Cornell’s student government rejects BDS resolution

Jewish National Syndicate /

Jackson Richman

April 12, 2019

Cornell’s student government rejects BDS resolution

“I have been extremely disappointed by the way this resolution has been handled by everyone involved,” said junior Savanna Lim. “You can’t expect a student government to solve a geopolitical crisis.”

Cornell University’s student government rejected a resolution on Thursday calling for the school to divest from entities “profiting from the occupation of Palestine and human-rights violations.”

The final tally done by secret ballot was 14 votes in favor, 13 votes against and one abstention, plus two “community votes” against the measure.

The motion for a secret ballot, despite its passage, violated the Student Assembly’s bylaws, which “dictate that secret ballots may only be used during executive meetings,” reported The Cornell Daily Sun.

The “community vote,” which couldn’t be split, was 248 in favor, 330 against and four abstentions. NetIDs, which is an electronic individual identifier for Cornell members, were used to check eligibility. A motion by a pro-BDS representative, senior Omar Din, to remove the two community votes was rejected by the student government.

Another resolution co-sponsor, senior Mahfuza Shovik, disparaged the anti-BDS crowd.

“It concerns me that there are people standing against this resolution without knowing the facts,” she said. “The opposition inaccurately portrayed this resolution as an act of BDS.”

However, S.A. vice president for external affairs condemned the anti-Israel measure.

“I have been extremely disappointed by the way this resolution has been handled by everyone involved,” said junior Savanna Lim. “You can’t expect a student government to solve a geopolitical crisis.”

StandWithUs and the AMCHA Initiative applauded the outcome.

“With this vote, the Student Assembly ensured that would not further divide students for an unjust cause,” said its managing director of campus affairs, Rena Nasar, in a statement.

“Good for the students for seeing through the BDS scam,” AMCHA director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin told JNS. “BDS resolutions on campus, while masquerading as part of a human rights campaign, in reality are a PR device meant to divide the campus, shut down discourse and debate, and marginalize and incite hate against those students who support Israel. Largely this hate is directed against Jewish students, even those that don’t take a stand on politics or Israel advocacy.”

“The victory is a tribute to the sustained, collaborative efforts of students and community members at the university, as evidenced by the two community votes against the resolution, which proved to be decisive in the outcome,” Liel Asulin, campus coordinator for CAMERA on Campus, told JNS.

“Like all BDS resolutions, its biased, anti-Israel content fuels misinformation on the campus,” she added. “The outcome of the vote serves to reject the distorted narrative put forward and that’s important.”

Ahead of the vote, an Israeli student at Cornell, Shir Kidron, whose home was hit by a rocket launched by Hamas from Gaza was told in a Facebook comment by a pro-Palestinian campus group to “quit complaining about how it ruined your brunch plans.”

Kidron wrote in the Sun about the experience and warned about the growing ramifications of BDS.

In March, Cornell University president Martha E. Pollack rejected BDS.

Read the full article HERE


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