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‘Don’t target Israeli citizens,’ National Union of Students urged as it prepares to resume BDS policy

June 6, 2018
‘Don’t target Israeli citizens,’ National Union of Students urged as it prepares to resume BDS policy
Written by Daniel Sugarman

The proposer of the BDS motion is accused of ‘seemingly supporting violent resistance against Israel’

The National Union of Students has been urged not to target Jewish students with its plans to reinstate a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) policy towards Israel.

The NUS will debate a [ BDS motion ] on Thursday that would commit it “to continue to support the Palestinian-led call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel, along with civil society, human rights organisation, and trade unions, until it complies with basic tenets of international law, as NUS has done for many years.”

The [ BDS motion ] also accuses the UK of “complicity in denying the Palestinian people their inalienable and basic rights.”

But a suggested amendment to the motion says the organisation must resolve to “not target Israeli citizens” or Israelis studying at British universities and ensure “any BDS activity does not target or impact Jewish students’ ability to study on their campus”.

It warns that BDS campaign must not jeopardise the provision of Kosher food and religious items and urges the NUS to take “a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism/hostile environments where Jewish students feel uncomfortable.”

BDS campaigns try to pressure universities to cut ties with Israeli companies or individuals, as well as companies doing business in Israel.

A handbook produced by NUS Black Students describes some of the “amazing things” BDS campaigners have achieved, including cancelling student unions’ contracts with firms like G4S and Veolia, removing water coolers provided by companies like Eden Springs and, at Soas university in London, voting for a boycott of Israeli academics.

The motion in favour of a BDS policy was proposed by Ilyas Nagdee, the NUS’s Black Students Officer and a member of its National Executive Committee, which is made up of 20 elected representatives from across the NUS.

Another 13 NEC members have seconded the motion, meaning that it will pass.

The amendment to the motion has been proposed by some of the remaining members of the NEC.

Another amendment proposes that the NEC resolve “to support the right to self-determination of the Jewish and Palestinian peoples, encouraging efforts to bring about peace and dialogue through Two States for Two Peoples.”

Read More: The Jewish Chronicle


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