London – Following the election of Shaima Dallali as the new NUS President, the pro-Zionist media outlet Jewish Chronicle has been quick to highlight her past Palestinian solidarity and support for CAGE as part of a smear attempt, followed thereafter by attacks in The Times, Telegraph and Daily Mail . 

CAGE extends our solidarity to Shaima, who is the latest in a line of NUS Presidents who have faced attacks and smears due to their support for Palestine.

The Jewish Chronicle has also increasingly made it a habit of using individuals’ support or perceived proximity to CAGE as an angle of attack.

Unsurprisingly, the outlet appears to have little appetite to cover CAGE’s vital work on the systematic attacks facing Muslims, such as our internationally recognised research into the state-sponsored persecution of Muslims in France, or the unprecedented crackdown on Palestine solidarity in schools during Israel’s 2021 war on Gaza.

This is no doubt due in part to the fact that the consortium which purchased the paper in 2020 include some of Britain’s most prolific security hawks, and individuals that have made a career out of attacking Muslim organisations. This consortium included ex-Henry Jackson Society chair William Shawcross, as well as the government’s current Independent Adviser on Political Violence and Disruption John Woodcock – a.k.a. Lord Walney, the ex-Labour MP made peer by Boris Johnson in 2019.

Moreover, the attacks on Shaima and the NUS are an attempt to create the background music to a renewed attack on British universities, under the pretense of ‘tackling antisemitism’.

Last week in Parliament, Boris Johnson pledged that he would institute a ‘taskforce to root out antisemitism at all levels of the education system‘, in response to a question about NUS inviting rapper Lowkey to perform at their conference.

Coupled with a recent pledge by Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi to crack down on supposed ‘pro-Putin propaganda’ in universities in the wake of the Russia/Ukraine war, it is clear the government is again seeking to whip up hysteria about universities in order to legitimise tightening its grip over the sector – all the while crying foul about censorship in Russia.

It is important that these latest attacks are seen for what they are – an attempt at securing greater government control over universities,  choking out some of the last spaces in British society where dissenting opinions are tolerate, and compromising part of ongoing plans to outlaw the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israeli settler colonialism.

Image courtesy of National Union of Students

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)