Student Senators Continue Efforts to Divest From Israel With New Proposal

Victor Porcelli, Deputy News Editor

As part of the international movement supporting Palestinian rights, student senators will bring forward a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions resolution to student government on Nov. 1, according to Senator-at-Large and CAS senior Rose Asaf.

On Friday, Asaf tweeted that the resolution would be brought to student government at a meeting on Nov. 1, at which time there will be no chance for public comment. Another meeting will be held Dec. 6 where six speakers for and against the resolution will be allowed to speak for two minutes each.

Only students with NYU IDs will be allowed into the meeting, a rule which will be enforced by public safety, according to Asaf. The final vote will be held on Dec. 6, and will be anonymous to protect students’ privacy. Asaf did not wish to comment on what the resolution entailed at this time, although she said there would be an emphasis on divestment.

The resolution comes at a time when Israeli and Palestinian conflict continues to rise. A Palestinian boy on the Gaza border died during protests in September causing uproar and Israeli forces were deployed on Wednesday to demolish a school in the Palestinian village of Khan Al-Amar.

Last semester, the student government passed a resolution focused on “making the university acknowledge that Tel-Aviv is an inherently discriminatory campus” toward Muslim and Palestinian students, said Senator-at-Large Bayan Abubakr, who is also crafting the BDS resolution. Shortly after, 50 student groups pledged solidarity with the BDS movement in a letter of support, led by NYU Jewish Voices for Peace and NYU Students for Justice in Palestine.

Asaf and Abubakr see this new resolution as a continuation of the momentum created by those two events, and believe it is important to emphasize the connection between the BDS movement and this resolution.

“This resolution is explicitly posed as part of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement,” Asaf said. “A lot of the times at other universities, they’ll try to separate it from the BDS movement and say this is just divestment. We are explicitly saying that this is a result of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.”

Abubakr acknowledges that this is a controversial issue, but believes it is important to have the discussion on campus.

“We know this is a contentious issue and we know this is a polarizing issue, but we want it to be polarizing, we want people to have strong opinions about this and we want those opinions to be heard and voiced,” Abubakr said. “And we want, most importantly, for administration and faculty to recognize the fact that a lot of students have a stake in this and want the university to do something about it.”

Abubakr said she does not expect the resolution to pass the University Senate, which includes faculty and administrators, although her and Asaf both feel it is an opportunity to send a message of support from NYU to Palestine.

“NYU’s administration has shown before that they do not support Palestinian human rights,” Asaf said. “They’ve made that clear when they condemned our BDS letter from last year, they made that clear when they condemned the Graduate Students Organizing Committee’s BDS resolution in 2016. But, with this, we want to show that the body representing the students at NYU are with Palestinians and we are in solidarity with Palestinians.”

Email Victor Porcelli at [email protected]

Editors Note: The title of this changed from the original to better represent the goals of the proposed resolution. The original title was “Student Senators Continue Efforts to Boycott Israel With New Proposal.”

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