George Washington U student senate narrowly defeats Israel divestment resolution


(JTA) — The student senate at George Washington University narrowly rejected a resolution calling on the university to divest from companies that do business with Israel.

The vote by the Student Association Senate late Monday night was 15 against and 14 in favor, with one abstention, the Washington D.C.-area university’s student newspaper The Hatchet reported.

Prior to the balloting, the student senate held three hours of public comment by supporters and opponents of the resolution. It also allowed comment afterward.

The resolution, which was spearheaded by the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine and a coalition of other groups called Divest This Time, directed the university to withdraw investments from 10 companies that supporters charged “provide resources and materials that contribute to Palestinian oppression,” according to the Hatchet.

It was the first time that such a resolution has been proposed at the university.

The resolution relied heavily on the United Nations’ Goldstone Report on the Gaza situation from 2009 that accused Israel of war crimes against the Palestinians. Its author, South African judge Richard Goldstone, retracted the report in 2011.

The pro-Israel campus group StandWithUS said the resolution contained many other factual inaccuracies and inconsistencies. StandWithUs was part of a coalition of campus groups opposing the measure under the name GW Together.

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