New York University’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis has voted to boycott NYU’s own satellite campus in Tel Aviv, JTA reported on Friday.
The vote by department members pledging “non-cooperation” occurred Thursday. In a statement, the department said it is boycotting the campus because of Israel’s policy of barring entry to people who support the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The statement also said Israel frequently bars entry to people of Palestinian descent.
“We pledge non-cooperation with the Tel Aviv program until (a) the Israeli state ends its restrictions on entry based on ancestry and political speech and (b) the Israeli state adopts policies granting visas for exchanges to Palestinian universities on a fully equal basis as it does to Israeli universities,” the resolution said.
In 2017, Israel passed a law allowing the state to bar entry to supporters of BDS. Israel says it retains the right to bar entry to those who wish to harm the country, and that its border procedures are done out of security concerns.
The resolution will have little immediate effect, as the department does not have a program at NYU’s Tel Aviv campus, which opened in 2009, noted JTA. However, the department will not sponsor faculty members teaching at the campus. It has urged students not to attend the campus.
NYU also has a satellite campus in the United Arab Emirates, a country rated as “not free” by the Freedom House organization, which evaluates international civil liberties. The department’s resolution acknowledged that it is not boycotting that campus even though “the UAE regularly restricts entry for reasons of ‘national security,’ and … academic freedom is routinely violated at NYU-Abu Dhabi.”
At the same time, it claimed that the “Israeli state has singled itself out through its recent amendments to the Law of Entry, and through its consistent denial of access to those of Palestinian descent.”
Realize Israel, a pro-Israel student group, criticized the department’s boycott resolution, saying in a statement that it feels the department “prioritized its bias against Israel over academic opportunities for students. It is deeply disappointing that NYU continues to foster an environment that singles out and targets Jewish students based on their support for the State of Israel.”
The school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, on the other hand, posted on Facebook that it was “thrilled” by the resolution.
Recently there have been several unsuccessful attempts to boycott Israel by individual educational institutions in the US.
Recently, the president of California's Pitzer College vetoed a move voted upon by students and faculty to suspend the college’s study abroad partnership with the University of Haifa.
College President Melvin Oliver in rejecting the motion said, “I am refusing to permit Pitzer College to take a position that I believe will only harm the College.”
In response to Oliver’s veto, the Student Senate of Pitzer College drafted a resolution calling for his removal.
Later, Brown University President Christina Paxson said she will not act on an undergraduate student referendum calling for the university to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Last month, the student government at the University of California, Santa Barbara rejected an Israel divestment resolution.
Most recently, the student government of the University of Maryland also rejected an Israel divestment resolution.
The meeting took place during Passover, when many Jewish students were home for the holiday.
(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.)