Al Jazeera claims Israeli embassy conspired with students to oust NUS president Malia Bouattia

Al Jazeera investigation finds Israeli embassy in London has funded Union for Jewish Students in UK

An Al Jazeera investigation has found the Israeli embassy provided funds to the Union of Jewish Students

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

An investigation by Al Jazeera claims that the Israeli embassy has channelled funding to British student groups and has conspired with them to promote Israel's interests, specifically the removal of National Union of Students (NUS) president Malia Bouattia.

The claim is made in the first instalment of Al Jazeera's new film The Lobby, based on comments made by senior Jewish student leaders to an undercover reporter.

Michael Rubin, a former chairman of Labour Students, is quoted by Al Jazeera as saying he worked with the "Israeli [embassy] quite a lot" and held secret meetings with NUS vice-president Richard Brooks during the union's presidential election campaign with a view to thwarting Bouattia, who is pro-Palestine and has supported boycotts on Israel.

Adam Schapira, who previously ran for president of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), also told the Al Jazeera reporter that the Israeli embassy gives money to this body, and said that students critical of Bouattia have been sent to Israel with their expenses paid by the embassy.

Based in Doha, Al Jazeera has been accused of bias by the Israeli Government, and the New York Times criticised the media outlet for claiming Jews had been informed of the September 11 US terror attacks in advance.

UJS campaigns manager Josh Nagli has told Jewish News that the claims contained in the Al Jazeera documentary are baseless, saying there was "no plot" against Bouattia.

Nagli added: “The insidious suggestion that Jewish students, or Jews in Britain more broadly, slavishly support specific government policies or actions, conspire with or direction from Israeli officials, is grossly offensive.”

Brooks also refuted claims that he had plotted with the Israeli embassy to remove the NUS president, tweeting “never met anyone from Israeli gov’t, not part of any conspiracy."

Watch part of the investigation below: