Oxford students vote down Israel boycott
Student union at British academy enters majority, 69-10 vote against proposed ban on Israeli companies, products. Jewish Students’ union welcomes result
The Oxford University’s student union has rejected a motion to impose a ban on Israeli products and companies.
According to several media outlets, the students rejected the motion with a majority vote of 69 against, 10 in favor and 15 abstaining.
A second motion, proposing that the student union join the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) was also voted down, with the same result.
Seeing how both motions failed, they will not be presented to the National Union of British Students conference in April.
The global boycott campaign launched against Israel urges a comprehensive ban of the country, including products, companies and cultural and academic institutions, over what the group calls the mistreating of Palestinians in the West Bank.
According to reports, Oxford’s individual colleges held their own votes prior to the Student Union’s one. The majority of colleges also rejected the boycott proposal.
The Union of Jewish Students issued a statement following the release of the results saying that they “Sent a clear statement that neither students nor anyone else will be marginalized at Oxford on the basis of their nationality.”
Judith Flacks, UJS campaigns director, said in the statement that, “It’s encouraging to see that this vote reflects a student body which is willing to discuss the complexities that exist within Israel and do not see boycotting it as a viable option or avenue to discuss the conflict.”
Last Thursday, anti-Israel MP George Galloway walked out of a debate at the university on his discovery that student Eylon Aslan-Levy had dual British-Israeli nationality.
Following Wednesday’s vote, Aslan-Levy was quoted as saying: “Oxford students showed that their commitment to intellectual freedom is unshakeable.
“In rejecting calls for a boycott against Israel by a seven-to-one margin, we demonstrated resoundingly that we want Oxford to continue to cooperate with Israeli academics, trade with Israeli businesses and debate with Israeli debating societies.
“I hope that other British universities will follow Oxford’s lead in standing up against divisive attempts to hinder academic cooperation and progress.”
Thank You, says it all.