Sneak Passover tactic fails, as motion to table the Divestment Resolution indefinitely passes.
The Cornell Student Assembly voted late this afternoon to table indefinitely a Resolution to Divest from companies doing business in Israel.
The decision foiled the last-minute stealth move on the eve of Passover to push the Resolution forward so that the vote would take place next week in the middle of Passover: ALERT: Sneak Passover Anti-Israel Divestment attack at Cornell.
Even getting to that vote to table required that the Assembly overrule the decision of the President of the Assembly not to allow the motion to table until the Resolution was presented. Under no circumstance was there to be a vote today on the substance of the Resolution, this was a procedural decision to take it off the agenda.
This is a crushing defeat for SJP — maybe one of the most decisive yet on any campus.
They tried to pull a fast one, and never even were able to present their Resolution.
This reflected widespread opposition not only to the substance, but also a resentment of students who see SJP tryig to usurp campus dialogue. As one Assembly member wrote to me:
[Resolution backer] wants to see 20 year old college students form firm opinions on an issue we know very little about and have no responsibility for.
Expect claims that speech was stifled. To the contrary, there is no “right” to take up Student Assembly time on a Resolution that had so little support it couldn’t even survive a procedural motion. Such procedural motions are contemplated in many legislative bodies, such as the U.S. Senate.
A major shout out to the pro-Israel students who had less than 48 hours notice that the Resolution would be presented today. The Hillel student leadership worked tirelessly.
Students for Justice in Palestine managed to do something amazing — bringing the Cornell Israel Public Affairs Committee and Cornell J Street U. together. Whatever disagreements they may have on policy, the two groups were completely united in opposing the Divestment Resolution.
Will SJP take over student government offices like at U. Michigan? Stay tuned.