Divestment Resolutions Targeting Israel Pass at All Three University of Michigan Campuses
A divestment resolution targeting Israel was adopted by students at the University of Michigan-Flint last Wednesday, shortly before the Jewish holiday of Passover.
The resolution, which calls for the school to “divest from all companies that participate in the unethical violation of Palestinian human rights,” was signed by student government president Abdulrahman Salman.
The measure passed the student senate “unanimously,” according to Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), an anti-Zionist campus group active at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
“This goes to show how the actions of a few Senators can mobilize students to make a real lasting difference,” UM-Flint’s student government wrote in a celebratory post.
UM-Flint does not have any Jewish or pro-Israel student groups. The campus is located in downtown Flint, an economically-depressed city whose Jewish community has significantly dwindled in recent decades.
Similar divestment resolutions were adopted at the University of Michigan’s Dearborn satellite campus last March and its main Ann Arbor campus in November. Divestment failed at UM-Ann Arbor at least ten times beforehand, and faced opposition from the organized Jewish community on campus, led by its Hillel chapter. At the time, many Jewish students expressed concern that the resolution advances the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, and promotes antisemitism on campus, the school’s student newspaper reported.
Immediately after the resolution’s passage, UM-Ann Arbor’s administration said it would continue “to shield the endowment from political pressures and to base our investment decisions solely on financial factors such as risk and return.” That day, a swastika was found on campus by two Jewish students.
The UM Board of Regents subsequently expressed its strong opposition to “any action involving the boycott, divestment or sanction of Israel.”