Pitzer College

The president of Pitzer College vetoed a resolution to suspend the college’s study abroad program at University of Haifa in Israel on Thursday night after the College Council overwhelming voted in favor of it.

Pitzer President Melvin Oliver announced he would veto the suspension hours after the council’s 67-28 vote.

“I fully respect the actions of the College Council, thus I do not make this decision lightly,” Oliver said in a press release.

“By singling out Israel, the recommendation itself is prejudiced. We do not solve one injustice by committing another. If implemented, the recommendation would unnecessarily alienate a large cross section of the College’s constituencies,” he continued. “The reputational harm to the College would be irreparable and as president of this institution, I cannot permit that to happen.”

A Pro-Palestinian “Gaza Beach” protestor holds a placard reading “BDS (Boycotts, divestment and sanctions) during a gathering on the sidelines of “Tel Aviv Sur Seine”, a beach event celebrating Tel Aviv, in central Paris on August 13, 2015.(KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Oliver highlighted one of the main complaints with boycotting Israel, and of the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) movement, which is that it singles out one country for not living up to a certain set of standards.

Daniel Segal, a professor at Pitzer College, introduced the initial motion to end the program back in November and is one of the most ardent supporters to end it. (RELATED: University of Michigan Denounces Professor That Allegedly Refused To Write Letter Of Recommendation For Israel Program)

“This shows a failure to appreciate that Palestinians are our fellow human beings, and a contempt for the college’s democratic process,” Segal said, according to The Student Life, a student run newspaper. “Because of the divisiveness of the president’s actions and his betrayal of the college’s core values, the president is doing grievous damage to the college I love and have served for 32 years.”

Earlier this week, Segal tweeted a photo of Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib posing with a #SuspendPitzerHaifa pamphlet.

“We regret today’s vote by the Pitzer College Council to uphold the Pitzer faculty’s misguided plan to boycott the college’s relationship with University of Haifa,” University of Haifa President Prof. Ron Robin said in a statement to The Daily Caller. “While such proponents of the BDS movement in the academic community utilize a free speech argument to justify boycotts of Israeli institutions, those who support these votes at Pitzer are actually undermining academic freedom and free speech by depriving students of their freedom to choose where to study abroad.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib is supporting a college movement to suspend the school’s study abroad program in Israel.

Students and professors at Pitzer College in California are pushing the school’s administration to halt the program in Haifa, Israel until the Middle Eastern country meets demands set by the organizers.

Daniel Segal, a professor at Pitzer College, tweeted a photo of Tlaib posing with a #SuspendPitzerHaifa pamphlet earlier this week. He brought the initial motion to end the program back in November, according to student-run newspaper The Student Life.

The motion reads, “The Pitzer Faculty calls for the suspension of the College’s exchange with Haifa University, until (a) the Israeli state ends its restrictions on entry to Israel based on ancestry and/or political speech and (b) the Israeli state adopts policies granting visas for exchanges to Palestinian universities on a fully equal basis as it does to Israeli universities.”

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 14: Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) talks to other guests before the start of a funeral service for former Rep. John Dingell on February 14, 2019 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, DC. (Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais – Pool/Getty Images)

A vote scheduled for Thursday by both students and faculty will determine whether or not the resolution will go to the Board of Trustees and Pitzer College President Melvin Oliver. If the vote passes, it will be up to them to make a final decision on the Haifa abroad program.

Tlaib, the first Palestinian American woman elected to Congress, has made headlines with comments she’s made about the Israel-Palestine conflict. She was one of the first members of Congress to publicly state her support for the boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) movement.

Some view the BDS movement as anti-Semitic because it seeks to penalize Israel for their treatment of Palestinians, though it does not seek to do so for any nation other than the Jewish state.

Pitzer College President Melvin Oliver pointed out the double standard that some perceive in the movement, saying, “Why would we not suspend our program with China? Or take our longest standing program in Nepal where the Pitzer in Nepal program has been run for over 40 years, During that time, they have had a bloody civil war that killed 19,000 people. Why Israel?” according to The Student Life.

Neither Segal or Oliver responded to request for comment.

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Source: The Daily Caller


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