JULY 16, 2020
A previously-filibustered resolution seeking to combat antisemitism and ensure the empowerment of Jewish students on campus was passed on Wednesday by the Student Senate at Florida State University (FSU).
The measure — which included an acknowledgement of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism — was approved by a 26-14 vote.
Anti-Israel groups — including the local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) — had campaigned heavily against the resolution.
Lioz Grunberger — vice president for programming for FSU Noles for Israel and NolePAC and a StandWithUS Emerson Fellow — stated, “Although we are proud of our work to get Resolution 59 passed, we are disappointed in all of the shameful attempts to derail and distort it. Multiple amendments were put forward and even adopted without the consent of the Jewish community. The worst was a failed amendment introduced by a non-Jewish senator to replace the IHRA definition of antisemitism with a definition put forward by Jewish Voice for Peace, an anti-Israel hate group. It was also telling to see that language about uniting Israeli and Palestinian students on campus was removed, at the request of SJP.”
“Fortunately, despite all of this, we got the resolution to pass and we’re looking forward to keeping this momentum moving forward,” he added.
Wednesday’s vote came against the backdrop of a recent controversy at FSU surrounding Student Senate President Ahmad Daraldik, who was found to have made antisemitic statements online in the past, including comparing Israel to Nazi Germany.
A bid last month to remove Daraldik gained a majority vote, but fell short of the two-thirds majority required.
With its vote on Wednesday, the Student Senate committed itself to “immediately appointing a senate liaison for Hillel FSU to increase Jewish communication and representation within Student Government”; “holding all members of the Student Government Association accountable to being educated on Jewish culture and anti-Semitism through communication with the Jewish community on campus”; and “supporting the creation of a task force with Florida State University’s administration and Alumni Association to advise on policies that impact Florida State University’s Jewish community and engage Jewish students at Florida State University.”
The full resolution can be seen here (on pages 26-27).
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