Jewish students at the University of Virginia have defeated an anti-Israel campaign perpetrated by the university’s student council.
The University of Virginia Student Council specifically wanted to officially condemn Israel and prohibit pro-Israeli speakers from presenting on campus.
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
On Tuesday, the governing body was scheduled to vote on a resolution condemning Virginia’s “Continued Normalization and Legitimization of the Israeli Apartheid State’s Occupation of Palestine.” The resolution, written in response to a 10-day residency of a Jewish artist, would have called on the university to sever ties with speakers and groups associated with or supportive of Israel. The resolution’s authors retracted the measure on Monday after more than a dozen Jewish students campaigned against it.
It was a rare victory for Jewish groups on college campuses, which have grown increasingly hostile to Israel. Following Hamas attacks on Israel in May, student governments at a number of schools, including the University of Michigan and University of Chicago, condemned Israel and endorsed the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to punish Israel through economic measures.
A trio of student council members introduced the resolution after the university’s religious studies department invited French artist Frédéric Brenner to host a series of conversations on the Jewish diaspora. Student council representatives Christian Ephriam, Tyler Busch, and Nina Santana claimed Brenner’s residency would “normalize and legitimize” the “Israeli apartheid state.” In the resolution, the trio claimed the BDS movement’s mantle.
“As the Palestinian-led Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign asks for educational and arts institutions to withdraw all support for entities, groups, institutions, and programs that normalize or legitimize the Israeli apartheid state,” the resolution says, “the Israeli apartheid state needs to be culturally and financially isolated and the University of Virginia bears a responsibility in this anti-colonial struggle.”