Community members held up signs in support of divestment at the Student Assembly meeting on March 28th, 2019.

A Divided House Debates BDS at Student Assembly Meeting

The Student Assembly convened Thursday for a public forum on a resolution for the boycott, divest and sanction movement on campus. Community members voiced often emotional opinions on the pro-divestment Resolution 36 and delivered pointed appeals toward S.A. members in a packed room. Several supporters of the resolution wielded large signs with slogans such as “Cornell has blood on its hands” and “Our tuition is funding oppression.”

The resolution, which calls upon Cornell to “divest from companies participating in the human rights violations in the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” was introduced by co-sponsors Max Greenberg ’22 and Mahfuza Shovik ’19 — S.A. representative for the College of Engineering —  as well as leaders from Students for Justice in Palestine Adam Khatib ’20 and Omar Din ’19, who is also S.A. representative for the College of Human Ecology. BDS has commanded the spotlight in the Student Assembly this semester, emerging as a major focus of S.A. presidential debates and assembly meetings, The Sun previously reported. At last week’s S.A. meeting, controversy erupted over allegations that supporters of the resolution had tried to force an early private vote, culminating in what observers called “Islamaphobic” comments.

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GUEST ROOM | Rejecting Boycott, Extending an Olive Branch

Cornell, an intellectual Garden of Eden, has been my “home away from home” for three miraculous semesters. There is only one other paradisiacal location on earth that is as close to my heart as the Big Red: The State of Israel. I deferred my enrollment to Cornell, resisting the allure of its 25-acre Botanic Gardens, to take a gap year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with its similarly alluring 25-dunams Botanical Garden on Mount Scopus. The miracle of a “nation reborn,” as Israeli author Daniel Gordis characterizes the return of the Jewish people to their homeland, lies at the heart of my deep connection to the State of Israel. I was accepted to Cornell nineteen years after having been born in the Weill Cornell Medical Center; Big Red was my destiny.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A Call Against Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

To the Editor:

Earlier this month, Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine announced a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. The campaign aims to divest Cornell’s endowment from companies they allege are responsible for human rights violations against Palestinians. A wave of these campaigns has spread to campuses across the country, and they sow nothing but discord and fear in their wake. We, the undersigned members of the Cornell community, stand squarely against this campaign because it is antithetical to the values Cornellians hold dear. BDS Prevents Thoughtful Dialogue on Campus

The goal of the BDS movement is to utilize economic pressure against Israel as a mechanism to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.