Next week, DePaul University will be the latest college to vote
on whether to divest funds from 12 multinational companies that do
business in Israel.
Students for Justice in
Palestine (SJP) at DePaul, led by Leila Abdul Razzaq, is
spearheading the initiative at the private Catholic university,
which is affiliated with the international Boycott, Divestment, and
Sanctions (BDS) movement, which refuses to acknowledge the
legitimacy of Israeli borders.
For those who don't know, the main force behind the BDS movement
is Omar Barghouti, who has repeatedly voiced his opposition to
Israel's very existence and stated that BDS' demands will result in "a Palestine next to a
Palestine", eliminating Jewish self-determination in the
Throughout the week, students will have the opportunity to place
their vote on the referendum, which is framed by the
question: "Do you think that DePaul should follow socially responsible
investment practices and divest its funds from companies that
profit from Israel's discrimination and human rights
Such a skewed proposition worries opponents that misinformed
students won't know the facts before voting. As Caleb Bromberg, a
Jewish student who is part of the campaign against the measure,
told the Chicago Tribune: "There's a ton of people who love to involve themselves with
things that they don't know enough about, and I'm really afraid
that's what's going to happen here."
SJP at DePaul has created a website dedicated to the
campus movement, which describes the precedent that has been set on
campus. Back in 2011, DePaul students gave into SJP's anti-Semitic
boycotted Sabra hummus on campus because of its ties to
two Israeli army brigades.
Nearly 80 percent of student voters bought into
the propaganda and supported the measure.
Between the propaganda and the campus' anti-Israel precedent,
things aren't looking up for the pro-Israel opposition. However,
other campus groups have been successful in their efforts to stop
Student leadership at UCLA recently put forward a similar
measure calling on the university system's Board of Regents to
divest from companies in Israel. After hours of student testimony,
the student government voted against the measure-a vote that is
currently being disputed by the campus SJP chapter, albeit
for comical reasons.
Likewise, not far from DePaul at Loyola University, the student
government passed a divestment resolution twice back in March of
this year, but the resolution was vetoed by the university
administration and the student body president.
One can only hope that the students at DePaul will see behind
the lies and falsehoods propagated by SJP and its pro-BDS allies
and vote on the side of freedom and democracy.
Brendan Pringle is a Development Officer at the Reagan Ranch
Center and a National Journalism Center alum.