Anti-Israel BDS movement at U. Michigan ends not with a bang, but a whimper

The “woke” students at the University of Michigan recently held a student council vote where they demanded that the university’s Board of Regents divest the institution’s sizable endowment from any companies doing business with Israel. Given how much business is done in that area, that was a significant ask to begin with. But it didn’t take long for the administration to respond to the demand. In just a few words, that’s not happening. (Free Beacon)

A majority of the University of Michigan Board of Regents announced Thursday that they will take no action to divest from companies that operate in Israel, despite a resolution passed last month by the student government demanding the university move toward that goal.

Six of the eight regents signed a statement affirming that they would not create a committee to examine disengaging from companies allegedly complicit in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights, adding, “we strongly oppose any action involving the boycott, divestment, or sanction (BDS) of Israel.”

The regents said complex issues should be considered through active study and engagement, and that applying BDS “offends these bedrock values of our great university.”

“We remain committed to the university’s longstanding policy to shield the endowment from political pressures,” they wrote.

There were two parts to that answer. One was the standard line we’ve heard from schools across the country who almost unanimously reject calls for divestment from Israel, fossil fuels and pretty much anything else. We need to “shield the endowment” from political pressure. That’s a nicer way of saying, hey… we’re sitting on a ton of cash here and most of those investments you find so objectionable are delivering returns in double digits. So… no.

But the University of Michigan went one step further and declared their opposition to any action involving the boycott, divestment, or sanction of Israel. That’s something of a breath of fresh air coming from any American university these days. It also stands in stark contrast to the voices currently dominating the discussion among the school’s student body. The Free Beacon previously checked in on some of the activists who were pushing for this move and their “concerns” seemed decidedly less like worries over human rights abuses and very much the same old antisemitism we’ve seen time and time again. (Emphasis added)

In one of the exchanges in the footage obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon, students agree that Palestinian activists should engage in a “re-evaluation of the past nonviolent stance.” …

“Jews are not a nation,” he said repeatedly. “There’s no nation called ‘Judaism,'” Ismail said. “Where on the map is there a country called ‘Jews’?”

“Zionism is a dirty political ideology,” said Ismail, co-founder of the Michigan Muscle Club, which endorsed the SAFE motion…

A Palestinian female student is seen cutting off the discussion on Palestinian politics she was leading in a public hallway, when she noticed that a male student wearing a traditional Jewish skullcap and ritual tassels known as tzitzit had started to listen.

You are not welcome into this conversation,” she told him, prompting praise from other students on “the strength” it takes to “say that to someone’s face.

Now that Michigan has sorted out the question of their endowment, perhaps they could look into the obviously growing problem they have of bigotry, hate and blatant antisemitism infecting the school body. Or, if we want to play ball more like the Democrats, maybe the government should step in. We saw the Obama administration invoking Title IX countless times to effect social change to please the justice warriors. Doesn’t it also say something about religious freedom and not providing funds to schools who don’t protect students from a hostile environment based on their religious beliefs?

Of course, the students who want to block the Jews from any public conversations will likely have some backers in Washington as well. Don’t forget that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been getting fairly chummy with the Israel BDS movement herself lately. Maybe she could take up their cause.

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