Campus Reform | Pomona College student government passes resolution supporting the defunding of clubs supporting Israel

Pomona College student government passes resolution supporting the defunding of clubs supporting Israel

Pomona College students passed a resolution in support of defunding clubs on campus that support Israel.

Students for Justice in Palestine, which authored the Pomona College measure, have proposed similar resolutions across the United States.

Sutdents at Pomona College in California approved a resolution with the end-goal to defund clubs on campus that support Israel.

A resolution proposed to the Associated Students of Pomona College Senate — “Banning the Use of ASPC Funding to Support the Occupation of Palestine” — was authored by the Claremont Colleges Students for Justice in Palestine and the Claremont Jewish Voice for Peace. 

The resolution was passed "unanimously" by the student government senate, according to the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter.

Invoking the school’s core value surrounding ethical behavior and teamwork, the resolution stated that being “apolitical” in the “face of injustice” is “fundamentally a political statement.” The legislation likewise cited the United Nations’ condemnation of Israeli settlements in "Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem" as “unlawful and in violation of international law.”

[RELATED: Banning Israeli hummus and more anti-Semitic acts in 2020]

The resolution says that the student government will “change its internal spending habits” — such as its investments portfolio, owned business entities, and senator budgets — by stopping “categorical spending on items that knowingly support the Israeli occupation of Palestine” or “contributes to any companies” on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’s list of companies involved in the creation of settlements.

The student government will work with Students for Justice in Palestine to “perform an annual check on the ASPC’s businesses to ensure all goods sold adhere to the guidelines outlined in this resolution.”

The resolution “calls upon the other Claremont Colleges Student Government Associations to follow suit, with the end goal of an ultimate adoption of a Consortium-wide agreement to ban clubs from using student government allocations to invest in or purchase goods or services from companies that contribute to the settlement and occupation of Palestinian occupied territories by the UN-designated companies or the Israeli state.” Clubs that fail to divest “would face the loss of all Claremont Colleges Student Government Association funds.”

The Pomona College administration issued a "Message of Concern" about the vote by the student government, noting that the "vote was held without representation from any student opposition."

"The independence of student government in passing its resolutions is important, but so is the representation of the student body as a whole and given the lack of debate and the passions this vote may stir, we want to convey our deep concern," the letter states.

Continuing, the college administration noted that the resolution's goal is to eventually require that all student organizations "comply with its divestment stance or lose funding," which they say "is also of deep concern."

"The resolution’s stated goal of eventually enacting requirements that all student clubs supported by ASPC—not just ASPC itself—comply with its divestment stance or lose funding is also of deep concern, as it would require all students, regardless of their views, to participate in a boycott. We urge ASPC to reverse course and allow for full discussion, and we welcome an open dialogue on this matter," the letter states.

Students for Justice in Palestine chapters across the United States have proposed similar anti-Israel student government resolutions.

For instance, the Students for Justice in Palestine club at Tufts University tried to remove a student government member following his stance in support of Israel.

[RELATED: Students for Justice in Palestine calls for impeachment of pro-Israel Jewish student, backs down after lawyers get involved]

Emory University’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter called on the school to "discipline" Jewish student organizations and encouraged students to stage a campus-wide boycott of Jewish groups.

[RELATED: Emory SJP calls for schools to 'discipline' Jewish student orgs after they react to 'anti-Semitic' flyers]

Campus Reform reached out to Pomona College and the Associated Students of Pomona College for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

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