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BDS Fail: UK Universities Reject Israel Boycott Motions

TEL AVIV – London’s City University and Ulster University in Northern Ireland threw out motions supporting the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel earlier this month.

A pro-BDS motion was passed by the student union in November. However, according to the Jerusalem Post, its Board of Trustees later said the motion, which called Israel an “occupier” and “colonizer,” did not comply with existing legislation and was in violation of anti-discrimination laws.

“The Union is happy to support all students in drafting motions submitted to a General Meeting, Referendum or Student Council to try and avoid cases where the Union Board of Trustees would need to override a decision,” Yusuf Ahmad, the chair of the Board of Trustees for the Student Union, wrote in a statement.

He added, “The Union is a registered charity and is required to remain compliant with all relevant legislation. Upon receiving legal advice the Union Board of Trustees decided that the existing wording of the motion was not compliant with legislation and therefore it could not remain a policy of the Union. The Board of Trustees took no view on the merits of the motion’s subject.”

Michali Belovski, the head of a Jewish student group at the City University, said she was “proud that Jewish students and our allies came together to vote against the motion, ensuring by their sheer number that the vote did not go ahead,” a report in the UK’s Jewish Chronicle said.

“We also very much appreciate certain other non-Jewish students at City who have showed their support in various ways, including taking time out of their busy schedules to vote and spend time understanding our perspective.”

According to the original motion passed in November, “Israel is occupying and colonizing Palestine, and discriminating against Palestinian citizens and denying Palestine refugees the right to return to their home.”

Students also defeated a similar motion at Ulster University in Northern Ireland in the past week.

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