Dundee University Students Association has resolved to boycott BAE Systems and Eden Springs because of their interests in Israel.
Before last Thursday’s debate on the boycott resolution, Dundee’s university authorities had already agreed to instruct their investment managers to sell defence industry stock, including that in BAE Systems, in response to student pressure.
As a result the debate focused on the water company, Eden Springs. The motion, proposed by the Stop The War Coalition, was backed by 125 of the 180 students attending.
Hayden Krasner, president of the tiny St Andrews University JSoc, spoke against the motion. “I had information from the Scottish Parliament that Eden Springs UK Ltd was a separate company, not connected with Israel, but no-one was listening,” he said later. Proponents of the motion, he said, had compared Israelis to Nazis — “and Israel was said to be the worst state in the world”.
According to Hayden Krasner, students at the debate were calling for this to be the first of many boycotts.
But the university’s lawyers are now consulting the Scottish Charity Regulators to ascertain whether the motion is legal.
In Glasgow’s Strathclyde University, a move has already been made to stop buying Eden Springs water — but the university’s secretary, Dr Peter West, said: “The decision to cease purchasing water from Eden Springs is for operational reasons. We are committed to developing a sustainable approach.”