Uni. of Toledo Students Rule Israeli Divestment 'Unconstitutional'

Resolution called on university to divest from any companies that 'provide direct support for and directly profit from illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.'

A pro-BDS student at an Open Hillel Conference.
Gili Getz

The University of Toledo Student Government declared an Israel divestment resolution unconstitutional during a closed-door meeting.

The resolution discussed Tuesday night called on the university to divest from any companies that “provide direct support for and directly profit from Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.”

The companies named in the eight-page resolution, prepared by the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, were Cemex, General Electric, Hewett-Packard, Proctor and Gamble, and Rolls-Royce.

The student government voted to have a closed-door debate on the proposal out of concern for student safety, the campus student newspaper, The Independent Collegian, reported Wednesday. Students and community members could view the session via livestream from two rooms in the building as well as on the university’s YouTube page.

Those in support and those against the proposal were given ten minutes to speak before the student government.

The Student Judicial Council ruled the resolution unconstitutional by a vote of 5 to 4 after hearing debate, leading to the tabling of the resolution.

One student justice, Christopher Miller, who voted to rule the resolution unconstitutional, told the student newspaper that he found the resolution violated the section of the student government constitution dedicated to protecting against discrimination.

Students for Justice in Palestine told the Toledo Blade before the vote that it will propose a referendum to the student body on the issue of divestment no matter the outcome of the divestment proposal.