(October 4, 2018 / JNS) Recently, an associate professor in the American Culture department at the University of Michigan drew headlines over his decision to deny a student a letter of recommendation for a semester-long study-abroad program at Tel Aviv University.
But this incident was not an isolated event; it exemplified a recent disturbing trend at the school.
Canary Mission, which is a blacklist of anti-Israel activists, academics and organizations, recently released a detailed report in June about the University of Michigan, whose student government passed a BDS resolution in November 2017 through secret ballot.
Initiated by Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), the University of Michigan chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the resolution called for the academic institution to severe its connections to the Jewish state through “a nonviolent way to put pressure” on the school, according to minutes from the Central Student Government (CSG) meeting, where the measure succeeded.
Forty individuals were key to the resolution’s success: four SAFE activists were behind the #UMDivest campaign, which was launched a month before the resolution’s passage; four co-authors and one co-sponsor of the resolution, three of whom affiliated with SAFE; four professional BDS activists spoke in favor of the resolution; five pro-BDS students, including the CSG vice president, in addition to seven representatives, also advocated for the resolution; and 15 representatives who voted for the measure.
“This is not part of the BDS movement,” Yara Gayar told the CSG during the resolution vote on Nov. 14.