American Campuses Regain Sanity

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 |  Tsvi Sadan

On May 20th the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) voted down an anti-Israeli resolution pushed by Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights (SUPER-UW), which belongs to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel on campuses around the world.

The resolution called for the "University of Washington to examine its financial assets to identify its investments in companies that provide equipment or services used to directly maintain, support, or profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land … that the ASUW requests the University of Washington to instruct its investment managers to divest from those companies."

In short, this was another resolution to boycott Israel, but this time it ended in a resounding "no" to such stunts, which have become increasingly popular on American campuses ever since the 2001 Durban NGO conference that labeled Israel as a racist state.

The BDS defeat at the University of Washington further indicates that students and faculty are beginning to understand that the BDS movement and NGOs that purportedly support human rights are masking an anti-Semitic agenda.

The Mike Report blog aptly highlighted the comments of University of Washington professor of sociology, Paul Burstein, "who suggested the resolution framers were less than honest as to their goals, and that their true intention was the end of Israel as a Jewish majority state … he described it as just an easy way to manipulate the students to appear to support the sponsor's twisted agenda."

The University of Washington is not the first to unveil the true nature of the BDS movement. Just a few weeks earlier, the Graduate and Professional Student Association at the University of New Mexico overturned a divestment resolution. A month before that, the Associated Students for the University of New Mexico voted down a similar motion.

BDS was also defeated at Cornell University, despite the fact that, as BackSpin blog has reported, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) tried to steal the vote.

A call to boycott Israel was also voted down 25-9 at the University of Michigan, despite threatening rhetoric used by pro-Palestinian activists. The Washington Free Beacon reported on March 21 that "Pro-Palestinian activists on the University of Michigan campus have had the cops called on them for threatening pro-Israel students and staging a sit-in over the student government's refusal to back an anti-Israel initiative to divest from the Jewish state."

Israelis are well familiar with the motto "if you can't beat 'em, cheat 'em." It characterizes the Palestinian fight against Israel.

After more than ten years of bewilderment, it seems as if the Jewish community and many others begin to realize that out-of-control anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish allegations are based on fiction designed to create hateful strife rather than love and peace.

In the wake of yet another attack against Jews in Brussels, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly stated that "slander and lies against the State of Israel continue to be heard on European soil even as the crimes against humanity and acts of murder being perpetrated in our region are systematically ignored. Our response to this hypocrisy is to constantly state the truth, continue a relentless fight against terrorism and build up our strength."

Does the BDS defeat on American campuses signal a meaningful awakening to its true nature? It seems like there is cause for cautious optimism.

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