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Jewish students resign

by: SJ reporter - Last updated: 2005-04-12

Luciana Berger

Luciana Berger

Three Jewish members of the National Union of Students have resigned from their posts, citing NUS inaction against antisemitism as their grounds.

Luciana Berger (co-convenor anti-racism & anti-fascism campaign) and Mitch Simmons (co-convenor ethical & environmental campaign) both of the NUS National Executive Committee, together with Jonny Warren (NUS Steering Committee – who was standing for re-election) took the decision in front of NUS conference following a claimed year’s worth of inactivity by their National Union, and two days worth of apathy to antisemitism at the annual meeting.

The students highlighted concern to NUS members over a leaflet distributed on a stall entitled ‘Zionism’ which referred to the classical antisemitic text: ‘the Protocols of the Elders of Zion’.

The leaflet also made comparisons between the Jewish people and the Nazis. It was the second offensive piece of literature of three found on the stall, the first of which was entitled ‘The Jews are not a race’ and was referred to the steering committee by the National President who refused to take direct action.

The Union of Jewish Students is calling on the national president and national secretary, together with the rest of the NEC to demonstrate leadership in the fight against antisemitism on campus, and to speak out and publicly apologise to Jewish students having failed to address the resignation of the Jewish NUS members.

"After five years fighting racism in the student movement, I am devastated to find it so prevalent at the heart of my own union," said Luciana Berger. "It further upsets me that in order to bring Antisemitism to my executive’s attention I had to resign. It makes a mockery of everything NUS claims to stand for". 

Danny Stone, UJS Campaigns Director commented:  “I am so disappointed that the NUS leadership has failed to support the Jewish students they claim to represent and we look to the newly elected members to help Jews on campus in a way that will shame last year’s team.”