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October 16, 2017 4:31 pm

Austrian University Students Overwhelmingly Condemn BDS Movement as ‘Antisemitic’

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A pro-BDS demonstration. Photo: FOA / Facebook.

The Austrian National Union of Students on Friday condemned the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel as antisemitic, and urged for it to not be given funds or event space.

The resolution received near unanimous support, with no votes against it and one abstention.

The union also adopted a version of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, which includes “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination.”

Leaders of the BDS movement have repeatedly gone on record claiming that Israel has no right to exist.

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The Austrian Union of Jewish Students applauded the passage of the resolution, saying in a statement on Friday, “This has been a big step in the fight against antisemitism and we are very happy that after our lobbying effort almost all factions have supported the motion.”

The group extended a “special thanks” to the Greens and Alternative Students (GRAS) for “their continuing support in the fight against all antisemitism.

In its own statement, the GRAS group condemned “the antisemitic BDS campaign and its spread in higher education,” and committed to speaking out against antisemitism.

In August 2016, the student council at Gemany’s prestigious Leipzig University — one of the oldest universities in the world — passed a resolution denouncing the BDS movement, saying its objective “fits seamlessly with the antisemitic campaigns of past centuries, and explicitly with that of the National Socialism; Nazi slogan ‘Don’t Buy From the Jews’ is once again being expressed here.”

Also last week, first-year candidates running for College Council at the University of Chicago “generally disagreed” with the body’s April 2016 resolution supporting BDS, the school’s newspaper reported.

One candidate said that advocacy for “specific international political issues” did not fit into the council’s mandate, while another noted that “BDS cripples the regional economy, hurting Jews and Palestinians alike.”

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