Israel

Ohio State’s Student Government Overwhelmingly Rejects anti-Israel Boycott Resolution

Student leaders at Ohio State University on Wednesday took a clear stance against the anti-Semitic boycott movement and overwhelmingly rejected a pro-BDS resolution against Israel, Shiri Moshe reported for The Algemeiner.

OSU’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) voted down the anti-Israel legislation with a vote of 30 against, seven in favour, and three abstentions — marking the fifth time a pro-boycotts resolution was defeated at Ohio State University in recent years.

The measure had been brought forward last month by the OSU Coalition for BDS and called for the university to divest from companies accused of benefiting “from the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” and to boycott Israeli universities and academics, including “currently invited speakers and visiting professors.”

The boycott campaign, however, faced strong opposition from Protect OSU, a coalition of students who argued that the resolution engaged in “hate speech against Israel,” would “divide our community,” and “could keep jobs, internships, and investments from OSU.”

The students expressed concern over the impact pro-boycott measures would have on academic freedom and the climate of peaceful coexistence at the school, labeling the anti-Israel boycott campaign fundamentally discriminatory based on their Jewish identity.

“Anti-Zionism is antisemitism,” said Dani Zborovsky, a Jewish OSU junior. “Zionism is the Jewish people’s right to self-determination … that’s not something that can be taken from me, and how dare you try and do that.”

Zborovsky added that, “No other group of people have other individuals defining hate for them,” asking, “Why are the Jewish people any different with antisemitism?”

Following the resolution’s defeat, Buckeyes for Israel President Maya Rosenberg, expressed gratitude that Jewish students showed up for the vote, “despite having studying for finals, despite having Hanukkah celebrations, despite having less than 3 days’ notice.”

Rosenberg said she felt “safe wearing a Jewish star, participating in a sorority founded on Jewish values, celebrating Jewish holidays, learning from Jewish professors, because this incredibly dangerous legislation failed.”

Many university administrations across the United States have rejected anti-Israel legislation brought forward by the boycott campaign, arguing that it restricts academic freedom and encourages a hostile climate for Jewish students on campus. Supporters of the movement claim it seeks to pressure Israel to respect Palestinian human rights, however, critics warn that the ultimate goal of the boycott campaign is the destruction of the sole Jewish State.

In unguarded moments, leaders of the BDS are explicit that this is their goal.

Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of BDS, said in 2004, “We are witnessing the rapid demise of Zionism, and nothing can be done to save it … I, for one, support euthanasia.” He also said in 2014 that Palestinians have a right to “resistance by any means, including armed resistance.”

Another anti-Israel resolution is set to be considered on Friday by student government officials at New York University.

[Photo: Adjoajo / WikiCommons ]