The Board of Deputies of British Jews deplores the fact that the National Union of Students (NUS) sees fit to pass a motion which pre-judges issues, such as future borders and the Palestinian right of return, that should be the subject of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Moreover, the lack of due process means that the body responsible for ensuring fair and open debate on campus has itself acted disingenuously.
Whilst the NUS condemn the supposed 'siege' of Gaza, we note that they do not also condemn the constant barrage of rockets fired from Gaza at Israeli civilian targets. We find it irresponsible that NUS has decided to encourage members to join future attempts to break the international sea blockade of Gaza, designed to prevent weapons being supplied to Hamas, especially when previous attempts have been organised by groups such as IHH, with known links to terror groups.
The Board of Deputies is shocked that NUS have decided to encourage stronger links between British universities and the Islamic University of Gaza. The University has well documented links to Hamas, having been founded by Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the former spiritual leader of the group, and with several Hamas leaders holding influential roles at the university.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews wholeheartedly supports the condemnation of these actions from the Union of Jewish Students (UJS). The NUS motion passed this week will not contribute to bringing peace to the Middle East. It will only serve to undermine attempts to improve campus relations and will leave Jewish students and those who support Israel feeling marginalised and abandoned by the very Union which is meant to protect, defend and represent them. We call upon NUS to revoke this motion immediately, and in doing so, return to the mainstream of student politics on this issue.