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Reading students union halts boycott vote

    Reading University campus
    Reading University campus

    A vote to boycott Israel was halted by Reading University Students’ Union over concerns it conflicted with the union’s charitable status.

    Voting began last week for a Boycott Divestment and Sanctions policy against Israel, which if passed would have tied the union to the international political BDS campaign for the next two years.

    But voting was stopped by union officials over fears the motion broke charity commission rules.

    The proposer, whose name has not been disclosed, has until the beginning of next week to reword the motion in order for another vote to take place.

    Jewish students have complained to the union over the motion. Final-year student Alex Hyams said he only found out about the vote after pro-boycott supporters posted a message on Facebook.

    Membership at Reading Jewish Society has doubled in the past few months with the number of active members rising from six to 12.

    JSoc president Megan Islin said: “It is quite scary to think Israeli products could be banned. We are anxious about what will happen.”

    Student unions at King’s College London and Brunel University passed BDS policies last year only to have their implementation blocked by union trustees over issues with charitable status.

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