A student association affiliated with California State University has passed a resolution calling for divestment from companies “profiting from Palestinian oppression”, the JTA news agency reported Friday.
The senate of Associated Students, Inc., a nonprofit membership association and auxiliary organization of the university, passed the call on Wednesday in a resolution addressed to the university but which is not binding on it, the report said.
The university’s president, Jane Close Conley, on April 26 sent the senate an open letter opposing plans to issue calls for a boycott against Israel.
The resolution passed this week by the student senate calls on the university “to divest from companies that receive monetary gain from Palestinian oppression”, according to JTA.
The resolution did not specify which companies the senate believes should be a target for divestment.
The resolution was considered controversial for even its first readings, said Jeffrey Blutinger, Co-director of Jewish Studies at the university.
“It singles out Jews from all the peoples on earth and says only you [the Jews] may not have national aspirations,” he said.
In her letter, Close Conley warned passing the resolution risked emboldening anti-Semites on campus and constitutes an endorsement of an entity, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which she said “is opposed to the existence of the State of Israel.”
The Jewish people, she wrote, “have been the targets of suspicion, violence, discrimination, and ostracism for centuries. They have suffered institutional racism in the United States and dozens of countries across the world. Israel’s actions against the Palestinians may certainly be critiqued, but what about Syria’s actions against its own people, Brazil’s brazen violations of human rights, North Korea’s imprisonment of an entire nation, or Russia’s current war on their LGBTQ+ community? Why are only Jews picked out for condemnation? It’s worth reflecting, I think, on implicit bias when singling out only one group of people for sanctions.”
The move is one of several BDS motions to have been passed by academic institutions in recent years.
Last month, for example, the student government of the University of Wisconsin-Madison unanimously passed a divestment resolution targeting companies operating in many countries that included an amendment specifically about Israel.
The same month, the Tufts University student senate passed a resolution calling on the university to divest from four companies that do business with Israel.
In 2013 the American Studies Association (ASA) promoted an academic boycott of Israel, saying it was “in solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom, and it aspires to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians.”
At the same time, several campuses have rejected BDS. In late April, the student government at Montclair State University in New Jersey voted down a resolution calling on the school to boycott Israel.
Last week, the student senate at George Washington University narrowly rejected a resolution calling on the university to divest from companies that do business with Israel.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)