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Logo of the City University of New York (CUNY).

(JNS.org) A last minute resolution to divest from Israel by a student group at the City University of New York (CUNY) was shelved on Friday night following a strong showing by pro-Israel supporters despite the start of the Jewish Sabbath.

The Doctoral Students’ Council (DSC) of CUNY, which represents over 4,700 members of the graduate school from across the CUNY system, first announced the last minute divestment vote earlier in the week to take place on Friday, September 12th at 6 p.m.

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Many pro-Israel students raised concerns over the vote’s start time, coming just before the Jewish Sabbath, as well as the fact that no materials where handed out ahead of time to help students prepare. According to Dominique Nisperos, the DSC’s co-chair for communications, that was done out of “environmental concerns,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.

After a lengthy heated debate on Friday evening, that included additional time for both sides to present the arguments, a motion was eventually passed to table the resolution for a future date.

Despite the vote’s difficult timing for observant Jews, a number of pro-Israel groups also turned out to support CUNY students and faculty who opposed the resolution.

“It is a routine tactic of the BDS movement to hold votes on or around Jewish holidays in order to shut out pro-Israel voices,” Jacob Baime, Executive Director of the Israel on Campus Coalition – who attended the Friday evening vote – told JNS.org. “When the facts are known, BDS fails.”

The proposed resolution, which is titled “The Endorsement of Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions”, called on the CUNY system to endorse a “boycott of Israeli academic institutions and the divestment from Israeli companies” as well as ending academic partnerships with Israeli institutions such as the one between Baruch College and Israel’s College of Management and Academic Studies.

The resolution also expresses support for “Palestinian students and academics in their struggle against the Zionist policies of the Israeli state and its restrictions.”

Baime added that he is proud of the CUNY students and faculty for their strong showing despite having little time to prepare.

“I am proud of the CUNY students and faculty who defeated this anti-peace resolution,” he said. “The campus community can make a meaningful contribution to peace, and BDS does not do that. It is divisive and tears the campus apart.”

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14 COMMENTS

  1. This is not a victory. the fact that the BDS against Israel was even brought up at all is a defeat. There is no one condemning the atrocities of Hamas and the human rights violations of the P.A. that should be the issue. This repulsive anti Semitic resolution will probably be brought up again. Constant vigilance is needed to block it. And how about resolutions condemning the abuses of the palestinians.Go on the offensive for a change.

  2. So are the CUNY Doctorate students going to give up their Apple iPhones, equipment, pc's, antibiotics, xrays, my favorite- Contact Lenses, Research papers written by prior Professors who just happen to be Jewish, whether their European or not. I cant see that happening. So really, it cant be called a boycott, but an Anti Semitic TANTRUM. Maybe they might like to stick their arm out for their implant tag. It is after all German made.

  3. Where does the author get the idea that this was "last minute." As for every DSC meeting, and in accordance with their bylaws, the agenda was sent out in advance. Additionally, an earlier version failed to reach a vote last May because they lacked quorum (the end of the year party was more interesting for most reps). So, hardly a "last minute" issue. Shoddy work.

  4. Kevin Smith If you were a person who was interested in facts and truth, you would know that Israel is not only not apartheid, it's more diverse than any other nation except the US. Everyone votes, including 2 million Arabs. Everyone has the access to school, university, health care, legal careers including judges, members of the Knesset (if you even know what that is.) Nowhere else are there such excellent Arab doctors and scientists. You, like so many ignorant people, only read racist propaganda.

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