Jewish students have expressed their “relief” after the National Union of Students dropped a motion to boycott Coca-Cola because a subsidiary has factories in the West Bank.

The national student body had earlier proposed to “properly implement” a boycott of the drinks giant, but on Tuesday said they were withdrawing it “to allow more discussion”.

The National Executive Committee of the NUS has committed to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, its stance approved in a vote in August last year.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Union of Jewish Students said: “It will be a relief to Jewish students that NEC will not be passing further BDS policy in the near future. Over the past few weeks we have seen many within our student leadership using BDS as a political football with which to exert pressure on the NUS President.

“We have rightly seen frustration from students across the country over NEC’s obsession with BDS and this will only end when NUS disaffiliate from BDS and devote themselves to projects that bring people together instead of driving them apart.”

The withdrawal of the motion comes after a letter, signed by 150 students from across the UK, criticised the move and the “lack of consultation” with student unions.

During the NEC’s July meeting, the new president and vice-president of the NUS were “formally censured” for accepting sponsorship from Coca-Cola, for their “lack of integrity” and for failing to apologise.