Lowkey to perform at their conference.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Coupled with a </span><a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/nadhim-zahawi-vladimir-putin-national-education-union-robert-halfon-edinburgh-university-b2035534.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">recent pledge by Education Minister</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Nadhim Zahawi to crack down on supposed ‘pro-Putin propaganda’ in universities in the wake of the Russia/Ukraine war, it is clear the government is again seeking to whip up hysteria about universities in order to legitimise tightening its grip over the sector - all the while crying foul about censorship in Russia.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">It is important that these latest attacks are seen for what they are - an attempt at securing greater government control over universities,  choking out some of the last spaces in British society where dissenting opinions are tolerate, and compromising part of ongoing <a href="https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/uk-israel-boycott-parliament-public-pension-funds-ban">plans to outlaw</a> the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israeli settler colonialism.</span> <em>Image courtesy of National Union of Students</em>

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Attacks on NUS President-elect are designed to legitimise latest crackdown on Palestine solidarity in universities 
Perspectives
Attacks on NUS President-elect are designed to legitimise latest crackdown on Palestine solidarity in universities 
Perspectives