New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Student Senators Pass BDS Resolution After Shouts, Screams and Snaps

Student Senators passed a resolution that would have NYU divest from three companies associated with the Israeli government and institute a “socially responsible” investment policy.
63 members of student government voted on the resolution.

A resolution that would have NYU divest from companies associated with Israel and institute a socially responsible investment policy on Thursday. Of the 63 senators voting, 14 abstained, 14 voted no and 35 voted yes.

At least a hundred students crowded the Colloquium Room on the fifth floor of the Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life, with another large crowd left waiting outside. Many of the students were from the pro-Palestine group Students for Justice in Palestine or the Zionist group Realize Israel. The latter group had a large presence, as many members of Realize Israel remained outside, chanting as the meeting progressed.

The students came to see the result of the “Resolution on the Human Rights of Palestinians,” presented by Senators at-Large Rose Asaf and Bayan Abubakr and Alternate Senator at-Large Leen Dweik.

At the start of the meeting, the three presenters explained the resolution once more and preemptively addressed counter arguments they expected to hear. According to the senators, although inspired by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, the resolution simply seeks to use Israel as a case study for how NYU can divest from those violating human rights.

“This resolution is for the human rights of all.” Dweik said. “We want to know that our tuition money is not being spent to kill brown people across the world.”

Six student for and against the resolution spoke at the meeting, with each one allotted two minutes time.

The first person to speak against the resolution was GLS sophomore Benjamin Reich, who said he believed the resolution was clearly connected to the BDS movement, which makes him feel unsafe on campus as a member of the Jewish community.

“Were you elected to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or were you elected to make sure students feel safe on campus?” Reich said.

Political Action Chair for the Black Student Union Dylan Brown spoke second for the resolution. Brown mentioned that the struggles of black people in the United States cannot be separated from those of the Palestinian people.

“This body has a duty to all marginalized students on this campus to not be invested in systems of oppression,” Brown said.

The meeting was extended four times, first until 6:30, then 6:45, then 7:00 and finally 7:20 p.m. Still, some senators and attendees expressed they felt there was not enough time to debate such a complex issue. One senator noted that they had the resolution for more than a month, which he felt was more than enough time. President of Realize Israel Adela Cojab, who was given speaking time by a senator, expressed that she did not feel that there had been enough time for members of the NYU community to speak their minds to student government.

Before voted on, a motion was made to edit the name and content of the resolution in the University Senate, where it would go next before becoming policy. The title of the resolution would be changed to “Resolution on Responsible Investment at NYU: Palestine as a Case Study.”

These changes were made due to concerns brought up by those who attended and spoke at the meeting that the resolution unnecessarily targeted Israel.

This is a developing story. This article will be updated as WSN gains new information.

Email Victor Porcelli at [email protected].

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  • W

    William DevillisApr 8, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Muslim Student groups all say that they’re only interested in Palestinian rights. Where were their voices when Syria cut off water and electricity several years ago to the largest refugee camp in the West Bank causing many deaths and much more sickness? Where were they when ISIS attacked that camp? Where are they when their brothers and sisters are jailed or executed (by Hamas and the PA) for criticizing their governments or for spending more time teaching them to kill Jews than to read and write. Since the war in 2014, Israel has sent in an estimated 5 BILLION, not million, tons of building supplies, food, clothing, medicine, etc. and yet according to world groups also trying to supply aid after the war, almost none has gone to the Gaza civilians. Hamas has rebuilt tunnels, restocked rockets, restocked the tunnels with food and water for the next war; made sure those tunnels have running water and electricity as do their military camps. A human rights group, never a friend of Israel’s, recently condemned the Abbas gov’t for silencing its critics (jail or death). Abbas unabashedly pays pensions to anyone who kills a Jew (Trump cut off Obama’s support for these payments but the Dems want to reinstate it). If you sell your land to a Jew, you are executed (dozens in 2018 according to the PA). Where are those liberal voices condemning such hatred and the total lack of civil rights for the Palestinians by their own leaders? NOWHERE.

    What the students at this University really support is the brave Palestinian freedom fighters who
    blew up a bus of schoolchildren;
    blew up a bus killing 37 incl. 18 children;
    blew up a bus of civilians heading to the beach;
    blew up a nightclub filled with young Israelis;
    blown Jewish, Christian and Muslim markets in Jerusalem;
    blown up a hotel where hundreds were celebrating Passover;
    shot up a university cafeteria;
    killed a mother of 6 in her kitchen;
    attacked a temple in Jerusalem;
    killed two parents after they watched their children being viciously killed;
    On and on and on. These students should be proud of the bravery they support.

    The PA has named hundreds of streets, schools, parks and government buildings after people who intentionally killed Jewish civilians in terror attacks. Imagine if someone donated money to build a beautiful new building at NYU but said it must be named after a great American hero like Dylan Roof. Real human beings would be mortified at the thought. Palestinians think things like that are the highest honor.

    The Palestinians set their rocket launchers and store weapons in people’s backyards, in Mosques, in schools, in hospitals and even next to to UN buildings.

    Yes, the students at this University are real concerned with Palestinian rights. The only ones violating Palestinian rights are the PA and Hamas.