The student government of the University of California at San Diego passed a resolution last week calling for the university to divest its finances from the state of Israel.
The secret vote was 20-12 in favor of the resolution, which asks the Board of Regents to sever ties between UCSD and all companies that do business with Israel. Similar resolutions have been proposed year after year, but this is the first to be approved by the Associated Students Council.
Several students expressed their satisfaction at achieving such a milestone.
“This year, we’ve been planning for it all year,” said ASUCSD president Meggie Le, in a statement to the The Daily Californian.
Not all student government members were pleased. Two senators resigned in protest, while nevertheless praising the ASUCSD for having the courage of its convictions.
“While I am inspired by students who proudly stand up for their convictions, in passing this resolution our student government unequivocally demonstrated that it does not speak for me, the Jewish community, nor the UC San Diego student body as a whole,” said Senator Brad Segal in his letter of resignation.
Student government meetings are no place for parsing out the Arab-Israeli conflict, said one recent graduate.
“Universities shouldn’t become center stage for the Arab-Israeli conflict,” said Gabriella Hoffman, a 2012 UCSD graduate, in an email to The Daily Caller News Foundation. She added that passing divestment resolutions gives legitimacy to anti-Semitic viewpoints on campus.
During her time at the university, Hoffman worked to prevent the ASUCSD from approving such resolutions.
“Many pro-Israel and Jewish students and community members–including professors and activists–worked together to ensure that divestment wouldn’t pass,” she wrote. “As a result, they were always rejected.”
UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla complimented the students on their civic engagement and thoughtful dialogue, while maintaining that there would be no divestment unless the U.S. government determined that Israel had committed genocide.