USI Vote to Support Boycott Campaign Against Israel

The USI voted to support the boycott against Israel at their annual congress despite not all Students’ Unions voting the same way.

The Union of Students in Ireland voted to support the boycott against Israeli occupation in Palestine at their annual congress in Galway on April 5th, 2018.

The motion was put forward by Robert Murtagh from Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union and asks that members of the USI are informed of the situation in Palestine, commemorate Palestine Solidarity Day and support an Academic Boycott of Israeli Higher Education institutions.

The Israel-Palestine conflict has been occurring since the mid 20th century and there has been no final peace agreement, despite Israel’s general reconciliation with Eygpt and Jordan.

Speaking at the congress, USI president Michael Kerrigan said, “The students of Ireland have today made the historic decision to support the people of Palestine. This movement attempts to exert economic and political pressure on Israel until it’s illegal siege of Gaza and its illegal occupation of the West Bank, and agrees to abide by International law and all UN Resolutions against it.”

Although students voted as a whole to support the motion, not all universities students’ union stood in favour of this.

“I’m happy to see this motion pass today. Let the students of Ireland continue follow in Madiba’s footsteps and stand with the people of Palestine in their struggle for freedom.”

“We must join with our Union comrades at Trinity, NUIG, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, NUS, Universities and Colleges Union, NUS-USI and many others in supporting justice and human rights for the people of Palestine. We always have been and must continue to be on the right side of history,” Murtagh said when proposing the motion.

DCU’s stance on the issue currently stands at welcoming the decision made by the USI and showing their support for the boycott, DCUSU President Niall Behan told The College View.

“DCUSU welcomes the decision of USI congress to support the BDS movement. Our delegates collectively voted in favour given the evidence of Israel’s failure to participate in any meaningful and constructive peaceful dialogue,” said Behan when asked what was DCU’s current position on the issue.

“The ambition of this campaign is to exert political and economic pressure on the Israel state until their illegal and cruel occupation of Gaza and the west bank is over. We believe we are standing on the right side of history here and for what is morally just and right.”

“We look forward to our efforts in this movement such as hosting a Palestine Solidarity Day in the near future,” Behan added.

Ellen Fitzpatrick

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