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June 3, 2015 12:36 pm

UK Student Union BDS Measures Are Alienating Jewish Students, Says NUS Vice President

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

Anti-Israel Protestors. Photo: WikiMedia Commons.

Anti-Israel Protestors. Photo: WikiMedia Commons.

A decision by the U.K.’s largest student union to adopt Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) measures against Israel has already started to alienate the British Jewish community, said a senior official in the National Union of Students (NUS).

Speaking with Israeli Channel 2 News, NUS Vice President Joe Vinson said news of the student union passing a resolution called “Solidarity with Palestine: Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions” has grabbed headlines in the U.K., in addition to Israeli and Jewish newspapers.

He said the motion, which was passed by a wide margin, has already affected many in the Jewish community.

Vinson said the issue has caused a “storm” among his many friends in the Jewish community and he lamented being the deputy of an organization that supports a boycott of Israel, though he opposed the measure, according to Channel 2.

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Vinson visited Israel in 2012 with a tour organized by the Union of Jewish Students that also visited territories in the West Bank. He sent out a message Tuesday on Twitter drawing a parallel between antisemitism and the BDS movement.

“Antisemitism is like a virus, it mutates and infects everything it touches. It’s mutated into BDS and NUS is infected,” he wrote.

Student activist Gary Spedding, who was deported from Israel upon arrival at Ben-Gurion International Airport in 2014, responded that “#BDS is not anti-Semitic … BDS has nothing to do with targeting Jews.”

The NUS passed the resolution to adopt BDS measures with 19 voting in favor, four against and one abstention.


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