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Oxford Students vote 'NO' to Israel Boycott

27/02/2013
Tonight's decision taken by Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) to vote against the backing of a boycott of Israel, its institutions, goods and produce is welcomed by this Union.

The voting record showed: 69 Against 10 in Favour and 15 Abstentions

The majority of Oxford Students voted against the boycott.

It is particularly noteworthy that students gave this hefty consideration as the vote was postponed by a further two weeks to allow the colleges to each hold their own discussions regarding this motion.

This vote was held just one week after George Galloway refused to debate with student Eylon Aslan-Levy when he found out he was Israeli.

This decision highlights that Israelis are welcome at Oxford and sends a clear statement that neither students, nor anyone else, will be marginalised at Oxford on the basis of their nationality.

UJS is delighted to see that students have taken the decision to constructively engage with Israel, its ideas and people, rather than choosing to boycott.

UJS Campaigns Director, Judith Flacks, said, 'It's encouraging to see that this vote reflects a student body who are willing to discuss the complexities that exist within Israel and do not see boycotting it as a viable option or avenue to discuss the conflict.'

Eylon Aslan-Levy, Oxford Jewish and Israeli student stated, 'Tonight Oxford students showed that their commitment to intellectual freedom is unshakeable. In rejecting calls for a boycott against Israel by a seven-to-one margin, we demonstrated resoundingly that we want Oxford to continue to cooperate with Israeli academics, trade with Israeli businesses and-yes-debate with Israeli debating societies. I hope that other British universities will follow Oxford's lead in standing up against divisive attempts to hinder academic cooperation and progress.'

Third year PPE student at Magdalen College Henry Watson told us, 'Oxford's Student Union have decisively repudiated the BDS movement and its anti-Semitic cheerleaders. Hopefully UK students at other universities will follow Oxford's lead: if we as a student movement are going to discuss foreign policy at all, then we should stop targeting Israel for especial demonisation and delegitimisation, and start talking about constructive, multilateral solutions for the situation in the Middle East."

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