Sussex Union rejects Israel boycott

A motion calling on Sussex University’s student union to “endorse a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions” has been overwhelmingly defeated, putting the union at odds with the university’s official policy.

Students voted against the motion, by 904 votes to 649.

Sussex students Miriam Steiner, Joshua Brill and Daniel Ben-Chorin mounted a campaign against the motion, avoiding references to antisemitism or Israel’s security concerns, preferring to focus on “liberal morals and beliefs of people who happen to be Jewish”.

Ms Steiner said: “The vote signals a change in the way campaigning against BDS motions can occur. These progressive arguments show that people who disagree with the boycott of Israel are not merely confined to the traditional image of ardent Orthodox Zionists.”

Sussex University has had a policy of boycotting Israeli goods since 2009.

Last updated: 12:41pm, June 6 2014