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March 20, 2014 11:22 pm
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Wiesenthal Center Denounces Loyola University Vote Endorsing Anti-Israel Boycott

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The Loyola University logo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized Loyola University’s Student Senate for passing an Israel divestment resolution on Tuesday night.

“Let’s be clear. This is not a vote for peace, nor is it about justice,” Associate Dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper told The Algemeiner in an email on Thursday. “This vote fits neatly in the ongoing international campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel. It applies a hypocritical and anti-Semitic double standard that singles out only Israel for blame and punishment, without improving the life of a single Palestinian.”

Supporting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the Loyola resolution urges the university’s administration to withdraw investments from eight corporations supplying equipment used by Israel in Judea and Samaria.

Cooper mocked the student government for its alleged commitment “to a ‘social mission’ and promotion of ‘social justice.'” He pointed out that the vote came at a time when more than 140,000 Syrians have been murdered by the “genocidal” Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad that let loose poison gas against its own people and is using starvation “as a tool of war.”

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“Has Loyola’s Student Senate taken action to divest from companies doing business with Crimea-occupying Russia, or China over its Tibet policy or companies abetting the murderous North Korean regimes who target citizens who dare practice their Christian faith?” he asked.

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, director of the Wiesenthal Center’s interfaith activities, urged students to reflect on two models available to activists. One method is seeking peace between Israelis and Palestinians by bringing them together in direct negotiations, economic cooperation and investment. The second model is to pressure Israel alone through delegitimization and divestment.

Adlerstein called the latter “the ugly face of the BDS movement” and said Loyola students who choose the second path “need to check their vision, their moral compass – and the facts.”

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