Group at Stanford hits back at BDS efforts

A newly formed group at Stanford University is attempting to beat back an Israel divestment measure before it comes up for a student senate vote in less than two weeks.

Coalition for Peace has launched a petition calling for the Stanford community to reject boycott, divestment and sanctions efforts against Israel. To promote its cause, the group has started a Facebook page and Coalitionforpeace.com.

“Our petition’s purpose is to show there is widespread disapproval of the divestment movement from students, faculty, alumni and the community at-large,” said Josh Grinberg, 21, a computer science major who is one of the coalition leaders.  More than 1,000 people had signed the petition as of early this week, he said.

The coalition formed in response to a group called Stanford Out of Occupied Palestine, which has brought a resolution to the Associated Students of Stanford University calling on Stanford “to divest from companies that facilitate and profit from the injustices of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.” The resolution is scheduled to come up for an ASSU vote on Feb. 10.

Anti-Israel activists also want to bring a BDS referendum to a campus-wide vote later this spring, according to the Stanford Daily. And according to a Hillel at Stanford official, SOOP has submitted a BDS petition (currently under review) to Stanford’s Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing.

Coalition for Peace and partner organizations are hoping to head off all of these efforts, or at least educate people before any BDS measures come up for a vote.

In 2013, the ASSU, Stanford’s undergraduate student senate, overwhelmingly rejected a BDS resolution that had been put forth by Students for Palestinian Equal Rights. — dan pine

Dan Pine

Dan Pine is J.'s news editor. He can be reached at dan@jweekly.com.