A campus activist network will push student governments and university administrations this year to pass a resolution calling for "an end to … the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory."
J Street U, the university wing of a group that positions itself as pro-Israel and anti-boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS), has drafted a motion "for ratification by student government and implementation by [administrators]" that would "affirm their support for a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which will ensure a future of peace and dignity for both peoples."
The draft resolution, which was viewed by the Washington Free Beacon, is titled "Invest in Israel; Invest in Two States" and urges the campus community to recognize the "two-state solution as the only viable solution for the end to the occupation of the West Bank by Israel."
The bill would encourage a repudiation of BDS by university trustees and students as counterproductive to the goal of reaching a two-state settlement, while also apportioning considerable blame for the ongoing conflict to Israel's "occupation" of East Jerusalem and the West Bank—areas that include Judaism's holiest sites—since the 1967 Six-Day War.
Also in the draft is a nod to ending "violence, terror, incitement," though the text makes no mention of who it considers responsible for terror and incitement in the region.
Repeated phone calls to the J Street national office and communications officials produced no response.
Aviva Slomich, the international campus director for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America on Campus, called it "unfair" that J Street U would ask U.S. university students to dictate policy to a foreign government.
"Student governments should be focused on issues that pertain to students and the campus," Slomich added.
J Street U detailed earlier this year its "Anti-BDS, Anti-Occupation" principles, which explain the organization sees, "The only true way to overcome the Global BDS Movement is to end the occupation and live up to Israel's founding values of democracy, equality, and social justice."
"[T]he anti-BDS approach adopted and advocated by the Israeli government and much of the pro-Israel community is unhelpful and counterproductive," J Street U wrote. "Tactics and messages that seek to censor, target, and ban opponents of the settlement movement do not win Israel new friends on campus."
"We must advocate for major investment in Israel's economy and civil society without legitimizing or defending the settlements in the West Bank. We must invest in building up infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, helping to lay the groundwork for a future state of Palestine," wrote J Street U.
J Street U's presence is concentrated on the East Coast. Its student board hails from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of California-Berkeley, University of Maryland, University of Chicago, Bates College, State Universe of New York-Buffalo, and Arizona State University.
Israel-related resolutions make frequent appearances in student government debates. In spring 2017, Tufts University and Pitzer College anti-Israel groups introduced pro-BDS motions immediately before the major Jewish holiday of Passover, at a time when students with an interest in the issue were off campus to observe the holiday. Both motions were passed.