NYU students at graduation (illustration)
NYU students at graduation (illustration) Reuters

The graduate student workers union at New York University (NYU) last Friday voted to support the BDS movement boycotting Israel, and asked that NYU cuts its ties with Tel Aviv University (TAU) for its "discrimination" - even though the university has many Arab students.

NYU's Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC) is a labor union representing around 2,000 graduate workers and research assistants.

The BDS motion passed in a 2/3 vote, with over 600 union members participating in the decision which, while it has no authority to change university policy, indicates the hostility towards Israel on campus.

The resolution said GSOC will continue supporting the boycott until "Israel complies with international law and ends the military occupation, dismantles the wall, recognizes the rights of Palestinian citizens to full equality, and respects the right of return of Palestinian refugees and exiles."

Aside from GSOC, the resolution calls on the union's parent organization, the United Auto Workers (UAW), to divest from Israeli companies. Likewise a full 57% of the union's members personally vowed to boycott Israel's government and academic institutions that are "complicit in Israeli violation of Palestinian rights."

In response to the vote, and in light of US legislation outlawing BDS, NYU said it opposes the boycott singling out Israel, and said the decision is "at odds" with NYU policy and the principles of academic freedom.

"It is even at odds with the position of their own parent union, the UAW," said NYU spokesperson John Beckman. The UAW previously struck down a similar BDS resolution at the University of California.