The student association of Edinburgh University in Scotland voted overwhelmingly Thursday night to support a boycott of Israeli goods and services. This comes after the student association, which represents all students at the Univeristy, voted last year to divest from Israeli companies.
In the lead-up to the vote, students from Edinburgh University Students for Justice in Palestine, which introduced the resolution, held a large-scale education campaign on campus about Israel’s colonial origins and practices toward the indigenous population of Palestine. Many students related the experience of the Palestinian people to their own experience, having been colonized by England for several hundred years.
The measure received 270 votes in favor, with 20 opposed, in one of the largest student association meetings to date. Now the measure will go through the student senate, where it is expected to pass easily, given the overwhelming support of the student body.
Student Daniel Beesley, who put the motion forward for a vote, said “I am overwhelmed with the outcome of the General Meeting. It is great to see students of Edinburgh University once again standing up against injustice, just as they did during Apartheid South Africa. Edinburgh University Student Association represents that views of students and we are sure they they will take on board what was clearly the opinion of the vast majority who attended the GM, and endorse the boycott.”
The measure will require all vendors on campus, and with whom the university does business, to check their suppliers and discontinue any business relationships with Israeli firms. This includes fruits and vegetables, electronics, specialty foods and wines, and other products identified to have been manufactured in Israel. Israel’s largest export is weapons, which is not something that Edinburgh University purchases. But there are a number of other products identified by students for the boycott.
Students at Edinburgh University say that they support the Palestinian call for a global boycott of Israeli goods, in order to pressure Israel to adhere to its obligations under international law and past signed agreements, and to end its occupation of Palestinian land.