Amid Campus Battles, National College Republicans Unanimously Repudiate BDS Movement, Anti-Semitism

Arizona State University. Credit: Flickr.

As anti-Israel forces on college campuses continue to push for boycotts of Israel and shut down Israeli — or even non-Israeli Jewish — speakers, the College Republicans National Committee sent a strong message on Nov. 23.

At its fall board meeting in Austin, the College Republicans unanimously passed an anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions resolution that was introduced by Judah Waxelbaum, the chairman of Arizona College Republicans and a junior at Arizona State University.

“I was inspired to sponsor and introduce the resolution based on the wave of BDS efforts that have swept the nation,” he said.

The meeting included state chairmen from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and the College Republican National Committee Executive Board.

With the resolution, Waxelbaum said “we officially told the world that College Republicans oppose anti-Semitism and stand with Israel along with the Jewish community of the world.”

The resolution states the history of U.S. support of Israel going back to 1948 and Israel’s role as “a key ally and strategic partner.”

It notes that long-standing U.S. policy is that a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should come through direct negotiations of the two parties, with support from countries around the world.

But it states that the global BDS campaign “seeks to exclude the State of Israel and the Israeli people from the economic, cultural and academic life of the rest of the world,” targeting not only the Israeli government but civil institutions and individuals “of all political persuasions, religions and ethnicities.”

The resolution also states that the BDS campaign does not recognize, “and many of its supporters explicitly deny,” the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination, and that the BDS movement violates the core goals of universities “which thrive on free and open exchange and debate,” by fomenting “intimidation and harassment” of Jewish students and others who support Israel.

Since unlike other campaigns promoting social change and racial justice, the BDS campaign is about “questioning and undermining the very legitimacy of the country and its people,” the College Republican National Committee resolved to oppose the BDS campaign, “including efforts to target U.S. companies that are engaged in commercial activities that are legal under U.S. law” and efforts to target pro-Israel campus organizations.

The resolution also prohibits the committee from doing business or holding contracts with organizations supporting the BDS movement, and “affirms that the College Republicans National Committee stands with Israel and the Jewish community of the world in the face of anti-Semitism.”

On Waxelbaum’s campus, on Dec. 3 the Arizona State undergraduate student government passed a resolution in support of the university’s Jewish students, after what was described as a month of anti-Israel activity and antisemitic incidents on campus.

On Nov. 19, a proposal was submitted to student government urging the administration to divest from Israeli companies. A vote was delayed, with errors in the resolutions cited as a reason.

On Nov. 13, Students for Justice in Palestine tried to shut down a campus event where wounded Israeli Defense Force veterans were speaking, blockading the room where the event was scheduled, and two columns in the student newspaper called for a boycott of Israel.

Also, neo-Nazi flyers were found on Arizona State’s campus on Nov. 1 with the message “Love Not Hate,” with the o in Love replaced by a swastika, and the a in Hate replaced by the Star of David.