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April 5, 2013 1:53 am

Israel Divestment Resolution Overturned by University of California, Riverside Students

avatar by Sean Savage / JNS.org

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The University of California, Riverside (UCR) student government overturned a recently passed student senate resolution that urged the University of California (UC) system to implement Israel divestment.

When the resolution—titled “Divestment of Companies that Profit from Apartheid”—had passed in early March, opponents of the Israel divestment measure argued that they were not given enough time to prepare for the vote.

“There was not enough time or opportunity among Senators to discuss the resolution due to public forum, and there was not a presentation of the issue from both perspectives,” student senator Megan Crail, who voted against the resolution March 6, told UCR’s Highlander News.

This prompted the student government to revisit the resolution April 3. At a campus auditorium that was filled to capacity, speakers from both sides were able to present arguments for and against the resolution, according to UCR student Jackie Zelener, co-president of UCR’s Highlanders for Israel, UCR Hillel president, and the UCR Emerson Fellow for the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs.

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Following the presentations, the student government voted 10-2-1 to rescind the resolution.

“I am proud of our community for working together through all of this. Hopefully this will be a stepping stone for peaceful dialogue in the future,” Zelener told JNS.org.

StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein told JNS.org in a statement, “We are proud of the students at UC Riverside who made the case for Israel tonight. We are also grateful to the student government for offering the pro-Israel, pro-peace students a chance to voice their concerns about the falsehoods that were presented initially to the student government.”

“StandWithUs will continue to encourage students to work against the destructive, divisive and deceptive agenda of the boycott movement,” Rothstein said.

The divestment resolution at UCR was part of an ongoing global effort by anti-Israel activists on college campuses that has hit California state schools particularly hard.

In late 2012, the University of California-Irvine (UCI) passed a similar divestment resolution. More recently, the student council at nearby University of California-San Diego (UCSD) and the student union at Canada’s York University joined the calls for divestment from Israel.

Meanwhile, student bodies at University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University and the United Kingdom’s Oxford University have rejected Israel divestment resolutions.

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