(JNS.org) George Washington University’s (GW) student association narrowly rejected a resolution calling for the school to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Opponents of the bill—which was rejected Tuesday in a 15-14 vote, with one abstention—argued the measure oversimplifies a complex topic and promotes a “one-sided” narrative that prevents dialogue.
“Passing one-sided bills that create an anti-Israeli narrative, without even acknowledging the reason why they engage in such activities creates bigger divisions within our communities,” said Isaac Fuhrman, the student association’s director of international students, The GW Hatchet student newspaper reported.
According to the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs, which worked with student leaders to defeat the measure, the resolution relied heavily on the 2009 Goldstone Report—which accused Israel of committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead in 2008. The Goldstone Report was later disavowed by its main author, retired South African judge Richard Goldstone.
“Anti-Israel activists relied on misleading claims and manipulative rhetoric, hoping that emotional appeals would cloud the judgment of the [GW] student association,” said Ben Brownstein, Mid-Atlantic campus director for StandWithUs. “I’m glad that enough students saw through the propaganda and took a principled stand.”