NYU grad student union votes to boycott, divest from Israel

Ma’an News Agency | – –

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A graduate student union at New York University on Friday voted in favor of joining the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.

Two-thirds of the Graduate Student Organizing Committee cast a vote in support of the resolution, which calls on both NYU and its United Automobile Workers union affiliate to divest from all Israeli state institutions — including universities — and corporations “complicit in” Israeli violations.


The resolution proposes that NYU join the movement “until Israel complies with international law and ends the military occupation, dismantles the wall, recognizes the rights of Palestinian citizens to full equality, and respects the right of return of Palestinian refugees and exiles.”

Over 600 union members voted in the referendum, a reportedly larger-than-average turnout for union votes. The 2,000-strong union represents graduate teaching and research assistants at the university.

Some 57 percent of voters made a voluntary individual pledge to participate in the academic boycott against Israel.

The BDS movement has gained momentum over the past year, aiming to exert political and economic pressure over Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory in a bid to repeat the success of the campaign which ended apartheid in South Africa.

Major actors to join the movement this year include British security giant G4S and French telecom company Orange.

The NYU union’s support of BDS comes after US President Barack Obama in February signed into law an anti-BDS trade agreement reiterating that US Congress “opposes politically motivated actions that penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel,” referring directly to BDS activities.

The Israeli leadership has widely condemned the BDS movement as antisemitic or carried out from “hatred of Israel,” while proponents of the movement argue divestment measures are necessary in pressuring Israel to end its decades-long military occupation.

Moves inside the US — Israel’s longstanding ally and number one provider of military aid — to criminalize BDS have meanwhile been slammed by human rights defenders as a violation of free speech.

Via Ma’an News Agency

3 Responses

  1. If one were to calculate a compensation of $5,000 per each of the 750,000 Palestinians driven from their land in 1948 and compounded that debt at 9% per year, the reparations would equal over $1.3 trillion, and we know darn well that if it were a multinational bank holding that debt it would collect and use all of the Western world’s financial and military institutions to enforce and collect on it.

  2. Obviously, this was a shot in the dark estimate only, and it doubtless understates by a huge factor the real losses sustained by the Palestinians. It was intended to provide some indication of the huge magnitude of an uncollected debt owed to the Palestinian people- and which if collected could end up requiring the financial liquidation of all of the assets held by the State of Israel.

    It is not this reader’s intention to see the State of Israel disappear, but only that it respect the rights of its Palestinian citizens and non-citizen residents in the Occupied Territories, as well as those who were forced to leave (including their descendants and heirs).

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