UMD student government votes down anti-Israel divestment bill

On Wednesday, the Student Government Association voted on a bill that called on the university to divest from companies doing business in Israel.

By JOSEFIN DOLSTEN/JTA
April 25, 2019 09:26
2 minute read.
Governor Hogan visits University of Maryland Football Team by Tom Nappi at College Park, Maryland

Governor Hogan visits University of Maryland Football Team by Tom Nappi at College Park, Maryland. (photo credit: MARYLAND GOVPICS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

 
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The University of Maryland Student Government Association voted down a bill that called on the university to divest from companies doing business in Israel that “are contributing to and/or exacerbating egregious human rights violations in occupied Palestine.”

The results of the vote were published in a tweet from the American Jewish Committee.


“We are very proud of the students at UMD who once again stood up against this campaign of hatred and propaganda,” said Rena Nasar, Managing Director of Campus Affairs at StandWithUs, in a statement.

“BDS has no place on campus and has only served to divide students and damage efforts to bring Israelis and Palestinians together," she continued.

There was considerable controversy over the timing of the vote, as it fell during the Passover holiday.

The student government told Fox News that it was not possible to move the vote since Wednesday was the last day of the association’s legislative session when bills are heard.



A university representative told The Jewish Journal that it “regrets” the date of the vote because “[i]t limits the full participation by all students in voting on the measure — itself inconsistent with the free exchange of ideas.” The representative also said that it “respects our students’ right to debate and act on the question of Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of the nation of Israel.”



Elan Burman, capital campaign director at the university’s Hillel, criticized the vote’s scheduling in an email to the community, according to the Algemeiner.



“The timing of this resolution is particularly insensitive given that many Jewish students will be away from campus this weekend for Passover, and will be celebrating the intermediary days of the holiday when the vote takes place,” Burman wrote.



In 2017, the university’s student government scrapped a BDS bill before it came to a vote.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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