Canterbury Christchurch Students Union has co-led a hugely significant move that has seen the UK’s National Union of Students vote for a boycott of Israel.
Christchurch SU tabled a motion this week condemning Israel’s occupation of Palestine. An amendment tabled by London’s School of Oriental and African Studies added a call for the NUS to boycott Israel.
Both the motion and the amendment were passed by the NUS’s elected national executive committee, and constitute a major victory for the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, which – led by Palestinians themselves – seeks to put economic pressure on Israel to end its occupation and oppression of Palestine.
The motion was passed with 19 votes in favour, 14 against and with one abstention.
Kent students have proved themselves to be strong and courageous advocates of the Palestinian cause, with University of Kent students – the other major university in Canterbury – also running an active solidarity group and staging events sometimes in the face of resistance from their own university.
The NUS vote on boycott comes soon after the NUS’ National Executive Committee voted to condemn a collaboration between King’s College London (KCL) and Ahava, an Israeli company located in an illegal West Bank settlement.
Showing how much the BDS movement is rattling Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu himself, the Israeli Prime Minister, took to Twitter to falsely allege that the NUS had “refused” to condemn ISIS. In truth, the NUS national executive committee had done just that on 3 December 2014.
You can read more about this story on the Electronic Intifada.