Student Government Resolution, Initially on BDS, Drops Political Ties

The so-called BDS Resolution will no longer include the words “Palestine” and “Israel" to increase its odds of passing through the University Senate in April.

Media from the NYU Students for Justice in Palestine club. (via nyusjp.org)

The Student Government Assembly wants the university to cut ties with corporations associated with the abuse of human rights in Palestine and Israel. On Thursday, SGA announced that the two countries’ names will be removed from the formerly-titled Resolution on the Human Rights of Palestinians before it is presented to the University Senate.

Key editors of the updated resolution, Senator at-Large Rose Asaf and Alternate Senator at-Large Benjamin Zinevich, removed Palestine and Israel from the document to stray from “overly political context.” Originally, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which protests Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, was referenced in the resolution.

SGA passed the resolution on Dec. 6, and it would ensure that NYU does not invest in companies seen as complicit in human rights violations. Socially responsible investment policies are not uncommon at large universities.

But in a rare preemptive move, NYU had already denounced the original version of the resolution on Dec. 5 before it made it to the Senate floor. In the statement, the university said the school’s endowment cannot be used for making “political statements.”

Student Government Chair Hüsniye Çöğür said that the changes to the resolution will strengthen it, as it negates specifics and focuses solely on the larger ask — for NYU not to be involved with countries complicit in human rights violations.

Zinevich told the student government body that the removal of key terms in other resolutions is “not unprecedented” when trying to get a resolution through the University Senate.

There was a brief discussion of placing the resolution in a committee — an action meant to ensure institutional changes occur. However, Asaf said that committees are where “things die” at NYU.

Both Asaf and Zinevich are trying to get the resolution on the University Senate floor by March and hope to see a vote by April.

Email Jared Peragila at [email protected]

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