Jewish representatives have condemned a vote to boycott Israel by disabled students describing themselves as “proudly anti-Zionist”.
Motion 102, which declared “solidarity with Palestine,” was passed at the National Union of Students (NUS) Disabled Students’ Campaign conference on Wednesday. It condemned past NUS involvement with the late Israeli president Shimon Peres.
Those who backed the motion said 95 percent of Palestinian children were “seriously affected mentally” by Israeli bombing, adding: “We do not hold Jewish or Israeli students personally responsible for the actions of the Israeli government.”
Students who challenged the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) motion said anti-Zionism and the union’s purported objective of anti-racism “cannot exist in the same space”.
Hannah Rose, president of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), said she was “disappointed but not surprised,” adding: “BDS is a tired campaign that has little to no impact on the reality of the situation in Israel and Palestine.”
She said: “The fact that the motion included a commitment to being an ‘anti-Zionist’ organisation and condemning past NUS engagement with the late Shimon Peres, speaks volumes about the real intentions of this motion.
“Far from a motion seeking to advance the causes of peace, it objects to the Jewish people’s right of national self-determination, and attacks politicians who have won the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to achieve peace.”