Anti-Israel Divestment Resolution Fails Passage by the UIndy Student Senate
February 28, 2016
The Jewish Community Relations Council, the intergroup and community relations agency of the organized Jewish community in central Indiana, applauds the members of the University of Indianapolis Student Senate for choosing dialogue over divestment and failing to pass a resolution asking the University remove its holdings from companies who choose to do business in Israel.
By failing to pass this resolution, UIndy students recognized the detrimental impact its passage would have on the UIndy campus atmosphere. The vote signals the students’ interest in beginning a conversation that can now include the perspectives and concerns of Jewish students and the Jewish community in central Indiana.
Dozens of Jewish community members came to the hearing to show their disapproval of the resolution and observe the proceedings. The presence of so many students from IUPUI and IU-Bloomington, along with leaders from the JCRC’s Israel Action Network, was critical in demonstrating to the Senators that the resolution was a much more complex and controversial issue than they had previously been led to believe.
The JCRC coordinated the testimony in opposition to the resolution, which included UIndy student Jonny Schwarz, BBYO City Director and dual US-Israeli citizen Ariel Movshovich, and JCRC Executive Director, Lindsey Mintz. Unfortunately, our allotted 15 minutes expired, preventing Dr. Kevin Corn, Professor of Philosophy & Religion at UIndy and Rev. Dr. Daniel Gangler, former Director of Communication for the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church from speaking to share their concerns about the resolution. JCRC distributed materials to senators, including letters from two recent UIndy graduates, as well as a current student who is shomer-shabbes and was therefore unable to attend because the hearing took place on Saturday morning, Shabbat.
The Jewish community is united in our rejection of “BDS” (Boycott, Divest, Sanction), which aims to isolate and undermine the legitimacy of the State of Israel by challenging its right to exist as the sovereign homeland of the Jewish people, and by working against a negotiated two-state solution.
BDS are tools that divide; they strive to act out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict here at home. Just like BDS only serves to pulls Israelis and Palestinians further apart, BDS resolutions only serve to pull students on campuses and members of our community apart from one another.
The JCRC is eager to continue our work with students, faculty and administrators on college campuses throughout Indiana to help ensure that students are learning from scholars of the Middle East, and hearing a range of experiences and opinions, so they can appreciate the complexity of the conflict and the challenges regarding the obstacles to peace.
JCRC is the public affairs and community relations arm of the organized Jewish community. We work to build consensus on public affairs issues, and translate these positions into community action with the broader community, public officials, and other faith and ethnic communities. JCRC focuses on Israel advocacy, and acts in coalition with other groups advocating civil rights and social & economic justice.
JCRC is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that does not endorse or oppose candidates for political office.