The student government at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign came out in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel on Thursday, JTA reported.
By a vote of 20-9 and 7 abstentions, the student government called on the university to divest from “companies that profit from human-rights violations in Palestine and other communities globally.”
It named three companies that do business in Israel: Raytheon, Elbit Systems and Northrup Grumman.
The university administration disavowed the move, saying in a statement following the vote that the resolution is nonbinding and that it has no plans to act on it.
“We are committed to dialogue and to supporting students as they navigate challenging conversations about diversity and inclusion,” the statement said, “and we will continue to plan programming designed to build understanding of different perspectives on complex and divisive issues.”
The vote took place after a five-hour meeting, and more than 30 students spoke out against the bill in public comments.
In another setback for pro-Israel students, the student government at the University of California, Berkeley, rejected a resolution condemning a display glorifying terrorists sponsored by a pro-Palestinian student group, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The display includes photos of so-called “Palestinian leaders,” such as Fatima Bernawi, Rasmea Odeh and Leila Khaled, who all were convicted of terror attacks in Israel.
“Clearly Berkeley is not united against hate,” campus senior Nathan Bentolila said at the meeting, the Daily Californian reported. “I honestly have very little to say — the Jewish community is beyond disappointed.”
In a statement sent to students, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ acknowledged that Jewish students have the right to “feel dismay and concern” over the photos. At the same time, she said that “each side has an equal right to express and have heard their perspective,” according to J. The Jewish News of Northern California.