Students at New York University (NYU) plan to promote a resolution supportive of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel in November, drawing opposition from some Zionist campus leaders.
The resolution will be brought forward on November 1 by three students senators including Rose Asaf, a co-founder of Jewish Voice for Peace at NYU, the student-run Washington Square News reported. It will be voted on through a secret ballot on December 6, after six speakers from each opposing side of the debate will be given two minutes to speak, and only NYU students will be allowed to attend.
Asaf said that the resolution will be “explicitly posed” as part of the BDS campaign, whose co-founder and other senior advocates have urged the creation of a Palestinian state in place of Israel. “A lot of the times at other universities, they’ll try to separate it from the BDS movement and say this is just divestment,” she noted. “We are explicitly saying that this is a result of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.”
Leaders with the student clubs TorchPAC and Realize Israel — both of which were subject to a boycott pledge by more than 50 BDS-supporting student clubs at NYU in April — expressed their concerns over the latest BDS initiative on campus to Washington Square News.
“BDS infantilizes Palestinians, removing any responsibility or agency from their end,” said Gabe Hoffman, treasurer of Realize Israel, who noted that Israel has previously tried to negotiate peace with the Palestinians. “It hinders the prospects of a mutually agreed-upon peaceful solution and ultimately hurts the wrong people, namely, the near 50,000 Palestinians with jobs at risk if their firms are sanctioned.”
Asaf called this position “neo-colonial and paternalistic,” pointing out that Palestinian trade unions approve of BDS.
TorchPAC treasurer Joshua Reichek added in turn that he was “skeptical of singling out the only Jewish state for divestment.”
“While I do not agree with all of the policies of the Israeli Government, I would imagine that most people would rightly view an attempt to boycott Americans or divest from all American institutions due to Trump’s policies as ignorant and bigoted,” he added.
Adela Cojab, president of Realize Israel and a former senator, said the BDS debate pointed to a broader issue — namely, the lack of representation at the Student Government Assembly.
Read More: Algemeiner