Universities vote on BDS measures

A BDS display during "Israeli Apartheid Week" in May 2010 on the University of California, Irvine campus.

On the same day that the University of Maryland’s student government overwhelmingly rejected a resolution to divest from companies doing business with Israel, the student government at the University of Michigan voted in favor of a pro-BDS measure.

The University of Maryland resolution failed to reach a vote in the school’s student legislature on Wednesday, after more than 1,000 students signed a petition rejecting the BDS movement.

“I couldn't be more proud of students for their collaboration and hard work in standing up against this hateful campaign,” said Ben Brownstein, the Mid-Atlantic campus director for the pro-Israel education organization StandWithUs. “[Students] recognized the need to focus on bringing people together, instead of fueling hatred on campus and in the Middle East.”

At the University of Michigan, the pro-BDS resolution was approved after more than a dozen failed attempts to pass it since 2002. The measure garnered 23 votes in favor, 17 against and five abstentions, following a heated debate that continued into the early morning hours on Wednesday.

The resolution demands that the student government form a committee that will pass on the anti-Israel resolution to the school’s administration and board, and requests that the university divest from Boeing, Hewlett-Packard and United Technologies, which have business ties with Israel.

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