Assault on Israel continues at UW as BDS resolution moves forward
In the Seward Park neighborhood of Seattle, hundreds packed the large social hall of a local synagogue to celebrate the 66th anniversary of the state of Israel. As the revelers swayed to Hebrew melodies while enjoying their Falafel, few were aware that at that very moment just across town an effort to undo all they were celebrating was underway.
The weekly meeting of the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) in Seattle had been called to order in Paccar Hall #192 a little after 5:30 pm. An unusually large number of observers, students and guests were in attendance for this particular session, reason being the first reading of ASUW resolution R-20-39. Put forth by SUPER-UW, a rabidly anti-Israel group on campus, the resolution called upon the University to divest from companies doing business with the Jewish state.
According to JTA the resolution under consideration at the University of Washington is “part of a surge in student governments at American universities voting on divestment resolutions. “There’s been a significant increase in divestment votes,” said Max Samarov, a senior research assistant with the Israel advocacy group StandWithUs. “I think activists were using previous years to test the waters and are now rolling divestment out as a truly national strategy.”
The resolution being considered at the UW is replete with falsehoods, including claims that Israel’s Arab citizens do not enjoy equal rights and that the safety barrier was in fact constructed as a tool of oppression.
Perhaps most egregious part of this resolution is the demand that sanctions not be removed until Israel opens its borders to the over six million Arabs who currently claim refugee status. Such an absurdity would mean an end to Israel as a Jewish majority state, Israel would immediately become the 23rd Arab state in the Middle East.
This is not an accident.
The BDS movement often refers to the 1948 UN resolution 194 which at the time was rejected by both Palestinians and the Arab world (thus made null and void), but rarely if ever to resolutions 242 and 338, both of which assert Israel’s right to secure and recognized borders. This and other subtle and not so subtle aspects of the BDS movement expose them as nothing less than the political arm of an international coalition that wishes to see Israel disappeared.
The agenda at this session of the ASUW was to conduct a first reading of the divestment bill. The bill was introduced by its sponsors, student senators Peter Brannan and Amira Mattar. The sponsoring senators are allowed opening statements explaining the purpose of the resolution. Senate rules do not allow for debate at a first reading, but do allow questions from students and senators directly related to the content and impact of the bill. Non students are not permitted to comment unless called upon by one of the sponsoring senators as expert witnesses to answer student questions from the floor.
This procedural mechanism was exploited extensively by the divestment sponsors as they repeatedly directed questions to ringers scattered throughout the hall. A question regarding the protection fence was directed by Brennan to an Israeli who identified himself as a member of “Boycott from Within” a radical organization based in Israel. Ronnia Barkan a founder of the organization has sanctioned terror against Israelis saying “we cannot legally and should not morally condemn those fighting for their liberation from doing so.”
The Israeli representative of “Boycott from Within“ insisted that terror attacks in Israel had fallen dramatically since 2004 asserting the falsehood that “since then we have maybe had one [terror attack]”. He put forth that the reduction in terror had nothing to do with the fence and that its only purpose was as a tool to steal land and oppress Palestinians.
Questions about the identification of Caterpillar as a target of divestment was deferred by the Senators to Cyndie Corrie, mother of the infamous Hamas sympathizer, Rachel Corrie. Mrs. Corrie described Israel as an amoral entity, saying Israel bulldozes homes with Palestinian families still inside. She intertwined within her talking points references to a litany of the most radical anti-Israel organizations to bolster her assertions such as Jewish Voice for Peace and the Presbyterian Church.
When one student asked about the efficacy of divestment, Craig Corrie, father of Rachel Corrie was tagged to respond. He informed the future leaders in the room that by engaging in trade with Israel Caterpillar was ” profiting off of the misery of others”. Corrie reluctantly acknowledged when pressed that such divestment resolutions have no real financial impact on Caterpillar.
While there were a few pro-Israel voices on hand (kudos to them!), the meeting was dominated by electrified and prepared BDS-supporting students and senators. Each Senator had been provided with a slick packet filled with letters of support and brochures documenting their warped case against Israel. Anti-Israel students held up signs demanding “Dawgs Divest!” and snapped their fingers in approval at every accusation made against Israel and the Israeli people. There was relatively little heard from those sympathetic to Israel or those uncomfortable with the one-sided offensive.
The effort is driven not by a small cadre of students on campus but rather by a large, highly motivated, well-organized international movement.
The BDS assault on the University of Washington cannot and should not be underestimated. The effort is driven not
by a small cadre of students on campus but rather by a large, highly motivated, well-organized international movement. While BDS’ers would certainly prefer to have their resolutions pass, this is primarily because such “victories” attract followers and are a sure-fire way to fire up the base. But weakening Israel, not divestment is the primary goal. The reason d’ etre of BDS is the de-legitimization of Israel; divestment resolutions, lectures, protests and street theater are merely a means towards that end.
While activists at the UW proceed with their libelous project, Daniel Mael at Truth Revolt reported today on the next phase of this hydra headed movement which was unveiled at UCLA. Candidates for leadership position at the college are now being pressed to sign an “ethics statement” forswearing their participation in BDS blacklisted excursions and programs to Israel. Shockingly most of the student candidates have signed the statement, effectively declaring visits to the Jewish state to be an immoral act.
The methods of BDS are relentless and amoral, driven by the fanaticism of true believers and using the all too familiar method of dehumanizing “the other” as a means of achieving their ultimate goal, the destruction of the Jewish state.
Following last night’s session, R-20-39 was referred to committee, the next step towards a full senate vote. The resolution will again be presented before the ASUW at their next meeting this Tuesday, May 13th. While the next session will likely be procedural without allowance for debate, the sponsors of the resolution know well how to manipulate the process to their benefit, thus anything is possible.
The Mike Report urges the Jewish community and all Israel supporters to attend this meeting both to support the beleaguered pro-Israel students on campus and to bear witness to the anti-Semitic assault being allowed to take place right here in our own backyard. We know too well the consequences of complacency and silence.
We will provide updates and the location of the next senate hearing on resolution R-20-39 as soon this information is available. Please sign and share the anti-divestment petition HERE
Full video of USUW first reading/divestment hearing below (H/T RKS)