U.K. Student Union's New President Supports Palestinian 'Resistance'

Malia Bouattia, first black Muslim woman elected to lead Britain's National Union of Students, says people 'falsely accuse' her of anti-Semitism.

Malia Bouattia, head of  United Kingdom's National Union of Students (NUS).
Malia Bouattia, head of United Kingdom's National Union of Students (NUS). Facebook

The United Kingdom's student union umbrella organization elected a president on Wednesday who has refused to condemn ISIS and has expressed her support for Palestinian "resistance," according to British media reports.

The BBC says Malia Bouattia is the National Union of Students' first black Muslim woman president, and that she has promised to put "liberation at the heart of our work."

As an NUS Black Students' Officer in October 2014, Bouattia rejected a motion by other students to condemn terrorist acts by ISIS, the BBC reported.

In a video published that year from a event by a group called Gaza and The Palestinian Revolution, she can be seen calling on Muslims to support Palestinian "resistance," the report adds.

"To consider that Palestine will be free only by means of fundraising, non-violent protest and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is problematic… Boycott can be misunderstood as the alternative to resistance by the Palestinian people," Bouattia was quoted as saying in the event.

The Independent says that Bouattia defeated the incumbent Megan Dunn by a count of 372 votes to 328, landing her the highest national role in student politics in the U.K.

Jewish student groups have protested against her comments about Israel. A letter sent last week by heads of Jewish student societies asked her "why do you see a large Jewish society as a problem?," referrring to an article from five years ago in which Bouattia referred to the University of Birmingham as being "something of a Zionists' outpost."

Bouattia replied that people "falsely accuse me of anti-Semitism despite my work and dedication to liberation, equality and inclusion saying otherwise."