Columbia University students vote to urge school to adopt BDS

Ron Cantor —  September 30, 2020 — Leave a comment

Students at Columbia University voted to urge the school to adopt a policy of boycotting and divesting from companies that “profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s acts towards Palestinians.” 

A 61 percent majority of the students at the ivy league university in New York voted in favor of the referendum, according to The Jewish Week.

Members of Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) celebrated the results of the vote on Tuesday.

“We are so excited to announce that our divestment referendum has passed with majority student support at Columbia College! Thank you for your support and for voting, we couldn’t have done it without you! Full statement coming soon,” the group posted on Facebook.

Columbia University president Lee C. Bollinger has made it clear that he did not support the referendum.

“The University should not change its investment policies on the basis of particular views about a complex policy issue, especially when there is no consensus across the University community about that issue,” he said in a statement. 

Bollinger said he does support “robust debate” on the issue, however noted that the vote has “raised concerns about how this debate over BDS has adversely affected the campus climate for many undergraduate students in our community.”

Indeed, a campus group called Students Supporting Israel warned that “Jewish students are three to eight times more likely to be victims of anti-Jewish hostility after BDS resolutions pass.”

A pro-Israel student leader, Romy Ronen, said the vote “is making the majority of pro-Israel students on campus feel unsafe, victimized, and disappointed.” 

“It makes it feel normalized to boycott and divest from the only Jewish state, a place a lot of us call home,” she said.