Daily Israel Report

Florida Atlantic University Rejects BDS Motion

FAU student government tables academic boycott against Israel; pro-Israel groups hail victory in 'taking a stand against hate.'
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 8/3/2014, 8:53 AM

Anti-Israel boycott campaigners
Anti-Israel boycott campaigners
Reuters

Another victory against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement was forged Friday at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), after a divestment resolution against Israel was tabled indefinitely by the student government. 

After both sides presented, the head of the student government stated that this is not the time, place or forum to have this dialogue.

The resolution was introduced by FAU's branch of Students for Justice in Palestine, the same group responsible for distributing incitement-laced fliers against Jewish students across college campuses nationwide. Nine members of the student government were present.  The resolution cannot be brought back unless 3/4 of it has been changed.

Thursday morning, the pro-Israel leaders on campus held a planning meeting at FAU-Hillel, including Abraham Mercado, president of Owls for Israel and Nadav Alkoby, Jewish Programming Chair for Alpha Epsilon Pi, who attended the student government meeting. They were joined by Lauren Weissman, StandWithUs Southeast Campus Coordinator and Raina Goldberg, Hillel Executive Director.

Nadav Alkoby commented,"As students we may not be able to control the situation around the world, but it's our duty to maintain a peaceful campus environment. By combating Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) we took a stand against hate. Support from our community, including guidance from StandWithUs, Hasbara Fellowships, and Hillel made me feel like I was not alone."

Israel advocacy group StandWithUs hailed the decision. 

"StandWithUs congratulates the pro-Israel students at Florida Atlantic University for successfully defeating BDS after a divestment resolution was sprung on them at the last minute during the summer session while most students are not on campus," Sara Rafel, director of StandWithUs-Southeast, stated this week.

"We applaud these amazing students for their vigilance and commitment to fight for Israel and not back down in the face of BDS bullies and their last minute, anti-democratic tactics. We also salute the student government at FAU for making the right decision."

Academic boycotts have become an all-too-common BDS tactic on American college campuses over the past year, whether through student organizations or official academic bodies. 

The Modern Language Association (MLA) narrowly shot down an anti-Israel initiative in June, shortly after a similarly controversial vote by the American Studies Association earlier this year passed a BDS-backed resolution.