(photo credit: REUTERS)
The student senate at California's prestigious Stanford University approved Tuesday a resolution to support divestment from corporations identified as complicit in human rights abuses in Israel and Palestine, The Stanford Daily reported.
The same resolution had failed to pass in a vote last week, garnering only 64 percent approval from the senators, less than the required 66 percent approval.
The resolution was proposed by the Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine campus organization in the wake of last summer’s conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. A petition against divestment was also launched January 21 by the Coalition for Peace against Israel divestment, amassing signatures from 1,600 students, faculty and alumni.
Tuesday's revote was passed with ten in favor of the bill, four against and one abstention.
The decision to allow a revote, taken by Senate chairwoman Ana Ordonez, was made after many senators maintained that the first vote had taken place in a hostile environment, the Daily
reported. While the first vote was attended by some 400 people, there were only some 35 people at the second vote.
Ordonez had been driven to tears during the first vote, according to the paper, and had abstained. She brought forward the motion for a revote, voting in favor of divestment in the second vote. “Now that the noise has subsided, I know that I voted incorrectly,” the Daily
quoted her as saying after the first vote.
The decision to allow a revote was not universally accepted. Senator Andrew Aude told the student paper, "The symbolism of divestment is lost if we go about it this way...It makes me want to bring a constitutional case against the Senate.”
The resolution which eventually gained passage clarifies that the measure was not connected to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, affirming "both Palestinian and Israeli right to life, security and self-determination.”