Mixed results in latest round of BDS votes at California state universities


(JNS.org) Pro-Israel students saw mixed results in the latest round of anti-Israel BDS votes at state universities in southern California.

One of the entrances to University of California, Santa Barbara. Credit: Ryosuke Yagi via Wikimedia Commons.

University of California, Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) student council resoundingly rejected an Israel divestment measure Thursday, with no council members voting in favor of the resolution.

The defeated resolution came after a divestment campaign led by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which erected a wall display featuring falsified quotes by Israeli leaders and a map calling Israel “occupied territory.” SJP was eventually forced to temporarily change its display. 

During the student council debate on the resolution, pro-Israel students expressed how the divestment campaign would only serve to embolden hatred on campus, the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs said.

“This campaign at UCSB is a perfect example of how divestment harms students for an unjust cause,” said Sarah Tagger, campus strategy coordinator for StandWithUs and the former student board president at Santa Barbara Hillel. “UCSB is a beacon of light in the UC (University of California) system—an example of what it means to uphold the truth, stand up to hate, and support justice and human rights for all.”

Meanwhile, pro-Israel students suffered a defeat at California State University at Long Beach (CSULB), which passed a motion Wednesday in favor of divesting from Israel, in a 15-7 vote with one abstention. Yet the university’s president, Jane Conoley, strongly condemned the resolution, noting divestment and the broader BDS movement are “opposed to the existence of the state of Israel” and have fueled racism against Jewish students. 

Posted on May 11, 2017 .