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May 15, 2014 1:21 pm

Divestment Losses Piling Up for BDS

avatar by Alex Margolin

A Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) protest against Israel in Melbourne, Australia, on June 5, 2010. Photo: Mohamed Ouda via Wikimedia Commons.

The divestment strategy seems to be a real bust for the BDS movement this year.

A case in point is the University of New Mexico, where the Graduate and Professional Student Association reversed an earlier decision to divest from Israel because the pro-Israel side did not get the chance to defend its position against divestment.

According to the JTA:

Since the agenda of the earlier meeting was not available in advance, members of the pro-Israel community did not attend and were not available to debate the resolution. The second hearing was held in order to allow the association to hear the other side of the issue, the pro-Israel organization StandWithUs said in a statement.

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Even without representation from the pro-Israel community, the earlier measure ended in a vote of 10-10, with the meeting chair casting the deciding vote. Israel’s defenders only had to sway one voter to defeat the measure.

Join the Fighting BDS Facebook page and take a stand against the delegitimization of Israel.

Besides losing a large percentage of the divestment votes that have come up in recent months, BDS supporters have employed a range of “dirty tricks” to try to sneak their measures through student governments.

At Cornell, divestment supporters tried to schedule a vote during the Passover holiday, when many Jewish students would be off campus. The attempt failed, and the measure was tabled indefinitely.

At the University of Michigan, Jewish students on campus complained about intimidation and threats of violence. Even so, the divestment resolution failed there as well.

At UCLA, another divestment failure, students running for student government are being asked to sign a pledge to avoid taking trips to Israel sponsored by pro-Israel organizations. Commentators suggest the purpose of the pledge is to impact the make-up of the student council.

With all the failures and bad press from threats and manipulations, perhaps the BDS movement should stop the drive for divestments on campus. If it dropped the D from its name, it would simply be the BS movement, a more accurate representation of its true nature.

This article was originally published by Honest Reporting.

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