It is hardly even newsworthy any more to report that Malia Bouattia is in the midst of an anti-Semitism crisis – but this one is more serious than usual.
In a blunt act of insubordination, dozens student officials, including the NUS leader in Scotland and ten members of the NEC, signed an open letter pointing out the union’s problem with Jewish students has reached crisis point.
50 NUS officers from local SU's have denounced the NUS president as Anti-Semitic.https://t.co/CIykgtsDfS
— Tom Harwood (@tomhfh) September 29, 2016
If even Bouattia’s allies and deputies think that something is wrong, surely it is time she admits it herself?
Well, not if you are head of the NUS. Here is the response Heat Street was sent in response to the concerns that were raised (most deluded parts in bold):
I support my colleagues in the NUS leadership in calling for assurances that Jewish students will be safe on campus and I will do everything in my power to ensure that is the case.
My priorities for the year ahead include a focus on inclusion, tackling hate crime on campuses and ensuring that all marginalised and oppressed groups feel safe in the movement.
I look forward to working with my officers and NEC colleagues to continue to listen to Jewish students and support them in being part of NUS.
She has responded as if the original complaint isn’t directed squarely at her.
— The Bear (@Engrugger) September 27, 2016
Bouattia can’t have failed to notice that there was no anti-Semitism crisis in the NUS before she got elected.
Nobody else has called the University of Birmingham a “Zionist outpost” (which she still refuses to retract – listen below) or blamed government policies on “Zionist lobbies” (see a trend here?).
When the NUS was divided on whether to ban Jewish students from electing their own anti-racism representative – a motion Bouattia proposed – she was the one who used her tie-breaker vote to force it through.
But still she pretends this problem is somehow nothing to do with her.
Bouattia lives in a world of double-speak – brilliantly skewered in The Guardian of all places a few weeks back – where she and the morally pure NUS are held to one standard, and everyone else lives by another.
How she expects to get out of this intractable battle now is anybody’s guess.