UCLA student government votes to divest from Israel

The UCLA official seal. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) The undergraduate student government at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) voted to divest from American companies that do business in Israel. The vote is not binding on the university’s administration.

According to the Daily Bruin, the Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC) voted 8-2-2 for the measure that calls for the University of California to divest from American companies that allegedly profit “from human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.” 

Most of the public comments on the resolution came from supporters and lasted around 90 minutes. Representatives from the pro-Israel group Bruins for Israel, as well as Hillel and J Street U, were given 15 minutes to explain their opposition to the resolution.

The current resolution comes after the student government rejected a similar proposal 7-5 last February after a nine hour marathon debate. 

Eytan Davidovits, president of Bruins for Israel, said that he thinks the resolution focuses too much on polarizing global issues and the USAC should instead focus on issues that students on campus face. 

USAC President Avinoam Baral, who is the only Israeli-born student on the council, apologized to pro-Israel students after the vote for not being able to do more to stop the resolution. USAC presidents do not generally participate in such votes unless there is a tie. 

“I’m sorry I could not represent you how you wanted me to represent you,” Baral said, the Daily Bruin reported.

Posted on November 19, 2014 .