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Two New Blows to BDS


Rachel Leach, Brandeis Center

November 21, 2016
 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 ushered in two significant failures of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement.

The first blow came from an overwhelming defeat of a divestment resolution at the University of Michigan, which we blogged about earlier this week. This was the fifth failed divestment resolution in the past eleven years at Michigan.

The second defeat emerged from the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) at the University of Toronto. The GSU’s General Counsel voted against converting the “BDS Ad Hoc Committee” into a permanent organization committee, with another wide margin of 34 against, 17 in favor, and 11 abstentions. uoft

The “BDS Ad Hoc Committee” was initially created in 2013, specifically to carry out the goals of a divestment resolution, which called on the U of Toronto to “divest from companies benefiting from violations of international law and human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” This 2012 resolution passed; however, the process by which it passed was deemed to be “unfair and procedurally irregular” by several Jewish students. The procedural irregularities included the fact that graduate students were given no advance notice of the motion and were therefore unable to be adequately represented at the annual meeting.

This week’s successful effort to deny permanent status to this “BDS Ad Hoc Committee” was spearheaded by several students who worked to educate their peers on the problematic existence of the ad hoc committee and what the committee actually stood for.

By defeating this motion, graduate students at the University of Toronto are making strides in changing the attitude of their peers, who are no longer willing to support motions and committees which advocate for discrimination against Jewish and Israeli individuals.


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Alan Gura, Esq.
Alan Gura is a founder and partner in Gura & Possessky, PLLC. Previously, Mr. Gura served as Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Criminal Justice Oversight; as Deputy Attorney General for the State of California; and as an attorney with Sidley & Austin.
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