I stand with the rest of the UMD pro-peace community in supporting a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We support the Palestinian right to self-determination and affirm Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state.
This bill comes at a time when we see an escalation in hate bias incidents on our campus. BDS campaigns create a hostile campus atmosphere that singles out Jewish and pro-Israel students and subjects them to intimidation, bullying, and abuse. We know that BDS fosters an environment on campus that can lead to anti-Semitism.
This bill de-legitimizes and promotes misinformation about Israel. This is in line with the broader BDS movement, which singles out the Jewish state— the only liberal democracy in a region beset by some of the world's worst human rights abusers. The BDS movement is hateful, divisive, and ultimately diminishes the chance of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
This bill urges the University to divest from certain companies under the guise of supporting Palestinian human rights, but the legislation ignores the historical context behind the conflict in the region. While we make no claims of Israel’s perfection, this bill ignores the vibrant debate within Israeli civil society and undermines the efforts of individuals, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindu, Baha'i, and Druze, working on the ground to promote peace.
I am calling on Legislators of the Student Government Association to oppose this resolution, which punishes both Israelis and Palestinians, reinforces dangerous stereotypes that limit understanding and cooperation and divides the broader UMD community.
If you have any questions, concerns, want to learn more, or want to get involved, please email: UMDagainstBDS@gmail.com.