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Bowdoin College Tag

The anti-Semitism deeply embedded in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been apparent for years, but particularly since the 2014 Gaza War. Rallies against Israel regularly devolved into Jew-baiting throughout Europe, and even in some places in the U.S., like Miami where they chanted, “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning.” At a Boston rally sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace in July 2014, Israel supporters were attacked by a woman who yelled that they would claim back Jerusalem for Christians and Muslims. It is no surprise that Walking While Jewish is dangerous in many cities in Europe. While there is an intellectual distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, in reality on the streets of Europe and some places in the U.S., they are one and the same.

Readers are aware that Bowdoin College in Maine recently held a student body referendum for a full academic and cultural boycott of Israel. It failed miserably. I have a post at National Review looking back on the referendum, and how the SJP boycotters are doubling-down on their absolutist view of the conflict, Brainwashed at Bowdoin: Anti-Israel Boycotters Miss a Teachable Moment: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/418119/brainwashed-bowdoin-anti-israel-boycotters-miss-teachable-moment-william-jacobson Here is an excerpt, but head over to National Review for the whole thing. And share it widely on Facebook and Twitter, or email to friends, using the links at National Review. This is a story that needs to be told:

Bowdoin College Student Government held an unprecedented all-student referendum, sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine, for a full academic and cultural boycott of Israel (not just "divestment" from certain companies). Bowdoin is one of the most elite Liberal Arts colleges, ranked 5th by U.S. News & World Report. The referendum was held after SJP managed to get 20% of the student body to sign a Petition calling for a boycott. Our prior posts have the full background: In order to pass, one-third of the 1915 students needed to participate in the vote, and two-thirds of those voting needed to vote in favor. The results have just been officially released in an email from the student government president:
Dear Students, The voting for the student referendum has now closed. The number of voters reached the necessary quorum of 1/3 of the student body but only 14% voted in favor of the referendum, therefore it does not pass. The results are as follows: In favor: 228 votes, 14% Opposed: 1,144 votes, 71% Abstaining: 247 votes, 15% Total Votes: 1,619 votes, 85% of the student body Thank you to everyone who voted.
This is a particularly crushing blow to the boycott movement, with 150 fewer students voting in favor than signed the Petition.  This reflects that many students were pressured into signing the Petition and also were misled as to the nature of the boycott. That 85% of student body participated reflects that the student body spontaneously rose up against this threat to academic freedom.

Update: Bowdoin College students overwhelmingly reject Israel boycott ---------- On Thursday, April 30, 2015, I reported on a developing story at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine: ALERT: Bowdoin College Students May Vote on Israel Academic Boycott
The Bowdoin College Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group may obtain sufficient signatures on a Petition to send a referendum endorsing the full academic and cultural boycott of Israel to a vote by the full student body. This is not a mere “divestment” resolution. In calling on the full student body to endorse the complete boycott of Israel, the referendum appears to be taking an unpredecented move among college anti-Israel initiatives, which normally are narrowly tailored. It is a resolution, much like that passed by the American Studies Association, that would cut all academic and cultural ties with all Israeli Universities and any Israeli scholar or student acting on behalf of or through those universities. The ASA boycott was condemned as a violation of academic freedom by over 250 University Presidents (including Bowdoin’s) and several major academic groups, such as the American Association of University Professors.
As of 5 p.m. yesterday, Bowdoin SJP apparently obtained the necessary signatures, even though the online petition is short of the 383 signatures needed. There were some students who signed on paper, I am told, to reach the required number. The voting on the referendum has just started, as detailed below. But there is a question as to whether it even is procedurally proper.

Update: Bowdoin College students overwhelmingly reject Israel boycott ---------------- The Bowdoin College Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group may obtain sufficient signatures on a Petition to send a referendum endorsing the full academic and cultural boycott of Israel to a vote by the full student body. This is not a mere "divestment" resolution.  In calling on the full student body to endorse the complete boycott of Israel, the referendum appears to be taking an unpredecented move among college anti-Israel initiatives, which normally are narrowly tailored. It is a resolution, much like that passed by the American Studies Association, that would cut all academic and cultural ties with all Israeli Universities and any Israeli scholar or student acting on behalf of or through those universities.  The ASA boycott was condemned as a violation of academic freedom by over 250 University Presidents (including Bowdoin's) and several major academic groups, such as the American Association of University Professors. Whether SJP will obtain sufficient signatures is a matter currently under dispute. As of last night, SJP was claiming that it reached the required number at the time it closed the Petition. Bowdoin SJP Announcement Enough Signatures According to the Bowdoin Orient student newspaper 360 signatures were needed, but the online petition as of this writing shows only 351 signatures.  I am told that in a new development this afternoon, the number of signatures needed was raised to 383, as there has been a miscalculation of the total number of students.
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