UJS demands action after senior NUS officer questions IHRA antisemitism definition

The NUS adopted the full IHRA definition last year


The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) has called for action against a senior National Union of Students (NUS) officer who shared an article claiming the internationally recognised definition of antisemitism - at the centre of a huge row within the Labour Party “denies Palestinian’s rights to challenge oppression”.

Ilyas Nagdee, the NUS Black Students Officer, tweeted an article on Friday, in which two Palestinian commentators say: “It is difficult to ascertain the motives behind those currently attacking the Labour Party”.

The party has adopted a narrower definition of Jew-hate, prompting huge outrage among its Jewish MPs and supporters.

The article Mr Nagdee shared condemned two examples the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definitionof Jew-hate gives of contemporary antisemitism that Labour's definition omits: "Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel” and “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”.

The article says that “there is arguably still some debate to be had as to whether these in themselves, without knowledge of intent, can always be defined as antisemitic.”

Daniel Kosky, UJS Campaigns Organiser, said that the IHRA definition had been adopted by the NUS, the government, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, more than 130 local councils, UJS, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and "many others".

“As such, we would expect all NUS Officers, staff, and volunteers would adhere to this definition, and for NUS to take appropriate action when this has not occurred,” he said.

The NUS said it had no comment as no formal complaint had been made or formal action taken.

This is not the first time Mr Nagdee has raise eyebrows with comments about Israel.

In March, the NUS officer also appeared to support violence against Israelis, tweeting: “The people of Palestine do not need to show anger on your terms. Their resistance does not need to be palatable to you… no resistance to an occupying force has happened through friendly natter.

“As the waves of settler-colonialism, racist laws, child prisoners and indiscriminate murder continues you want them to lead a nice liberal resistance for a Western gaze.”

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