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University of Illinois students pass vote separating anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism

Resolution comes after US school’s chancellor decried as anti-Semitic a presentation on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The main library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Wikimedia Commons via JTA)
The main library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Wikimedia Commons via JTA)

JTA — The University of Illinois student government has passed a resolution that distinguishes anti-Semitism from anti-Zionism.

The resolution, which passed in a 29-4 vote, criticizes Chancellor Robert Jones for having said a presentation to dorm advisers on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians was anti-Semitic.

Many pro-Israel and Jewish students who were critical of the measure walked out ahead of the vote last week and held a vigil in remembrance of victims of anti-Semitism, The News-Gazette reported.

Jones made his assertion in a campus-wide email earlier this month on a presentation titled “Palestine & Great Return March: Palestinian Resistance to 70 Years of Israeli Terror.”

University of Illinois Chancellor Robert Jones (Screen capture: YouTube)

The Illini Public Affairs Committee, a campus pro-Israel group, described it as “a narrative of demonization of Israel and its citizens and Jewish students.”

Jones’s email also referenced the recent discovery of a swastika in the Foreign Languages building and other hateful acts.

One of the resolution’s sponsors, Bugra Sahin, said that “criticism of a state is not anti its people, or religion, or ethnicity,” according to the News-Gazette.

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