After a 10-hour long debate that featured 90 members, the senate failed to vote on divesting from Israel due to half of the senate walking out of disagreement with the resolution.
Here we are again, another year at UC Santa Barbara and another divestment resolution targeting Israel brought out to a vote. The measure called on the school to withdraw investments from companies that provide any kind of support to the “occupation of Palestinian territories”.
The ten hour debate featured 90 speakers, from both sides on the issue of divesting from Israeli companies. One of the speakers just listed a list of the Hamas protesters that were killed by the IDF, and spoke of them as victims of the Israeli oppression. After what was a very long night, 13 of the student senators walked away during a recess and never returned, while the other 12 moved to bring it to a vote over email next week.
Bravo to the 13 student senators that walked away, knowing that this resolution is a front by the BDS campaign that brings only one outcome whenever a legislation like this is passed: divisiveness and hate speech against Jewish students.
After a divestment resolution passed at UCLA, a student applying for a judicial board position was questioned about whether she could remain unbiased, given that she was Jewish and a leader in her community. Before a vote related to divestment at UC Santa Cruz, a Jewish student senator was pressured to abstain due to his “Jewish agenda”. At UC Santa Barbara, a student government debate on divestment featured numerous examples of blatant anti-Semitic rhetoric. On campus, BDS seeks to increase polarization by producing an unsafe, exclusive and unproductive space for academic and personal growth.
This is a quote taken from students at UC Santa Barbara that portrays what life is like whenever a resolution to divest from Israel is brought to the agenda at a University. The BDS campaign, and organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine are not going to give up, especially after this round. UC Santa Barbara remains the only undergraduate UC school to have not passed a resolution supporting BDS.
If you, a reader with some kind of influence or resources that could help UCSB students fight against the BDS campaign on their campus, please reach out to their Hillel Facebook Page. All the help and support that they can get can go a long way. Take it from this writer, who attended a UC that passed a resolution endorsing BDS even though I fought hard against it.
Below is the statement from the Hillel at UC Santa Barbara: