Students at Great Britain’s prestigious Oxford University will vote this week on a controversial motion to boycott Israel, The Guardian reported.
The Oxford University Student’s Union (OUSU) meets on Wednesday to decide on a motion to join the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in “in protest of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and its hindrance of attempts to create a Palestinian state,” according to The Guardian.
The vote comes amid increased tensions on campus over the past week. Anti-Israeli MP (Member of Parliament) George Galloway, set off a firestorm when he walked out on a debate with an Israeli student after he found out of the student’s nationality.
“I don’t recognize Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis,” Galloway said, to gasps of shock and mutters of “racism,” The Guardian reported.
A later posting on Galloway’s Facebook page said, “I refused this evening at Oxford University to debate with an Israeli, a supporter of the apartheid state of Israel,” according to the Independent.
Galloway is widely known for its anti-Israel views. He has openly support Hamas, Syrian dictator President Bashar al-Assad and has a television show on Iran’s state-run channel, Press TV, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Magdalen College, one of the constitute colleges of Oxford University, voted 39-3 against the motion.
“The boycott goes against everything the university stands for. The idea that we are not going to read your books or articles or hear your arguments on the basis of your nationality is ridiculous,” Henry Watson, a student at Magdalen College, told The Guardian.