Chicago’s Loyola University passed a resolution to divest from Israel this month, joining the growing trend of anti-Israel activity on university campuses.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement scored another victory last Thursday at Chicago’s Loyola University, which passed a resolution to divest from Israel.
The university’s student government narrowly passed a resolution calling on the university to divest from companies that do business with Israel. An intern for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) contributed the decisive vote.
The vote on March 26 was 15 to 15, with two abstentions. The speaker of the student senate broke the tie with a vote in favor of the resolution, followed by cheering in the audience.
More than an hour of public debate and three hours of deliberation by student senators preceded the vote, according to Loyola Phoenix, the university’s student newspaper. The voting was anonymous due to fear of reprisals.
The companies named in the resolution were Caterpillar, United Technologies Co., Raytheon and Valero.
Anti-Semitism Cloaked in Ideals
A Jewish student at Loyola told The College Fix that he was not opposed to human rights, social justice or socially responsible investing, but he disagreed with the resolution because it uses these principles to advance an anti-Israel position, which is essentially anti-Semitism on campuses.
“It’s upsetting” when Jewish students are told that the resolution is not anti-Semitic, Brandon Welch told the Fix. The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter, which sponsored the resolution, ignores human rights abuses against Palestinians in Egypt, Syria and Jordan, he pointed out.
Welch explained that interfaith efforts between Muslim groups and Hillel, a Jewish organization on campuses in which he is active, have been hurt by the divestment movement at Loyola, which is backed by the Muslim Student Association and Middle Eastern Student Association, among others.
The divestment movement “poisons” the hearts and minds of students, he said.
The CAIR Chicago chapter assisted the Loyola SJP chapter after it was temporarily suspended from holding campus activities following the intervention of a Jewish group on campus.
US District Court Judge Jorge Solis ruled in 2009 that CAIR had connections with the Hamas terror organization, citing “ample evidence” produced by the government.
Loyola passed a similar resolution last year, which was overturned by the student association’s president.
The university stated at the time that the divestment resolution was not its policy and that it had not adopted the proposal. “As a university, we welcome open dialogue and debate on differing points of view,” the statement read.