Israeli-born BDS Backer Loses U.K. Student Union Bid

Josh Holt, who advocates Jewish students 'to be loud and proud of their identities on campus,' defeats Eran Cohen in UJS elections.

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Eran Cohen
The pro-Palestinian candidate to head Britain's Jewish students, Eran Cohen.Credit: Lia Suissa

Millennial voters across Britain elected Josh Holt as head of the national Jewish student union on Sunday, defeating four other candidates including Israeli-born pro-BDS activist Eran Cohen.

A statement by the UJS said Holt won 682 of 1049 votes cast.

"Holt has decisively won the election to become the next UJS president," a statement issued by the organization said.

Holt advocates empowering Jewish students "to be loud and proud of their identities on campus," the statement said.

Union of Jewish Students organized events to counter "Israeli Apartheid Week", March 3, 2015.Credit: UJS

Cohen, interviewed by Haaretz this month is an outspoken supporter of the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions movement, which he referred to tongue-in-cheek in a campaign video as "Bagels, Dreidels and Socialism." 

Eran CohenCredit: Eran Cohen

Another candidate Adam Schapira pledged to raise funds for Syrian refugees.

A senior UJS role has long been a traditional stepping-stone for students considering a future in Anglo-Jewish leadership or mainstream politics.

In a victory statement Holt thanked his competitors for sticking to "an amicable and respectful" campaign.

"I would like to say how honored I am to have been elected as UJS president, and I cannot wait to begin enacting my manifesto pledges, ensuring as many Jewish students as possible receive the support they need to make our life on campus the best it can be." Holt said.

He succeeds outgoing president, Josh Seitler.

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