Columbia student council votes down BDS referendum
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Columbia student council votes down BDS referendum

Assembly accepts position of resolution's critics, who said its claims of 'apartheid' in Israel were divisive

Illustrative: anti-Israel students at Columbia University erect a mock 'apartheid wall' in front of the iconic Low Library steps during Israel Apartheid Week, March 3, 2016. (Uriel Heilman)
Illustrative: anti-Israel students at Columbia University erect a mock 'apartheid wall' in front of the iconic Low Library steps during Israel Apartheid Week, March 3, 2016. (Uriel Heilman)

NEW YORK — A student council at a Columbia University college voted not to add a question asking about support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to a student referendum.

The Columbia College council decided Monday that it would not include the resolution, which was proposed by the student group Apartheid Divest, to the ballot, according to The Columbia Spectator.

Critics of the resolution said its wording would divide students, especially using the term “apartheid” to describe Israel. Proponents said it was not intended to change anyone’s opinion but rather that the results would provide information that could be used to encourage divestment from Israel, the Columbia Spectator reported.

Prior to the vote, council members heard presentations from various student groups, including Columbia University Apartheid Divest, J Street, and Aryeh: Columbia Students Association for Israel.

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