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After Dramatic Pushback, Cornell Boycott Bid Falls

Yesterday’s effort by Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine to pass a divestment resolution was defeated by a vote of 15-8-1 at a meeting of the Cornell Student Assembly . The resolution was an item of “new business” for the assembly and had it not been defeated, would have scheduled a vote on divestment at next week’s assembly meeting, in the middle of Passover.

William Jacobson, a Clinical Professor of Law at Cornell Law School, reported on his blog, Legal Insurrection:

The Cornell Student Assembly voted late this afternoon to table indefinitely a Resolution to Divest from companies doing business in Israel. …

Even getting to that vote to table required that the Assembly overrule the decision of the President of the Assembly not to allow the motion to table until the Resolution was presented. Under no circumstance was there to be a vote today on the substance of the Resolution, this was a procedural decision to take it off the agenda.

The Cornell SJP attempted to take advantage of Passover holiday to pass the resolution when they expected a reduced Jewish presence on campus. Prof. Jacobson praised “pro-Israel students who had less than 48 hours notice that the Resolution would be presented today.” Jacobson also wrote to “claims that speech was stifled” but that there is no ‘right’ to take up Student Assembly time on a Resolution that had so little support it couldn’t even survive a procedural motion.”

In a followup post Jacobson observed that Cornell SJP’s tactic of forcing through their resolution on Passover may be part of a larger trend.

[Photo: Upsilon Andromedae / Flickr ]