(JTA) — The University of Maryland “regrets” that a student government vote on an Israel divestment resolution will be held on Passover — but the student government said the date could not be changed.
On Wednesday, the Student Government Association is set to vote on a bill that calls on the university to divest from companies doing business in Israel that “are contributing to and/or exacerbating egregious human rights violations in occupied Palestine.”
The student government told Fox News that it was not possible to move the vote since Wednesday is the last day of the association’s legislative session when bills are heard.
A university representative told The Jewish Journal that it “regrets” the date of the vote because “[i]t limits the full participation by all students in voting on the measure — itself inconsistent with the free exchange of ideas.” The representative also said that it “respects our students’ right to debate and act on the question of Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of the nation of Israel.”
Elan Burman, capital campaign director at the university’s Hillel, criticized the vote’s scheduling in an email to the community, according to the Algemeiner.
“The timing of this resolution is particularly insensitive given that many Jewish students will be away from campus this weekend for Passover, and will be celebrating the intermediary days of the holiday when the vote takes place,” Burman wrote.
In 2017, the university’s student government scrapped a BDS bill before it came to a vote.
Josefin Dolsten is a former news fellow at the Forward, writing about politics and culture, and editing the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.
UMD Won’t Change BDS Vote Scheduled For Passover