- Investigation into anti-Semitism launched by University of Exeter students' guild
- Palestinian student Malaka Shwaikh allegedly tweeted inflammatory statements
- Tweets, since deleted, said 'ideology of Zionism no different to that of Hitler's'
- University has condemned anti-Semitism and said it is 'not tolerated' at Exeter
A Palestinian student is being investigated after she allegedly tweeted she was 'proud to be a terrorist' amid claims she made anti-Semitic comments online.
The Students' Guild at the University of Exeter has launched a probe into allegations of anti-Semitism by its vice president for postgraduate students Malaka Shwaikh, 25.
Charity Campaign Against Antisemitism claimed the student wrote provocative tweets and produced an image of one allegedly from her account that said: 'If terrorism means protecting and defending my land, I am so proud to be called terrorist.
What an honour for the Palestinians!'
Charity Campaign Against Antisemitism has alleged Palestinian student Malaka Shwaikh, pictured, made anti-Semitic statements on social media
The tweets, pictured, which have since been deleted, allegedly written by Miss Shwaikh, claim Palestine was 'paying for Hitler's deeds'
A video put out on Twitter by the CAA alleged she tweeted that she was 'proud to be called a terrorist', for 'defending her land'
CAA also alleged she wrote the 'ideology of Zionism is no different to that of Hitler's' and 'Hitler did his deed and the Palestinians had to pay for it'.
Miss Shwaikh's Twitter account appears to have since been taken down.
In a video published by CAA, Miss Shwaikh, an international law student originally from Gaza, is seen making a speech at an anti-fascism event in which she said she had 'lost 66 members of her family in one day' due to the Israeli Army.
In the footage, she said: 'You are dealing with a woman who will never, ever feel weak in front of you Islamophobic attacks. I will resist. We will resist. I will continue the fight for freedom, justice, equality of my people in Palestine.'
Her speech also talked about people coming together against fascism and oppression 'regardless of religion and ethnicity'.
She said: 'Together we are stronger, together we will win. Together our world will be brighter and more inclusive for all of us regardless of our differences and where we come from.
'Regardless of our religions and backgrounds or ethnicity. We can still disagree and still love each other through disagreement.'
The university's vice-chancellor Sir Steve Smith issued a statement saying acts of anti-Semitism would not be tolerated.
He said the university was committed to eradicating any form of discrimination or harassment.
A spokesman for the university said: 'Exeter University has an unwavering commitment to tolerance, respect and inclusivity.
'These qualities are at the very heart of who we are and what we both expect and demand of everyone associated with Exeter.
University vice chancellor Sir Steve Smith, pictured, said acts of anti-Semitism would 'not be tolerated' at Exeter
'Our staff and students work tirelessly to ensure everyone feels welcomed, encouraged, supported and embraced, no matter their background, religion or nationality.
'Anti-semitism is not tolerated. Even one incident of discrimination, racism, or harassment is one too many.
'The Students' Guild, Exeter University's student representative body, is responsible for the election of student representatives. It has launched a thorough investigation.'
The guild added: 'We are committed to exploring the allegations of anti-Semitism with a thorough investigation.'
Guild president Toby Gladwin added in a further statement that the body was a passionate opponent of antisemitism and he was horrified by recent reports.
He said: 'Instances of discrimination in any form have to be relentlessly fought whenever they appear and the Guild is committed to this with our campus-wide '£WeAreAllExeter' campaign, which has been running since the beginning of January.'
He added: 'The recently reported instances of antisemitism on campus horrified but emboldened us to extend the work we have been doing throughout the year with Jewish Society and Friends of Israel; to ensure they are able to organise activities free from the fear of persecution and intimidation.
'We believe the environment we have at Exeter is one that actively encourages free speech and debate, but we are very clear that criticism of the actions of states should never make individuals or communities feel persecuted on the basis of their faith or nationality.
'We believe in dialogue, debate and open discussion but we will never compromise our values when it comes to ridding our community of discrimination wherever and whenever it happens.
'We look forward to continuing our positive work with faith-based societies in the coming weeks and months to help build a community that is welcoming and inclusive of all Exeter students - a community that reaffirms We Are All Exeter.'
In a statement, Miss Shwaikh said claimed some of the tweets sent from her account were the result of a hack.
She said: 'As soon as I noticed these tweets, not only did I remove them I also changed all of my passwords and took further security measures for my social media accounts. It is very common for social media accounts of activists to be hacked.'
Miss Shwaikh added the terrorist tweet was posted in 2015 and was taken out of context and was a response to the 'demonising' of Palestinians.
She added: 'How this particular tweet has anything to do with anti-Semitism is beyond me and also isn't explained by the CAA at any stage so far in their publications or communications.'
Miss Shwaikh added: 'This has been an incredibly tough time for me over the last few weeks. I have been subject to bullying, harassment, threats, and serious defamation of character.
'There have been multiple articles written about me including one by an Exeter student for the Times of Israel in which I am called a terrorist supporter.
'I do not need to explain how serious this is in the current global atmosphere of Islamophobia. I should also point out that all of this will certainly have an effect on my freedom of movement.'