Image: Flickr / Steve Eason

Union of Jewish Students condemns antisemitism at NUS 2024 Conference

The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) has released a statement condemning what it described as “gross antisemitic rhetoric” at the 2024 National Union of Students (NUS) Conference.

Released on 19 April, the statement flagged multiple instances of anti-Jewish hate, alleging defence of the terror group Hamas in conference debates, as well as Holocaust inversion by some student delegates.

It provided alongside the statement photographs taken from the conference, including one of a swastika drawn on a toilet, as well as an instance of aggressive anti-Zionist graffiti on a wall.

It is time to accept – NUS Conference is broken beyond repair

Union of Jewish Students statement

These incidents come a year after the release of the Tucker Report, published in January 2023, which detailed nearly two decades of antisemitism within the NUS.

It outlined 11 recommendations to combat anti-Jewish hate, including regular antisemitism training for NUS staff, and the production of educational resources on antisemitism and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The NUS at the time pledged to implement these reforms in full. Yet, in their 19 April statement, the UJS has now declared that: “It is time to accept – NUS Conference is broken beyond repair.”

The University of Warwick’s NUS delegates were contacted for comment.

A spokesperson for the NUS told Jewish News that: “Alongside UJS, NUS strongly condemns the racist antisemitic incidents that took place during this week’s NUS conference, which resulted in some delegates being removed from the event.

“Disciplinary action was taken and continues to be taken against some delegates due to unacceptable language and the drawing of antisemitic graffiti. We take such incidents seriously, and we are in contact with the police and CST [Community Security Trust].”

They added that they were “deeply sorry to Jewish students”, and that the NUS remained committed to ensuring that the conference “is a safe and welcoming place for all students”.

We won’t stop taking action until antisemitism is rooted out of all corners of our movement

NUS spokesperson

They concluded that: “We won’t stop taking action until antisemitism is rooted out of all corners of our movement.”

The events at the 2024 Conference have gone largely unreported in mainstream media. They follow the trend of a broader rise in antisemitism that has been recorded in higher education environments.

A February 2024 report by CST concluded that 2023 had seen a 203% increase in recorded antisemitic incidents in higher education from the previous year. It documented 182 antisemitic incidents directed at Jewish students or academics, up from 60 in 2022.

Of these, 148 occurred following the 7 October terror attacks on Israel and the beginning of the ongoing conflict in Gaza. A Telegraph report in March 2024 highlighted that the three months following 7 October had seen a spike in reports of anti-Jewish hate at British universities.


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