Photo Credit: Amir Levy/Flash90
An American student hands out flyers for 'SSI' the Students Supporting Israel Movement, outside Columbia University library

A request presented to the Columbia College Student Council asking Columbia students to divest from companies that do business in Israel failed to pass a vote by the body, a move perceived by pro-Israel students as a victory.

After a four-hour heated debate among the student council members on Sunday night which attracted a crowd of over 150 people, the council decided to vote in a secret ballot. A majority of 20 members voted in favor of the motion to boycott Israel, while 17 voted against.

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However, since the council requires a two-thirds majority to pass controversial resolutions, the anti-Israel motion failed.

Ofir Dayan, President of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) Columbia, stated that “this is truly a historic moment for us and for Columbia University.”

She noted that this was the first time that SSI was present during an official Student Government meeting when an anti-Israel boycott resolution was submitted.

“Not only was SSI present, but we won, justice won. The student council chose to do what is right and stand up for Israel and for the truth,” she added.

SSI is a pro-Israel international campus movement that supports the State of Israel.

SSI National congratulated its activists at Columbia University for “their hard work, dedication and the fight against the anti-Semitic BDS movement.”

SSI has previously been successful in defeating motions supporting the anti-Israel  Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement presented to student governments across the US, including at San Diego State, UC Santa Barbara, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana.

In addition, SSI has passed 10 pro-Israel bills in student government supporting the State of Israel.

SSI “will keep fighting BDS and representing Israel in any college campus and university” the organization is active, it stated.

Columbia University is notorious for its anti-Jewish atmosphere and experienced the highest overall anti-Semitic activity in 2016 among more than 100 US schools studied.

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