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Summer 2018 Referenda

Should the Students’ Union continue to hold a policy in support of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement? - The case Against

We are a Pro-Palestinian, Pro- Israeli, Pro-Peace student movement campaigning against the referendum that Sussex SU should continue to support a cultural, political, and academic boycott of Israel. We are committed to achieving a peaceful solution to the Israel- Palestine conflict and do not believe that a boycott is the best way forward. We want to raise the voices of peace organisations like Bereaved Families Forum, Women Wage Peace, and Nobel peace prize nominees Combatants For Peace who fight tirelessly to create a more equal society for all  citizens, regardless of religion or political views.

In fact, a boycott from Sussex students won't shift the dial, it will send a message. And what will that message say?

The message to Israelis says "we don't care". We don't care if every BDS motion emboldens the isolationist, racist right wing in Israel. We don't care if it weakens the left and their search for partners.

The message to Palestinians is "it doesn't matter". It doesn't matter if a boycott has been proved not to help you economically or politically. We've done our part.

Our message to Jewish students in Sussex is "stay away".

Stay away because the 93% of you who say Israel is central to your Jewish identity will need to leave that part of you at the door if you want to fit in.

So how can we stand with Israelis and Palestinians? How do students in Sussex become a force for change in Israel-Palestine? Peace is achieved between partners, and for too long Israelis and Palestinians have avoided sitting at the table, relying on political games and talking points. We recognise the need to promote the collaborations that increase empathy, understanding and cooperation. Israeli society is not homogenous; its diversity brings with it the activists, academics and leaders who are seeking to make peace more likely. Boycotting them will make it harder, rather than easier for us to have an impact.

Let’s move towards a better future, let’s start talking, let’s #PromotePeace.

- This argument was written by a student

You can read more about the referendum and vote at www.sussexstudent.com/referenda