J Street opposes the New York University graduate students union’s recently adopted resolution that called on NYU to divest its funds from programs in Israeli state institutions, cut business ties with them and close its program in Tel Aviv University.
This resolution in particular, which fails to recognize Israel’s right to exist, does not endorse a two-state solution and draws no distinction between Israel and the territory it occupies beyond the Green Line, is counterproductive. Maintaining the distinction between Israel and the territory it controls is essential to ensuring the viability of a two-state solution, and J Street opposes efforts on both the left and the right to blur or erase it.
Further, we are disturbed that the resolution discourages cooperation between Israeli and American academics. Efforts to curtail dialogue between Israel and the rest of world, especially in this period of increasing Israeli isolation, do not advance the cause of peace. Many Israeli academics are deeply committed to a just resolution to the conflict. We should engage with them and work to build alliances to achieve shared goals, not shut off channels of communication.
J Street is on the front lines fighting against BDS, particularly on campus where we confront resolutions that often serve as thinly veiled attempts to delegitimize Israel. The most effective way to counter the BDS movement is to take steps to end the occupation and to reach a two-state solution to the conflict.