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Hillel responds to Loyola student government passing divestment bill

The following statement was issued by Rabbi Seth Winberg, executive director of Metro Chicago Hillel, and the student officers of Loyola Hillel.

On Tuesday evening, Loyola's student government passed a resolution demanding the university divest from companies because they do business with Israel. The results of the vote were 15 in favor, 15 opposed, and two abstentions. The resolution passed when the speaker of the government broke the tie by voting in favor. (The student government passed a similar resolution last year, and the student government president vetoed the resolution.)

Hillel student leaders fought this year's BDS campaign vigorously through education and dialogue. They spoke passionately at student government meetings to expose the lack of intellectual rigor and moral clarity in demonizing Israel. We are proud of their leadership.

BDS activists try to hijack the voice of student governments to advance a radical agenda.

Ultimately, the BDS agenda finds no institutional support at Loyola. Current Provost and incoming President Dr. John Pelissero has said that BDS activists use “the student government senate to advance an anti-Israel policy position. The action was harmful and divisive, creating a tense relationship between our Jewish and pro-Palestinian students. 

Father Michael Garanzini, current President of the University, has made it clear that the BDS movement “is one-sided” and that most student government resolutions “go nowhere.” We are confident that regardless of student government votes, Loyola is not going to divest from Israel.  

Hillel remains focused on inspiring students and making them proud to be Jewish. At Loyola we have a full range of programs coming up to celebrate Passovercommemorate the Holocaust (also this film and this panel), promote peace and good deeds, and learn about Israel. Jewish students at Loyola remain committed to fostering dialogue on campus and working towards greater understanding and peace in the Middle East.

Posted: 3/26/2015 02:32:56 PM