The National Union of Students, a confederation of 600 student unions representing more than 95 percent of all higher education unions in the United Kingdom, passed a motion Tuesday to align with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign as part of a worldwide effort to boycott Israel.
The same group rejected a motion in October condemning ISIS out of concerns it would "become a justification for war and blatant islamophobia." The failed motion called for support to "Iraqis trying to bridge the Sunni-Shia divide to fight for equality and democracy, including defence of the rights of the Christian and Yazidi-Kurd minorities." It also specifically condemned the Islamic State and expressed support for the Kurdish Peshmerga fighting it.
Seeing that fail, but a boycott of Israel pass, prompted Maajid Nawaz, a Liberal Democrat candidate in the 2015 parliamentary elections and prominent anti-extremism activist, to tweet his disapproval, saying it represents "Everything wrong with the Modern Left." In a subsequent comment, Nawaz, a former recruiter for the radical Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir who now combats the Islamist narrative, said that anyone who "entertains the idea" that Israel is as bad as ISIS "is frankly insane."