August 22, 2019

University of Maryland ‘Regrets’ That BDS Vote Is Scheduled During Passover

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

A spokesperson for the University of Maryland told the Journal in an April 19 email the university “regrets” the fact that a vote on a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution will be held during Passover.

The university’s Student Government Association told the Journal on April 18 that they couldn’t reschedule the vote because of their “robust scheduling system we have in place and our permanent weekly meeting time.”

The university spokesperson said that while “respects our students’ right to debate and act on the question of Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of the nation of Israel,” the university “regrets the student government’s scheduling of a vote on a BDS resolution during the Passover holiday. It limits the full participation by all students in voting on the measure—itself inconsistent with the free exchange of ideas.”

Additionally, both University of Maryland President Wallace Loh and Provost Mary Ann Rankin have denounced the BDS movement as restricting “the free flow of people and ideas with some universities because of their national identity is unwise, unnecessary, and irreconcilable with our core academic values,” the spokesperson added.

Maryland Hillel capital campaign director Elan Burman reportedly told Hillel community members in an April 17 email that the vote’s timing “ is particularly insensitive given that many Jewish students will be away from campus this weekend for Passover, and will be celebrating the intermediary days of the holiday when the vote takes place.”