NUS president-elect praised Jew-hating cleric

Shaima Dallali labelled a cleric critical of Hamas a “dirty Zionist” and posted a video of anti-Israel protesters calling for an intifada


The newly elected President of the National Union of Students has sung the praises of a Jew-hating cleric and raised money for a Muslim advocacy group widely accused of having sympathised with terrorists. 

In evidence passed to the JC by researchers at Labour Against Antisemitism (LAAS), who investigated Dallali’s social media history, Shaima Dallali also labelled a cleric critical of Hamas a “dirty Zionist” and posted a video of anti-Israel protesters calling for an intifada.

The Union of Jewish Students has called for an urgent meeting with Ms Dallali while Labour Against Antisemitism warned that “anti-Jewish racism in the NUS is spiralling out of control”, adding that public funding should be cut unless there was profound change.  

She will take over from outgoing president Larissa Kennedy, who is herself facing calls to quit her two year term early over her suggestion Jewish students could segregate themselves to avoid watching anti-Zionist performer Lowkey at an NUS concert. 

Ms Dallali was elected by NUS delegates on Monday despite the revelation last week that she tweeted in 2012: “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews … Muhammed’s army will return #Gaza”, in a reference to a massacre of Jews in the year 628CE.

  She offered an unreserved apology for the 2012 post, which she said was an “unacceptable” reference made as a teenager. 

However, since then Ms Dallali has continued to post incendiary messages.  

In April, 2020, Ms Dallali wrote that for Ramadan she was raising money for Cage, a Muslim advocacy group which drew outrage in 2015 when its research director hailed notorious Isis terrorist Jihadi John as a “beautiful young man” who was “extremely kind and gentle”. Last year, the Commission for Countering Extremism last year urged the government to crack down on Cage.

On its website, Cage denies accusations that it is an apologist for terrorists, saying its goal is to “simply ensure that the pursuit of justice is carried out fairly.”

On Twitter Ms Dallali has called Jordanian preacher Dr Waseem Yousef a “dirty Zionist” after he wrote that Hamas was launching rockets from between residents’ homes and was making “a graveyard” for children in Gaza. 

And in a 2018 article she sung the praises of Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi - who was expelled from Britain, the US, France and Germany – calling him  the “moral compass for the Muslim community at large”. In a sermon on January 9, 2009, Qaradawi lashed out at Jews, including calling on God to "kill them, down to the very last one."

Between 2018 and 2019, Ms Dallali was a project manager for pro-Palestinian advocacy group Europal.   

In 2017, Europal was reported to be organising a trip to the Commons for preacher Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, who dismissed the Holocaust as a “fairytale exploited by Israel to capture international solidarity”. 

Ms Dallali also has a YouTube account where, in 2014, she posted two videos from a demonstration in which protesters called for an intifada and a “hit” on Tel Aviv.  

A spokeswoman for the UJS said: “Jewish students have spoken to us and raised their concerns over much of the messaging Dallali has put out on her social media in the past – attacking the Jewish community, attacking UJS, and supporting speakers with extremely challenging views.  We hope that she will come to the table, work with the UJS and understand how to support Jewish students. 

“There have been many bridges broken between NUS and Jewish students over the past few weeks and we call on Shaima and her team to join us in rebuilding those bridges to ensure that the NUS becomes a space where Jewish students once more feel welcomed, rather than sidelined and excluded.” 

Ms Dallali said she would "love" to meet the UJC when she took up office and would "listen to the concerns of all students".  The NUS said it was sorry to Jewish students "who have been hurt by what they've read" and would be reviewing what more it could do to "ensure Jewish students feel welcome in our spaces".

A spokesman for LAAS said: “Ms Dallali’s internet footprint features incitement against Jews, trolling of British Jewish organisations and repeated support for extremist organisations.  At a time when antisemitism has risen it is unacceptable that Ms Dallali is now responsible for the welfare of Jewish students in the UK.” 

The JC revealed last week that Ms Dallali, who is the current City, University of London Students’ Union President, backed the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and praised an abusive protest against the Israeli Ambassador at LSE last year as “inspiring”.  

She also twice posted on 2021 the Hamas rallying cry of “From the river to the sea” which is widely understood to call for the destruction of Israel.     

Ms Dallali has also frequently challenged UJS online and branded the Board of Deputies a “disgrace”.    When the Board issued a statement last year condemning both Gaza and Israel for escalating violence which it warned would hurt any prospect of a lasting peace, Ms Dallali posted: “Take ‘any prospect of a lasting peace’ and shove it up yours. #Free Palestine.”  

Ms Dallali was contacted for comment. 

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