UCL has quashed a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) motion in all but name after seeking legal advice and conceding its contents ‘cannot be legally implemented‘.
The student union said the motion, which slams Israel’s ‘systematic and institutionalised oppression’ of Palestinians, will remain official policy.
However, the union’s has decided that all of its practical resolutions – including boycotting Israeli goods and ending commercial relations with firms involving in Israel’s occupation of the West Bank – exceed its powers as a charitable organisation.
The student union’s board of trusteed reviewed the legislation with the help of a lawyer and confirmed that such moves would be illegal.
The volte face comes in the wake of a Jewish society campaign led by high-profile groups and individuals including the Israeli embassy and Jonathan Turner, the chair of UK Lawyers for Israel.
Speaking to the Jewish News, Adam Schapira, the former President of UCL Jewish Society, said that he ‘expects to see this motion entirely removed from UCLU’s record’.
He blasted UCLU’s actions in passing the motion as a ‘serious failure’ – but billed their latest announcement part of a ‘significant wave of success’ in overturning BDS legislation.
The BDS movement’s stated aim is boycotting Israel until it complies with ‘international law and Palestinian rights’.