Motion to end Israel partnership defeated in Manchester

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Motion to end Israel partnership defeated in Manchester

A controversial motion calling on Manchester University to end its research partnership with an Israeli university has been defeated.

The motion submitted to Manchester Students’ Union Activities Forum proposed that the Student Union call upon the University to end its research partnership agreement with the Israel Institute of Technology. It was defeated last Thursday (November 7th), thanks in part to the campaigning efforts of Manchester J-Soc that resulted in over two-thirds of debate attendees being Jewish students.

The motion claimed that it was unethical for Manchester University to work with the Technion, researching cancer treatments and stem cell therapy, as the Institute  also helps to create military technology used by the Israel Defense Forces.

The Manchester J-Soc campaigns team argued that it was wrong to use the political debate about Israel to try and prevent a potentially fruitful research partnership. They contested that the motion was an attempt to further an anti-Zionist agenda on the campus and highlighted situations in other countries where corporations develop both military and medical technology, without contradiction.

The motion was overwhelmingly defeated.

Out-going Manchester J-Soc President Mark Larah spoke after the event saying, ‘we are very proud of our campaigns team, and the many members of J-Soc who came out in strength to show support for Israel’

Maggie Suissa, UJS Campaigns Director, said that ‘this defeat is a reflection of change in Manchester. A campus who for so long has been dominated by the Israel-Palestine conversation is now finally able to represent real student issues.’

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