Council’s competence questioned as Palestine motion dismissed

An active student representative says he was disappointed to have his motion regarding an Israeli boycott dismissed at last week’s Class Rep Council meeting.

The motion was dismissed as fellow representatives said they felt the Council did not have the competency to discuss issues of such political substance.

Former Council Chair, Rónán Ó’Dálaigh had called on members to mandate the Council to stand in solidarity with civic society in Palestine in supporting an initiative termed ‘Boycott Divestment Sanctions’.

“They’re asking for a boycott of Israel until Israel starts to comply with international law… they’ve specifically asked student unions across the world and other organisations to support the campaign,” O’Dálaigh informed those present at the CRC meeting.

Fellow activist, student Seán Cassidy sought to gauge the level of student awareness around the conflict in Palestine before stating that “the charter has issues around it” and “we don’t have competence to hold a position”.

Cassidy pointed out that while students in the National University of Ireland Galway voted recently to support the boycott, their university “has one of the most activist unions in the country. They have competence on this issue and we don’t.”

Speaking to The College View afterwards, Ó’Dálaigh expressed his disappointment that some fellow representatives feel the Council is unable to discuss matters of global substance.

“By shying away from our potential we miss the opportunity to affect change, we fail those who are suffering and we fail ourselves,” he said, adding “if there’s a real concern for Council’s competence I’d invite the proposer to help me organise a comprehensive, stand-alone debate.”

Sarah Bermingham

Image Credit: Eimear Phelan

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