Cornell student government tables Israel divestment, averting Passover vote

The Cornell University seal. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Cornell University’s Student Assembly on Thursday voted 15-8 (with one abstention) to indefinitely table a resolution that asked the university to divest from companies doing business with Israel.

If the Students for Justice in Palestine-initiated resolution had not been tabled in Thursday’s initial discussion, it would have been up for a formal vote on April 17, in the middle of the Passover, likely harming the ability of Jewish students visiting their families for the holiday to fight the anti-Israel measure.

William Jacobson, a clinical professor at Cornell Law School, wrote on his Legal Insurrection blog that the “intention to bring the resolution to the Student Assembly was not made in regular order, was concealed from Jewish and pro-Israel groups on campus even though it has been in the works for weeks.”

Students for Justice in Palestine has also planned a “National Day of Action” for April 16, the second day of Passover. According to its advertisement on Facebook, the day is a “call to end university complicity in Israeli Apartheid” and will feature sit-ins, rallies, and teach-ins.

“This is yet another example of how anti-Israel activists are afraid to be challenged by those who disagree with them, and prefer to silence or marginalize opposing voices instead,” said Brett Cohen, national campus director for the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs. “Many Jewish students will not have the opportunity to make their voices heard because they will be away from campus with their families, or otherwise preoccupied because of the holiday.”

Posted on April 10, 2014 .