BDS motion rejected by Columbia University students

A referendum voted down by Columbia University’s student council referred to Israel as an “apartheid” state. 

The student council at Columbia University rejected an initiative on Monday to add a request to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel (BDS) to a student referendum, according to The Columbia Spectator.

Council members heard different student groups argue for or against the resolution, including Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), which sponsored the referendum and Students Supporting Israel.

At the debate’s core was if the referendum would abide by the standards of the Columbia College Student Council’s (CCSC) constitution that it have “objective wording, feasibility, and adherence to CCSC’s mission and policies.”

Those arguing against the referendum objected to the term “apartheid” to describe the state of Israel.

CUAD members argued the referendum was not biased against Israel, and some council members believed the referendum would be useful as a public debate trigger.

“At best, in my opinion, if we vote ‘no’ at this proposition we are turning a blind eye to an issue that is already discussed,” The Columbia Spectator quoted Vice President for Finance Anuj Sharma. “At worst, I think it is an affirmation of the divisiveness of the issue.”

Despite the motion’s defeat, the BDS movement is prevalent on campus. Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon was heckled by BDS protesters in February while lecturing Columbia University students.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News