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June 14, 2021 5:02 pm
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CUNY Faculty Union Resolution Accusing Israel of ‘Massacre’ of Palestinians Passes by Wide Margin

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

The B. Altman & Company Building housing the City University of New York Graduate Center in New York City. Photo: Beyond My Ken/Wikimedia.

A resolution passed by the City University of New York faculty union labelled Israel an “apartheid … settler colonial state” that has perpetrated the “massacre” of Palestinians, and demanded the Biden administration cease US aid to Israel.

The resolution was approved by the public university system’s Professional Staff Congress union (PSC-CUNY) on Thursday, by an 84-34 margin.

The resolution said that “Israel’s pattern of practice of dispossession and expansion of settlements dating back to its establishment as a settler colonial state in 1948 has been found to be illegal under international law,” and demanded that US President Biden “stop all aid funding human rights violations and occupation that is illegal under international law.”

It also called for the union to “facilitate discussions at the chapter level” in the coming months to consider PSC support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

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A separate resolution presented by the union’s Anti-Racist Committee, International Committee, and Academic Freedom Committee would have endorsed the BDS movement outright. According to the outlet Left Voice, the resolution adopted Thursday was comprised of an alternate document proposed by the union’s Executive Committee, plus a series of amendments added during the vote, including the call to end US aid to Israel.

Commenting on the results of the vote, Brooklyn College history professor K.C. Johnson noted Saturday, “In discussing the origins & events of the Gaza conflict, the resolution doesn’t once mention Hamas or its rockets.”

Brooklyn College is part of CUNY, which comprises 25 colleges and is the largest urban public university in the country.

Ahead of the vote, Johnson had cast the PSC’s advocacy on Israel as a way to deflect criticism over its struggles to “deliver on bread and butter issues” to members.

“Basically, if you’re the union, you’d rather be talking about Israel than why you haven’t gotten a raise,” he told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.

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