National Union of Students votes to boycott Israel

By Charlotte Oliver, August 4, 2014

The National Union of Students has voted to boycott Israel.

At a special meeting on Monday, the NUS national executive committee adopted a policy of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

Under the policy, which passed with 23 votes for, 18 against and one abstention, student unions around the country could impose sanctions on Israel and support campaigns to boycott Israeli products on their university campuses.

The Union of Jewish Students was quick to condemn the move.

A spokesperson said: “For all the insistence from campaigners who argue BDS doesn’t target individuals, time and time again this is proven not to be the case.

“Even today at the vote, Jewish students reported to UJS that they felt intimidated and bullied by the antagonistic atmosphere.”

She added: “NUS NEC have passed a policy that will only divide student groups, undermine interfaith relations and suffocate progressive voices for peace on both sides.

“The Jewish people have an inalienable right to self-determination, and on this principle, UJS will not compromise.”

As well as the boycott vote, the NUS reaffirmed its commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

An NUS spokesperson said: "The motion passed by our national executive council commits us to ensuring that, as far as is practical, NUS does not employ or work with companies identified as facilitating Israel's military capacity, human rights abuses or illegal settlement activity, and to actively work to cut ties with those that do.

"NUS also reaffirmed our commitment to raising awareness of and combating all forms of racism including but not limited to, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, that may and have occurred in response to recent events in Israel and Palestine."

Last updated: 10:34am, August 5 2014