U.S. college campus (stock image)
U.S. college campus (stock image)iStock

A Princeton University referendum to endorse BDS appears to have failed, but the Wednesday vote is mired in an uncertain result, with the pro-BDS side claiming the results were not accurate and student government leaders releasing contradictory statements.

The referendum, which called on the university to boycott Caterpillar construction equipment in support of the BDS movement, failed to win the majority of student votes needed, according to the Princeton Tory campus publication.

The referendum results so far released indicated that 44 percent voted in favor, 40 percent voted against, and 16 percent abstained. A majority was needed for the referendum to pass.

The university’s student senate constitution states: “A referendum result shall be binding on the Senate if…a majority of the votes cast in the referendum are in the affirmative.”

Over 2,500 of eligible undergraduate students participated in the referendum, which represents 48.9 percent of the student body, according to Princeton figures.

The referendum has stirred controversy at Princeton in the last week, with anti-Israel campus groups holding events in support of the motion, such as the Princeton Committee on Palestine holding a “Caterpillar Referendum Teach-In” and J Street holding an “Occupied Palestinian Territories 101” seminar.

Pro-Israel campus groups responded with their own events. Tigers for Israel hosted “The Case Against BDS” with Israeli activist Ashager Araro, Palestinian Arab peace activist Bassam Eid, Michael Walzer, and former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt and Israel, Daniel Kurtzer.

Since the vote took place, university student government officials have released contradictory statements about the results.