Anti-Israel activists at the City University of New York have plotted to hold a vote this Friday night – when observant Jews cannot attend, due to Sabbath observance – on a student government divestment resolution to boycott Israel.
If passed, the resolution would activate a boycott of Israeli universities and companies.
The CUNY Doctoral Students’ Council (DSC) was accused by pro-Israel student activists and others of deliberately scheduling the vote for a day and time that maximized the chances opponents would not be available to protest the measure.
News of the upcoming divestment resolution vote was quietly circulated among supporters only, according to sources aware of the situation, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
An internal DSC email was leaked which informed its members that no hard copies of materials about the resolution would be handed out at the meeting, “in the interest of being environmentally friendly.”
“It is a routine tactic of [the pro-BDS group Students for Justice in Palestine, which is behind the resolution] to hold votes on or near Jewish holidays so that Jewish voices can’t be heard,” said Jacob Baime, executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition. “When people learn the facts BDS loses. Essentially SJP is afraid of the facts and doesn’t want to engage in debate which is why they planned this vote in secret on a Jewish holiday,” Baime said. “Even if this passes, CUNY will maintain its robust partnerships with Israeli institutions. Passing this resolution would have one effect: Dividing the campus.”
Asked to address the timing of the vote, CUNY director of media relations, Tanya Domi, told the Washington Free Beacon, “the Doctoral Student Council routinely meets and votes on Friday afternoons commencing at 6 pm.”
This is not the first time that DSC has attempted to wage an economic and cultural war against Israel. The group tried to pass a similar resolution in May as part of the worldwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.