Oxford University votes against Israel boycott

Oxford University Student Union votes down a motion calling for an academic and commercial boycott of Israel

Students: This is not the way to debate the conflict.

Dan Lavie and Yael Branovsky
Israel Hayom

In a dramatic step, the Oxford University Student Union voted on Wednesday to reject a motion for a boycott of Israel.

The motion, which called for an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions as well as Israeli products, was rejected by an overwhelming 69 votes. Ten voted in favor and 15 abstained.

“This vote reflects a body of students who are willing to discuss the complexities that exist within Israel and do not see boycotting it as a viable option or avenue to discuss the conflict,” said Judith Flacks, the campaign director for the Union of Jewish Students.

The Guardian reported earlier this week that the atmosphere on campus ahead of the vote was tense and tumultuous and that several of the motion’s proposers had received threatening emails. One of these even withdrew his support of the motion.

The students were voting in favor of a larger call by the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement to boycott all Israeli products, including exported fruits and vegetables and Dead Sea products, as well as cutting all business ties to Israeli companies.

The students at Oxford were asked to vote on whether the British Students’ Union should join the BDS movement.

“We welcome the decision by the Oxford Student Union not to boycott Israel,” said Uri Reshtik, chairman of the Israel Students’ Union.

“We are in close contact with students at Oxford and we know they are a model and example to the young generation of leaders in England, representing all students including Jewish students among them.”

Update: Oxford Students Vote Against BDS Movement

…This boycott vote follows British lawmaker George Galloway, a Hamas supporter who has organized flotillas to Gaza, storming out of a debate at Oxford University merely because his debate opponent was Israeli. Before storming out, Galloway had declared, “I don’t recognize Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis.” His behavior caused quite a storm with many audience members calling him a racist. Following this event, Galloway wrote on his Facebook, “The Reason is simple: No recognition, No Normalization, Just Boycotts, divestment and sanctions, until the Apartheid state is defeated.”

21-year-old Eylon Aslan-Levy was appalled that a member of the British Parliament would refuse to debate him just because of his country of origin…

Read the whole thing.

Comments are closed.