University of Illinois student government passes anti-Israel BDS resolution, school says there are ‘no plans’ to act on it
The student government at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) passed a resolution in favor of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the early hours of Thursday morning.
There has been a divide on college campuses across the country between those in favor of the BDS movement, which advocates for the rights of Palestinians in disputed territory bordering Israel, and pro-Israel advocates, who call the financial targeting of the Jewish state “anti-Semitic.”
The resolution, which was introduced by the leadership of UIUC chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), called on the university to sever ties with companies “that profit from human-rights violations in Palestine and other communities globally.” It also called for the school to end partnerships with companies that provide weaponry and technology to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to the Jewish News Syndicate.
After a six-hour debate, the voting resulted with 20 in favor, nine against, and seven abstentions.
Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel of Illini Chabad condemned the resolution’s passing, stressing that it was rejected twice before and that it was passed because “the system was manipulated in the senate after ISG was stacked with anti-Israel students.”
“We know this vote does not represent the values and beliefs of students and faculty at the University of Illinois. Illini Chabad is proud of the hundreds of Jewish students and their allies who came out to advocate for themselves to their representatives,” Tiechtel said.
In a statement from UIUC, the university clarified that the Illinois Student Government (ISG) is “an independent organization that can pass non-binding resolutions on any topic it chooses.” However, the university currently has “no plans” to act on the resolution.
“ISG resolutions are non-binding, and the university has no plans to act on this one,” the university stated. “We are committed to dialogue and to supporting students as they navigate challenging conversations about diversity and inclusion, and we will continue to plan programming designed to build understanding of different perspectives on complex and divisive issues.”