Columbia Student Leaders Vote Down BDS Referendum, Drawing Applause From Jewish, Zionist Campus Groups
Student leaders at Columbia University on Sunday rejected a controversial effort to divest from eight companies over their ties to Israel, following concerns raised by Jewish and Zionist campus groups.
After a four-hour debate, 20 members of the Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) voted in a secret ballot against sending out a campus-wide referendum on divestment, while 17 others supported the proposal and the body’s president abstained on procedural grounds. The measure, promoted by anti-Zionist students affiliated with Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), needed a two-thirds majority to pass.
A previous attempt to pass a similar referendum was rejected by CCSC in 2017 by a margin of 26-5 and one abstention.
Brian Cohen, executive director of Columbia/Barnard Hillel, applauded the “great work” of students who worked to defeat the referendum, led by the Hillel group Aryeh: Columbia Students Association for Israel and its independent counterpart, Students Supporting Israel (SSI)....