FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday October 23, 2019
(Champaign, IL -- October 23, 2019) -- StandWithUs condemns the University of Illinois (UIUC) Student Government (ISG) for passing a disingenuous resolution about antisemitism without consulting the Jewish community or securing their consent. The resolution denies that anti-Zionism is antisemitism, erasing the experiences of Jewish students who have repeatedly experienced antisemitic forms of anti-Zionism on campus. It passed with a vote of 29 in favor, 4 against, and 4 abstaining.
“I’m a Jewish student who has dealt with multiple instances of antisemitism on campus. For ISG to try to define what is antisemitic and what is not without the Jewish community’s voice is appalling,” said Seth Israel, a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow at UIUC. “I am proud of my people, religion, and culture. I’m glad we stood together as one to fight for what’s right and what’s just.”
Jewish students initially attempted to educate ISG members about why the resolution was wrong, but realized most were not interested in hearing or representing them. After it became clear that ISG would not retract and apologize for bringing the resolution forward, Jewish student leaders mobilized hundreds of their peers to protest and walk out of the vote.
“The transparent goal of this resolution was not to oppose antisemitism, but to shield anti-Israel groups from any accountability when they cross the line into hate speech against Jews,” said Liora Bachrach, Associate Director of Campus Affairs at StandWithUs. “The fact that this was even introduced is a mark of shame on ISG, which has made a mockery of its own stated values. We are proud of Jewish students who came out in large numbers, and showed that ISG has no legitimacy or credibility to speak about this issue.”
StandWithUs commends UIUC Chancellor Robert Jones for taking a strong stand against antisemitism, and urges him to follow through with actions that ensure Jewish students are respected, protected, and heard on campus. This should now include training for ISG members about how to actually fight antisemitism, rather than speaking over Jewish students and exploiting the hate they experience for political gain.
We stand with Hillel, Chabad, and Jewish students at UIUC, and have confidence that they will be resilient in the face of this bigotry. We will continue to work with ICC, JUF, Hillel International, and all of our partners to fight back against rising antisemitism and anti-Israel extremism on campus.
StandWithUs (SWU) is an eighteen 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 chapters and offices throughout the U.S., in Israel, the UK, Canada and Brazil.
For the last 6 years, SWU has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator (4 stars) and Guidestar (Platinum)
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