Student governments at eleven out of seventeen US universities agree to adopt BDS

Student governments considered boycott, divestment, and sanctions decisions on 17 US campuses during the 2020-2021 academic year, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League, IE. ADL, one of the fronts of the powerful Israel lobby in the United States.

The monitoring group, which released the data on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, as part of its annual report, called the BDS movement’s decisions “a cornerstone of anti-Israel campus activism over the past year.”

And the last academic year (20-21), whose end coincided with the recent Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip, witnessed a noticeable rise in criticism of Israel for its “excessive aggression inside and outside American university campuses, noting that the number of student governments that adopted boycott decisions was not significantly higher. Bigger than in the recent past, according to the report.

Of the bills supporting the Israeli boycott, 11 (out of 17) were passed, according to the report released on Wednesday.

According to ADL, this was lower than in the 2015-2016 school year, when the organization documented 23 district decisions, 14 of which were passed. The following year (2016-2017), student governments considered 14 district decisions, six of which were passed; The following year, (2017-2018), five of the 12 resolutions were passed. (And in the 2019-2020 school year, only four decisions appeared before student governments; the lower number is likely to be explained by the epidemics that led to sudden school closures), according to the report.

According to the US Department of Education, there are approximately 4,000 "post-secondary degree-granting institutions" in the United States, which means that BDS decisions were submitted in 0.425% of college campuses and passed in 0.275% of universities in the year the past.

EDL claims that none of the BDS adoption decisions have been implemented, and the association notes that in some cases university presidents have rejected student government decisions.

The ADL's position is that not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, but the BDS movement is (anti-Semitic). The report concludes that anti-Israel activity on campuses last year continued "to extend from legitimate criticism of Israeli government policies to expressions of anti-Semitism by some activists."

The report indicated that student leaders at at least two universities faced “calls of exclusion due to their expression of support for Israel and Zionism” and one of them resigned because of this.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League said, “As we saw sharply during the May conflict with Hamas (Israel's war on the Gaza Strip), the drumbeats of the anti-Israel movement from rhetorical attacks on Zionism and Zionists can hurt and offend many Jewish students, This makes them feel ostracized and isolated,” according to a statement accompanying the report.

In another report released this fall, the Anti-Defamation League found that a third of Jewish college students said they had personally experienced anti-Semitism in the past year.

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