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UNM student association shoots down anti-Israel stealth resolution

By   /   May 20, 2014  /   1 Comment

By Paul Miller │ Special to Watchdog.org

The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) at the University of New Mexico has overturned a recently passed divestment resolution targeting the State of Israel.

The decision on May 10 rescinded a measure that originally passed on April 28 calling for the university to divest from companies that operate in the West Bank.

According to a statement released by the pro-Israel group StandWithUs, “the original vote happened without the knowledge or presence of any students or members of the pro-Israel community. The respected members of the GPSA recognized that this was an abuse of the democratic process, and agreed to hold another hearing to listen to the other side of the issue.”

This is not the first time an anti-Israel resolution has been brought up on a college campus without the knowledge of the pro-Israel community.

In March the Unified Student Government Association of Chicago’s Loyola University passed a resolution by a 26-0 margin calling for the institution to divest from companies that do business in Israel. That bill was later brought back for a second vote due to the lack of opportunity for those with opposing viewpoints to attend the original meeting. The measure passed this time 12-10 with nine abstentions. The next day it was vetoed by the organization president.

According to Brett Cohen, National Campus Program Director for StandWithUS, “the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement often relies on these unseemly political maneuvers to force through their agenda, which shows that they are afraid to debate this issue on its merits,” he told the Jewish News Service after the first Loyola vote.

Both measures were sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine. In a Facebook post the University of New Mexico chapter vowed to continue their divestment from Israel efforts “in the coming semester.”

Last month, the Associated Students for the University of New Mexico rejected a similar resolution.

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Since 2010, Rob Nikolewski has covered New Mexico politics and investigated fraud, waste and abuse in government. He also writes an opinion column in the Sunday editions of the Santa Fe New Mexican. Rob joined New Mexico Watchdog after 20 years in television as a sports anchor and reporter. He anchored at MSNBC, New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Reno and Boise, winning three regional Emmy awards along the way. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, a master's in public administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio.

  • Edna Sandoval

    This exactly why the University should have not accepted a middle eastern study program. The Middle East is just not the Arabs, Persians who are mostly Islamic but Israel, Jordan, etc where Jewish and Christian and other faiths live. The USA is a democracy and all federally funded agencies need to abide by such bylaws. I am a graduate of UNM, it is saddening thought that this organization has to be antisemitic.