The resolution, proposed by the Loyola chapter of Students for Justice
in Palestine, passed Tuesday 26-0 with two abstentions. The measure
specifically targets eight corporations that do business in the West
Bank. Included on the divestment list are Caterpillar, Veolia,
Hewlett-Packard and SodaStream.
The measure, which encourages university administrators "to withdraw
investments" from the companies, went unchallenged during the student
StandWithUs National Campus Program Director Brett Cohen, an alumnus of
Loyola University, told the Jewish News Service the divestment
resolution was introduced suddenly, "using undemocratic tactics and no
debate or opposition."
COHEN: Boycotters "used undemocratic tactics" to avoid debate on
"Students for Justice in Palestine introduced the bill without warning
at the meeting, precisely to prevent debate. The BDS (Boycott,
Divestment and Sanctions) movement often relies on these unseemly
political maneuvers to force through their agenda, which shows that they
are afraid to debate this issue on its merits," he said.
"The student government was hoodwinked by a movement, which is openly
against coexistence and a two-state solution, and seeks the destruction
of Israel," Cohen said.
His reference to the absence of any debate or opposition is supported by
a video of the vote posted by the group Chicago Divests. The room is
silent as the legislation is being called for a vote and then erupts
into cheering at its passage.
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Last month, a similar vote at the University of California, Los Angeles
was hotly debated before ultimately failing. On the night of the Loyola
vote, student governments at Arizona State University and the University
of Michigan indefinitely tabled similar resolutions.
A statement on SJP's Facebook page
claims the organization gathered "signed support from over 800
undergraduate students" and "in passing Divestment, Loyola
University Chicago is upholding the Jesuit traditions and values
that it represents."
According to Breitbart.com, Loyola
University of Chicago is the "first Catholic institution, and the
first from the state of Illinois, whose student government has
passed an anti-Israel divestment resolution."
Recently elected officials in Illinois voiced their disapproval of
the BDS movement.
Democratic State Sen. Ira Silverstein has proposed SB 3017 that will
restrict "public universities from using state funds to promote
political boycotts of Israel and other foreign nations."
U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and Dan Lipinski, D-Ill.,
introduced the Protect Academic Freedom Act. The bipartisan
legislation amends the Higher Education Act of 1965, blocking
universities from receiving federal funds if they engage in the
boycott of Israeli academic institutions or scholars
Roskam has referred to the BDS movement as "hateful campaigns."
article courtesy of
Paul Miller is an op-ed contributor to the Franklin
Center for Government and Public Integrity, parent of
He serves as principal of Pauliegroup LLC, a Chicago-based new media
and political consulting firm. Follow him on Twitter
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