April 06, 2014

So what did happen to King's College London Students's Union's vote for BDS?

I'm asking because I don't know what's happened here.

Last week the Jewish Chronicle reported this:

Kings College London's student union votes for Israel boycott

Pretty clear, huh?

Let's see a chunk of the article, by Charlotte Oliver:
Students at Kings College London passed a controversial anti-Israel motion this week, despite strong opposition from Jews on campus.

The motion, which was passed by the student union, called for the university to boycott Israel and “raise awareness of the country’s apartheid policies”.

It also urged Kings to affiliate with the Palestine Boycott Divestment and Sanctions National Committee.
Clearer still, yes?

Well now, in Friday's print edition there's an article headed, Students made to back down on Israel boyott [sic].  In all the excitement they typoed the word, "boycott".

The article, which I can't find on line, is by Marcus Dysch and gives some useful information like the vote was 348 for a boycott, 252 against but that "while the motion would stand as a record of the majority's view, it would not be acted on."[my emphasis]

It says that the "union president and chairman of trustees, Sebastiaan Debrouwere said there had been lengthy deliberation of the "legal implications"".  It went on, "He described the week since the vote as "testing and challenging"...

Now it starts getting weird.  He said, "I'm confident we can come together and get through these times as a stronger union".

Don't you think that's weird.  The union took a vote and a democratic decision was made and union bureaucrats have decided not to implement the decision.  How does that make the union stronger?

I suppose it's not weird at all that Israel advocates are described as "delighted" and one of them, from StandwithUs UK, said that it was a "double victory for Israel on campus" before going on to say, "students rose en masse for the first time in a long while to counter anti-Israel activities".

So what happened here?  Should I think the unthinkable and assume that this guy was telling the truth and that there was some emergency debate and the original democratic decision was democratically overturned or do I assume that what was democratically decided was bureaucratically undecided?

Frankly, I just don't know what to make of it and Marcus Dysch is the last person I'd want to ask for clarification.

UPDATE:  Whilst looking for info on this I see that it's been all over the twittersphere for a week.  You can find stuff by searching on twitter.com for @kclsu  boycott or @kclsu BDS.  The only shock now is that zionists are actually proud that they could overturn a democratic decision by purely bureaucratic means.  Students need to keep a much closer eye on their "representatives".

I also found the KCLSU statement about the whole shabby business here.

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