USA - VA Tech graduate student senate passes BDS resolution

Blacksburg, VA
- The Virginia Tech (VT) Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) passed a resolution endorsing a boycott of Israel during their October 21 meeting.

The resolution called for a “boycott of all Israeli academic institutions complicit in maintaining the Israeli occupation and the denial of basic Palestinian rights” and to divest from “all institutional investments from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and apartheid.” It also accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinians when the Jewish State was founded in 1948 and continually perpetuating “colonial violence” against the Palestinians today.

Alums for Campus Fairness condemned the resolution as “shameful” and meeting “the internationally accepted definition of antisemitism” in an October 22 statement. “As alumni, we value VT not only as a world-class academic institution, but as a safe, welcoming place for Jewish students. That is why we are calling on the VT administration to condemn this egregious resolution and move swiftly to adopt the [International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s] working definition of antisemitism as countless other universities and institutions have already done.”

StandWithUs CEO and Co-Founder Roz Rothstein similarly tweeted that the resolution was “antisemitic.” “Hopefully the university admin will speak out against this egregious resolution!”

AMCHA Initiative also tweeted that in calling for an academic boycott, the resolution “subverts the educational opportunities and academic freedom of students at Virginia Tech. This is #antisemitism.”

Prior to the resolution’s passage, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) tweeted that they were “outraged” that the resolution was even being voted upon at all. “Restricting academic freedom stands in opposition to the values of higher education. AJC calls on the university administration to condemn this resolution.”

The university and GPSS did not respond to the Journal’s requests for comment.