In a major setback for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, the University of Maryland’s Student Government Association (SGA) on Wednesday evening rejected a resolution calling on the school to “divest from companies engaged in human-rights violations in Palestine.”
The pro-BDS resolution was rejected by nine votes in favor, 25 against, and two abstentions.
Jewish leaders had slammed the SGA for holding a vote on a pro-boycott resolution on April 24, in the middle of Passover. The student body had insisted that the date could not be changed.
A university representative told the Jewish Journal that it “regrets” the timing because it “limits the full participation by all students in voting on the measure — itself inconsistent with the free exchange of ideas.”
Terps for Israel, a pro-Israel campus group, celebrated the outcome.
“TFI is pleased to announce that the divisive BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions movement] bill did NOT pass!,” the group posted on Facebook.
“Thank you to all the students that came to the meeting tonight to voice their concerns against this bill. Also, thank you to all the SGA [Student Government Association] legislators who took the time to hear from their concerned constituents, as well as take time to continue to educate themselves on these issues,” the statement added.
Rena Nasar, managing director of Campus Affairs at StandWithUs, said: “We are very proud of the students at UMD who once again stood up against this campaign of hatred and propaganda.” She stressed that “BDS has no place on campus and has only served to divide students and damage efforts to bring Israelis and Palestinians together.”
This is the second time that the BDS movement was defeated at the school in recent years. In 2017, the university’s student government scrapped an anti-Israel resolution before it came to a vote.
[Photo: carmichaellibrary / Wikimedia Commons]