NYU Graduate Student Union Adopts BDS Resolution

Resolution passes with 66.5 percent in favor, additional 57 percent pledging to boycott Israeli academic institutions; vote is 'at odds with the principles of academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas,' NYU says.

Pedestrians walk past an New York University (NYU) building in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, July 28, 2009.
Bloomberg

A graduate student union at New York University passed a motion supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel on Friday.

The resolution was backed by two-thirds of voters with over 600 union members participating in the vote, the Graduate Student Organizing Committee, which represents more than 2,000 graduate teaching and research assistants at NYU, said. 

According to the resolution, the union will continue to support the boycott until "Israel complies with international law and ends the military occupation, dismantles the wall, recognizes the rights of Palestinian citizens to full equality, and respects the right of return of Palestinian refugees and exiles," a statement on the union's website read.

The resolution called for the union and its parent, the United Auto Workers, to divest from Israeli companies and for NYU to close its program in Tel Aviv University, which it said violates the university's non-discrimination policy. 

In addition, 57 percent of union members took a personal pledge to boycott Israeli government and academic institutions "complicit in Israeli violation of Palestinian rights."

NYU said that the university opposes boycotts of Israeli academics and institutions, criticizing the vote for being "at odds with NYU's policy on this matter at odds with the principles of academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas," Capital News New York reported.

" it is even at odds with the position of their own parent union, the UAW,” NYU spokesman John Beckman said, referring to the United Auto Workers International's nullification of a similar BDS motion at the University of California.