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Letter to the Editor: College Libertarians and College Republicans oppose BDS movement

Both student clubs will not be signing pro-Palestine BDS resolution

Letter to the editor graphic

"Dear State Press, you've got mail." Illustration published on Friday, March 3, 2017.  

Earlier this month, The State Press published an opinion piece calling on ASU clubs to sign a resolution supporting the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The resolution would also prohibit signees from collaborating with student organizations that express support for the state of Israel. In response to this, ASU’s College Libertarians and College Republicans would like to publicly announce that we, as student organizations, will not be signing this resolution. 

We recognize that this is part of a larger, more complex issue and that there are good-faith arguments on every side. We believe that each individual has a right to choose where they stand on this issue. But as two different political clubs on campus who believe in peace, liberty and freedom, we feel the need to explain the three primary reasons why we will not be signing this resolution nor supporting this movement.

Firstly, the calls for a boycott of Israeli products wholly misses the mark. If the goal of BDS is to send a message to the Israeli government, a boycott of goods made in Israel will directly hurt the citizens of Israel long before the government feels any real effects. 

Additionally, the calls for sanctions against Israel continue this trend, considering the mountains of evidence that suggest sanctions are largely ineffective. Instead, the BDS movement seems to be more so aimed at delegitimizing the state of Israel rather than trying to influence change. We do not believe that refusing to acknowledge the very existence of either party will do anything to pacify the conflict at hand.

Secondly, BDS and their often aggressive tactics have the unintended consequence of discouraging any negotiations toward peace in the region. This is why the current president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, a supporter of a two-state solution, said in 2013 that Palestinians do not support a boycott of Israel.

Finally, it is important to note that the Anti-Defamation League has said that “many of the founding goals… (and) strategies employed in BDS campaigns are anti-Semitic.” 

Both of our clubs strongly condemn anti-Semitism of all forms. There is no reason to support a cause that actively marginalizes ASU’s rich Jewish community. This is not to mention the recent uptick in anti-Semitic activity on campus. 

As such, our student organizations will not be signing onto any such resolution, and we will continue to work tirelessly to fend off anti-Semitism on all fronts. We urge other organizations and students of all sides of the aisle to join us in this effort to stamp out hate and promote civil dialogue.


David Howman, President, ASU College Libertarians

Joseph Pitts, Vice President, ASU College Republicans

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this letter to the editor are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors. This letter to the editor was submitted by David Howman, president of the ASU College Libertarians and Joseph Pitts, vice president of the ASU College Republicans. 

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