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USGT passes resolution in support of the Jewish community

The resolution comes after a campus discussion and proposed resolutions surrounding the BDS movement

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Jewish students and organizers applaud after Undergraduate Student Government Tempe passed Resolution 12 on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, at the Memorial Union Stage in Tempe, Arizona. The resolution aimed to support Jewish students at ASU; opposing student groups had criticized the resolution out of concern that it conflated anti-Semitism with criticism of the Israeli government.

Undergraduate Student Government Tempe held their bi-weekly Senate meeting Tuesday evening where they passed a resolution to stand with the Jewish community.

Throughout the past few weeks, there has been continued discussion between political clubs on campus about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, leading to a couple of resolutions proposed by senators. 

READ MORE: ASU political clubs debate Israeli-Palestinian conflict

On Nov. 19, USGT posted four new resolutions on their legislation live document that some students assumed would be voted on, but the legislation was said to be postponed until USGT's next meeting because of errors in the documents.

One of the resolutions called on ASU to divest from corporations involved in "human rights abuses," including a number of companies in Israel, which sparked further discussion. 

READ MORE: USGT delays voting on resolutions, holds open discussion among students

The resolutions have since been removed from the live legislation document and a new resolution was proposed and passed Tuesday at USGT's meeting.

Resolution 12, which was renamed and passed during the meeting, expresses USGT's support for Jewish students at ASU. 

During the call to the audience, where students are allowed to share their thoughts on legislation, students stood up to speak about the previous resolutions that were not voted on. 

Samia Muraweh, a sophomore studying political science and mathematics, spoke in favor of the previous resolution supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

"I would first like to condemn anti-Semitism because we should not stand for racism in any form. I would also like to say many of us are human rights supporters," Muraweh said. "We are asking you to reconsider the resolution in support of BDS and in support of human rights."

Joseph Pitts, a freshman studying global politics and vice president of ASU College Republicans, said that those who are circulating the resolution, referred to as the BDS against Israel resolution, are also circulating resolutions to different clubs and telling them to encourage people to boycott clubs that are pro-Israel.

"That is discrimination against clubs here on campus," Pitts said. "If you’re going to put discrimination against our Jewish community aside, just please realize that you are also discriminating against Sun Devils who have a belief in Israel’s right to exist, however radical that might seem." 

After the call to the audience, the Senate voted on Resolution 12 which passed by acclamation. 

Junior Maxim Quint, a civic and economic thought and leadership major and president of the Barrett, the Honors College Council, who spoke on behalf of himself, said that he is happy to see that ASU stands with Jewish students.

"I do not believe BDS is productive for any civil dialogue or friendship between any groups of people. I would like to clarify that the reason Jewish students have come out, it wasn’t really about BDS," Quint said. "It was about these Nazi propaganda fliers, it was about targeted slurs Jewish students have been facing on campus and the wider culture surrounding the Jewish community in the west and in the world today. That’s why we came out here and that’s why we were happy this bill was passed."

Senator for Barrett, The Honors College Megan Hall, a sophomore majoring in psychology, began working on the resolutions after speaking to constituents who expressed concerns from other people on the ASU campus.

“ASU is known for ‘whom it includes’ and it is necessary for student government to act when others feel threatened,” Hall said. "I cannot speak for my cosponsors, but I did not expect the reaction this resolution received. I think it is incredible that a single resolution can affect an entire minority population.”

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 7:05 p.m. on Dec. 4 to include a comment from Megan Hall. 

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