BDS Suffers Dual Defeats as Anti-Israel Resolutions Fail at CA Community College, Bowdoin College
The anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement suffered two resounding blows this week, in college campuses across the U.S.
Bowdoin College in Maine defeated on Wednesday a student-wide referendum, sponsored by the institution’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, which called for a complete academic and cultural boycott of Israel.
The referendum, in which 1,619 students (85% of Bowdoin’s student body) voted on the issue, ran from May 2 until May 6, and was defeated with a vote of 228 in favor (14% of the student body), 1,444 opposed (71% ) and 247 abstaining (15%).
The referendum was held after the anti-Israel group managed to get 20% of the student body to sign a petition calling for a boycott of Israel.
Law blog Legal Insurrection said the failure of the referendum was a “a particularly crushing blow to the boycott movement, with 150 fewer students voting in favor than signed the petition.”
The blog argued that results reflect the fact “that many students were pressured into signing the Petition and also were misled as to the nature of the boycott.”
Earlier this week, on May 3, a similar bid failed to pass when the California Community College system, the largest educational system in the United States, rejected a resolution to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
The General Assembly of the Student Senate of California Community Colleges – which represents over 2.1 million students – voted against the divestment measure with a final tally of 25 in favor, 44 opposed, and six abstentions.