Members of UC Santa Barbara’s Associated Students Senate shot down a resolution asking the school to divest from certain companies conducting business in Israel.
The student government rejected the resolution in a 14-10 secret ballot vote around 5 a.m. Thursday morning following a ten-and-a-half-hour meeting Wednesday night, the Daily Nexus reported.
Prior to the vote, students shared their views on the issue in a town hall meeting.
“We take a firm stance against forced complicity in the oppression of Palestinians; more specifically, we oppose the involuntary financial contribution students make through tuition,” UCSB’s Students for Justice in Palestine said on Facebook before the vote.
“Belonging to a top tier research institution, it is our duty to combat racism, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, imperialism, colonialism, classism, all forms of religious intolerance, and global inequality. We cannot exceptionalize the infringement of human rights in Israel/Palestine,” the group said.
UCSB is the only undergraduate campus in the University of California system whose student government has note passed a divestment motion concerning Israel, according to the Daily Nexus. This is not the first time that the student government in Santa Barbara has tried to join the ranks of its sister colleges. This is the sixth time in seven years that an Israel divestment resolution has failed.
Nonetheless, Rabbi Evan Goodman, executive director of Santa Barbara Hillel, was pleased with the outcome of the vote.
“We are extraordinarily proud of our students for their resolve and integrity in the months, weeks and days leading up to tonight’s vote. They gave everything they had to fight this anti-Israel resolution,” he said in a post on Santa Barbara Hillel’s site. “Pro-Israel students fought for the moral and intellectual integrity of UCSB and they succeeded. They rallied an impressive campaign to urge senators to vote against the resolution and reached out to campus allies and our community partners. Santa Barbara Hillel has supported these students every step of the way.”
Prior to the vote, UCSB experienced some anti-Israel activity. In 2018, pro-Palestinian activists shut down an Associated Students meeting after a divestment resolution did not pass, according to The Algemeiner.
“We are incredibly proud of the students at UC Santa Barbara who defeated this campaign of hatred and propaganda for the sixth time in seven years,” UCSB alum Max Samarov, who serves as executive director of Research & Strategy at pro-Israel group StandWithUs, said. “Resolutions like this one have only served to harm students and hinder efforts to bring Israelis and Palestinians together."
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