NYU grad union votes for Israel boycott (Politico NY)

Politico New York

NYU grad union votes for Israel boycott

a-Tel Aviv University_0
Students walk throughout the Tel Aviv University campus in Israel. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov) 

By CONOR SKELDING 10:16 a.m. | Apr. 22, 2016

New York University’s graduate students union voted to approve a “Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions” resolution regarding the state of Israel, the Graduate Student Organizing Committee announced Friday morning.

The resolution passed with 66.5 percent in favor, with “over 600 members” voting, GSOC said.

It called for the NYU union and the United Auto Workers, GSOC’s parent, to divest from Israeli companies and stop doing business with them, and also for NYU “to close its program in Tel Aviv University, which continues to violate the NYU Non-Discrimination policy.”

It also included a personal pledge not to work with Israeli academic institutions.

The resolution supports a boycott “until Israel complies with international law and ends the military occupation, dismantles the wall, recognizes the rights of Palestinian citizens to full equality, and respects the right of return of Palestinian refugees and exiles.”

University leadership reiterated its opposition to the boycott.

NYU spokesman John Beckman said, “NYU has a long-standing position opposing boycotts of Israeli academics and institutions. This vote is at odds with NYU’s policy on this matter, it is at odds with the principles of academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas, and it is even at odds with the position of their own parent union, the UAW,” referring to the nullification of a BDS vote by a University of California graduate student union by the UAW International.

GSOC also announced its election results for representation in the union’s Assembly of Stewards and UAW Local 2110’s Joint Council.

Some grad union members had accused Local 2110 of disqualifying certain BDS-supporting candidates and last Friday installing a full slate “by acclamation” in lieu of an election. GSOC’s Votes Committee decided to go ahead with its own elections, with the local-disqualified candidates on the ballot.

Local 2110 president Maida Rosenstein said that GSOC’s accusations were “completely untrue,” and that the disqualified candidates had not worked during the last academic year, signed cards, or paid dues.

Members of the anti-BDS caucus also asked to have their names removed from the ballots for the “rogue elections,” the results of which GSOC announced Friday.

It is unclear whether Local 2110 will recognize the election results. (Rosenstein was out of the office Friday.)

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