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Cornell President: Anti-Israel Boycott Campaign “Unfairly Singles Out One Country”

Cornell University President Martha Pollock has rejected a demand by anti-Israel students to embrace the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign that seeks to destroy the Jewish State, saying the movement was antithetical to academic freedom and singled out Israel for discrimination.

Her comments were prompted by a letter delivered to her on February 18, which urged the university to divest its endowment from companies “complicit in the morally reprehensible human rights violations in Palestine,” Shiri Moshe reported in The Algemeiner.

In the letter, members of the Cornell chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) also accused Israel of sharing a “common history” with the United States as a “settler-colonial project rooted in genocide” and charged that the anti-Semitic boycotts movement was working to isolate Israel “until it meets its obligations under international law.”

SJP was founded as the “Palestine Solidarity Movement” on the UC Berkeley campus in 1993. SJP disguises itself as an organization promoting social justice and the Palestinian cause, yet in reality, the organization and its supporters spend almost all of their energy demonizing Israel in furtherance of the goal of destroying the Jewish State.

Pollock countered Thursday in a statement expressing her “strong opposition to BDS” and rejected the demand that the school use its endowment as a tool of “political or social power.”

“BDS unfairly singles out one country in the world for sanction when there are many countries around the world whose governments’ policies may be viewed as controversial,” said Pollack. “Moreover, it places all of the responsibility for an extraordinarily complex geopolitical situation on just one country and frequently conflates the policies of the Israeli government with the very right of Israel to exist as a nation, which I find particularly troublesome.”

Earlier this month, SJP organized a “Palestine 101″ event, which the group said would cover “resistance to the violent military-occupation, Israel’s qualification as an apartheid-state, and the United States’ (and Cornell’s) involvement in Israel’s war crimes and human rights violations.”

SJP also plans to bring forward a Student Assembly resolution in support of the boycotts movement, which has garnered support from over 20 student groups, including the Queer Political Action Committee, Black Students United, Climate Justice Cornell, South Asian Council, Islamic Alliance for Justice, and Cornell Young Democratic Socialists.

[Photo: Jon Stockton / WikiCommons ]