NYU slams anti-Israel grad student union’s call to boycott TLV global site

Austrian and German student parliaments have deemed BDS to be antisemitic

New York University banner (photo credit: NYU PHOTO BUREAU)
New York University banner
(photo credit: NYU PHOTO BUREAU)
The management of New York University flatly rejected an allegedly antisemitic call by the Graduate Student Organizing Committee labor union to boycott NYU Tel Aviv.
“NYU categorically rejects GSOC’s call to eliminate NYU Tel Aviv from the list of locations designated to support students in our ‘Go Local’ option for fall 2020, a list which includes all our global sites,” university spokesman John Beckman said on June 30.
“GSOC’s repeated attempts to exclude, stigmatize and boycott NYU Tel Aviv are at odds with the tenets of academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas, and at odds with the university’s clear and long-standing position on the matter,” he said. “It is even more disappointing that its short-sighted call comes at a moment when worldwide travel restrictions are making it so difficult for international students to get to their universities, and when the Go Local program is being put in place to help support students caught in that situation.”
“NYU remains strongly committed to its excellent program in Tel Aviv, and to global engagement,” Beckman said.
The German and Austrian parliaments, along with student university parliaments across many German and Austrian campuses, have classified the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel as antisemitic.
The GSOC, which is affiliated with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, wrote: “NYU’s Tel Aviv academic center is in collaboration with Tel Aviv University, built on the ruins of the Palestinian village of Sheikh Muwanis. The university plays a major role in sustaining Israel’s illegal occupation and military offensives, through supplying research, legal and technological infrastructure, and resources to the Israeli military and government.”
“It has contributed to the design and execution of war crimes against Palestinians. GSOC condemns NYU’s relationship with an institution that legitimizes apartheid and builds on the subjugation and oppression of the Palestinian people,” the GSOC said.
In 2015, the UAW International executive board struck down a BDS resolution against Israel by the University of California Student Workers Union and UAW Local 2865 “because the measure espouses discrimination and vilification against Israelis and UAW members who are of Jewish lineage.”
“The provisions of the BDS Resolution, despite semantical claims to the contrary by the local union, can easily be construed as academic and cultural discrimination against union members on the basis of their national origin and religion,” the UAW board said at the time.
There are increased signs of antisemitism among trade unions and graduate student teachers’ unions in the UK and the US, according to some critics.