(Providence, RI) -- StandWithUs condemns the passage of a discriminatory referendum to divest from companies doing business with Israel at Brown University on March 21, 2019. It passed with 69% of the vote in favor, 31% against.
“We are proud of the students who stood up for their community and educated many of their peers, despite facing a referendum question that was heavily slanted in favor of the other side,” said Lauren Feibelman, Interim Executive Director of Campus Affairs at StandWithUs. “This was not a legitimate measure of opinion at Brown, as the referendum language clearly pushed students to vote yes. Unfortunately, their voices will now be used to promote a campaign of hate against Israel."
Brown student leader and StandWithUs Emerson Fellow Jesse Raviv said, "as predicted, the Brown Divest vote polarized the student body, induced incidents of hate through online forums, and created a hostile environment for pro-Israel students. The passing of this vote further legitimized BDS, a movement that twists the truth and only shares one side of an incredibly nuanced conflict. Although I am disappointed with the passing of such a misleading, divisive, and hate-fueled referendum, I feel more motivated than ever to stand with Israel. As a proud member of Brown Students for Israel, I can assure you that we will continue our efforts to create a campus climate where peace is possible."
StandWithUs will continue to work with Hillel, ICC, and our other partners to support the Jewish and pro-Israel community at Brown, as they fight bigotry and tell Israel’s story on campus.
StandWithUs (SWU) is a seventeen year-old, international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism.
Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.
Based in Los Angeles, the organization has 18 chapters and offices throughout the U.S., in Israel, the UK, Canada and Brazil.