JEWISH students can breathe easy again now that NUS president Malia Bouattia has been voted out. It is tough for young Jews on campus at the best of times without those such as Ms Bouattia making inflammatory, ill-conceived, ill-advised and grossly inaccurate comments about Israel which serve only to provide ammunition for those who seek to whip up anti-Zionism in universities. That anti-Israel atmosphere very soon descends into antisemitism. Shakira Martin replaces Ms Bouattia and by all accounts brings with her the voice of reason and a real understanding of the Middle East situation.
The sentiments expressed on social media were clear, but those posting comments about Ms Bouattia - and indeed others in similar situations - should be more careful with their own rhetoric. For instance, former Cambridge Union president Oliver Mosley said: "Malia Bouattia will go down in student history as an antisemite and an embarrassment to our generation. Glad to see she's been booted." There's little doubt that Jewish students - and the community at large - are delighted to see the back of such a divisive individual, but there is no evidence that she is an antisemite, although her oft-expressed views on Israel certainly helped engender antisemitism on campus.
British Jewry, centrally, still needs to invest considerable funds and manpower in campuses throughout the country. The threat to Jewish students emotionally, and potentially physically, remains great and they deserve our continued support, protection and expertise with every possible assistance we can offer.