February 17, 2020

BDS Resolution Fails at Ohio State

Photo from Flickr.

A Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution was overwhelmingly rejected by the Ohio State University (OSU) Undergraduate Student Government on Wednesday night, by a margin of 30 votes against, 7 in favor and 3 abstentions.

The resolution called for the university to divest from Caterpillar, G4S, Hewlett-Packard and Sabra Dipping Company because they conduct business with Israel.

“We cannot allow our institution to fund human rights abuses –– abuses that continue with the aid of our taxpayer money, the economic participation of companies whose products we consume, and the support of the investing power of our university,” the resolution stated.

The resolution also called on OSU to engage in an academic boycott of Israeli universities because they “develop weapon systems, military doctrines, and make justifications for colonization and ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians.”

An off-campus group that was “heavily involved” in advocating for the resolution’s passage was International Socialist Organization (ISO), according to Ron Krudo, executive director for campus affairs at StandWithUs. He called their involvement “disturbing.”

“The ISO has promoted ‘unconditional support’ for Hamas and denied that anti-Semitism is a problem in the British Labour Party,” Krudo said in a statement. “It’s encouraging that the student government rejected their hateful agenda.”

The student government president and vice-president issued a statement opposing the resolution prior to the vote:

“We are proud of students who stood up to this campaign of hate and defeated a bigoted resolution full of misleading claims,” StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein said in a statement. “BDS only serves to fuel the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and deepen divisions between students on campus.”

The anti-BDS group Protect OSU said in a statement on Facebook, “Time and time again, we have seen how the hateful BDS movement has divided our campus and obstructed dialogue and cooperation.”

“BDS has now been defeated 5 times at OSU,” the statement continued. “It is clear that OSU’s student body is categorically opposed to BDS, and the movement has no place on our campus.”

ISO did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment as of publication time.