The Graduate and Professional Student Senate at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Va., passed a resolution on Oct. 21 endorsing BDS.
It calls for the boycott of “all Israeli academic institutions complicit in maintaining the Israeli occupation and the denial of basic Palestinian rights,” as well as to divest from “all institutional investments from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and apartheid.”
It also accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” against Arabs during the 1948 War of Independence, slamming the Jewish state for perpetuating “colonial violence” against the Palestinians.
Additionally, the student senate claimed that the resolution came despite the “hate and anti-Semitism” directed at the senate and executive board.
Aviva Rosenschein, International Campus Director for CAMERA, said in a statement to JNS that it was “shocking” that the graduate student senate would pass a resolution calling for the boycott of all Israeli academics.
“What’s even more deplorable is that the Graduate and Professional Student Senate of Virginia Tech would dare to suggest that they are the victims. Any hate and anti-Semitism felt on the VT campus today is due to their unabashed support for targeting Israeli and Jewish students. If they are going to bring anti-Semitism to the campus, they should at least own up to it,” she said.
Other Jewish and pro-Israel groups lambasted the resolution on social media.
“Virginia Tech Graduate and Professional Student Senate passed an anti-Semitic resolution. Hopefully, the university admin will speak out against this egregious resolution!” said StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein.
Similarly, the AMCHA Initiative noted that the BDS resolution “endorses an academic boycott” that “directly subverts the educational opportunities and academic freedom of students at Virginia Tech.”
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