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March 5, 2017 9:24 am

Jewish Student at Ohio State U Says Upcoming Vote on BDS Motion Likely to Usher in Antisemitic Attacks

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Ohio State University campus. Photo: OSU.

Ohio State University campus. Photo: OSU.

A Jewish student at Ohio State University (OSU) told the Cleveland Jewish News on Thursday that an anti-Israel resolution being put to vote on campus Monday through Wednesday this week is likely to usher in antisemitic attacks.

Responding to a proposed divestment motion placed on the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) ballot, Brandon Weisman — a former OSU student government senator and member of Solon Chabad — said, “A lot of other hatred boils into this initiative that is not necessarily sentiment against Israel. There becomes a Jewish-Muslim divide on campus.” 

The motion, sponsored by the campus coalition OSU Divest: Buckeyes for Human Rights, calls on the undergraduate student government to “cease and/or prohibit any investments in G4S, Caterpillar, CoreCivic, The GEO Group and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise until they are no longer engaged in the violation of human rights [of Palestinians] and other practices deemed unethical by the Buckeye community.”

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According to Weisman, OSU Divest’s framing of the motion in the lens of human rights has brought in support from otherwise non-allied groups on campus. “It absolutely adds different elements into the mix that have not been there before,” he said.

Jewish student Elaine Cleary, a member of OSU Hillel and OSU Divest, told the Cleveland Jewish News that the upcoming motion highlights the “links between the Americans of color who are disproportionately affected by mass incarceration, undocumented migrants held in atrocious conditions and the illegal military occupation of Palestine.”

This will be the third time students at OSU have brought a divestment resolution before the USG. In March 2015, a motion was removed for consideration after it was found to violate the USG constitution and election bylaws; the following year, a similar motion was struck down by USG senators.

The push at OSU is part of renewed efforts by student groups across the US to pass divestment resolutions. As The Algemeiner reported,  similar motions are being proposed at the University of South Florida, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Georgetown University.

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