Last night, as mentioned here, the University of Washington student senate debated a resolution that would have called for university divestment from companies that some people hold partly responsible for Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
The resolution was overwhelmingly defeated, 8 to 59, with 11 abstentions. "The debate, originally scheduled for no more than 90 minutes, ended up lasting three and a half hours," according to the anti-divestment group StandWithUs.
"As senators filed out of Paccar Hall, supporters of R-20-39 stood in a silent ring holding signs: 'UW Profits from Occupation, #DawgsDivest,'" said Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights in a statement. Framing the defeat as a temporary setback, it called the vote "a moving moment of resolve to move forward."
The attempted resolution was part of a global movement by supporters of Palestinians to replicate the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign (BDS) used in the fight against South African apartheid—which opponents of BDS say is a fallacious comparison. "BDS was handed one of its worst defeats on any campus last night," StandWithUs said. "Exposing BDS' goal of eliminating Israel and violating Jewish rights to self-determination was the key focus of the night," said Robert Jacobs, StandWithUs Northwest's director. The group's national director, Roz Rothstein, commended UW students for "standing up to bigotry."
Hey, StandWithUs? A few words on this, one Jew to some other Jews? One: You already won. Two: Whatever one may think about the merits of divestment, this resolution (PDF) does not at all read as anti-Semitic to me. It says absolutely nothing about Jews, or the right of Israel to exist, or Jewish rights to self-determination, and it doesn't play on anti-Semitic tropes. It talks about illegal settlements and makes dozens of citations to human rights organizations (e.g. to an Amnesty International report on Operation Cast Lead, a 2008 bombardment of the Gaza Strip in which the group says the Israeli military violated a ceasefire agreement and killed hundreds of civilians, including 320 children).
If you ask me, it'd be really great if people were not attempting to conflate efforts to sanction Israel—and corporations complicit in its military's human rights violations—with "bigotry." But we don't live in that world.