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Pushing an anti-Israel boycott down the throats of Pomona students

15 1 13

As more evidence that maligning and seeking to weaken and destroy Israel is still common behavior on American college campuses, the student government of Pomona College successfully pushed through a resolution that would compel student clubs to participate in a boycott of targeted companies doing business with Israel. Claremont Colleges Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Claremont Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) sponsored the odious bill and the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) passed the resolution aimed at “divesting all ASPC funds from companies complicit in the occupation of Palestine, and banning future use of funds towards such companies.”

The resolution, revealingly named “Banning the Use of ASPC Funding to Support the Occupation of Palestine,” was not unique in targeting the Jewish state for divestment and boycott; other campuses have pushed through resolutions that call on their respective university administrations to divest from holdings in companies that do business with Israel or which somehow are “complicit in the occupation of Palestine.” When those student efforts to push for divestment are passed, university administrators have regularly rejected the demands, claiming, rightly, that such boycotts and targeted divestment are inconsistent with university policies and moral behavior by focusing solely on Israel.

The Pomona divestment bill, however, took the novel and troubling step of focusing the divestment on student funds for the college’s various student organizations, thereby sidestepping the inconvenient step of convincing administrators that seeking to punish Israel, and Israel alone, is a sound or reasonable policy in the first place.

This bill put the divestment activities in the hands of the students themselves so that the ASPC “will change its internal spending habits . . . by stopping . . . spending on items that knowingly support the Israeli occupation of Palestine or contributes to any companies on the . . . United Nations list . . . [of] companies involved in the creation of illegal Israeli settlements ‘in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.’”

It is one thing for student governments to vote on and introduce resolutions that concern matters directly related to their college experience — tuition rates, grading, teacher evaluations, policies on guest speakers, confronting on-campus hate crimes and vandalism, even academic freedom and free speech. But when student leaders attempt to deal with matters extraneous to their universities, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and then force only one view of that conflict on all students, and insist that that view is absolute and inviolable, there is a danger that they not only overstep the purpose and intent of student government, but they also enforce a rigid, one-sided policy that is certain to offend and ignore the rights of certain students — in this case, Jewish and other pro-Israel students.

In a press release it........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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