CUNY grad students fail to advance Israel academic boycott resolution


(JTA) — A student group at the City University of New York failed to advance a resolution to boycott Israeli academics and divest from Israeli companies.

Thirty-one members of the Doctoral Students’ Council at CUNY voted in favor of the resolution on Friday — eight votes short of the amount required for the required majority. Twenty-five members opposed the resolution, which also calls for the divestment from Israeli companies, and 10 abstained.

It would have been the first student government in the United States to approve an academic boycott against Israel, according to Haaretz.

The council represents nearly 5,000 graduate students.

The vote had been postponed from September following a debate on the proposal, which is titled the “Resolution for the Endorsement of Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions.” It calls for “the end to the partnership between Baruch College and the College of Management Academic Studies” in Israel.

Among other points, the proposal cites Israel’s alleged violations of international law and restrictions on Palestinian academics; universities’ shows of support for Israeli troops fighting Hamas in Gaza this summer; and a claim that “Israeli professors and students at Israeli universities who speak out against discriminatory or criminal policies against Palestinians are ostracized and ridiculed if not publicly shamed, or worse.”

The council voted a strong majority in favor of a similar resolution at the end of the spring term. However, the full DSC membership did not give the requisite majority.

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