After hours of discussion and debate, the Central Student Government reversed the indefinite postponement of the controversial divestment resolution and subsequently voted to not pass it in a 25-9 vote with five abstentions early Wednesday morning.Pro-Israel students were insulted and threatened for opposing the BDS resolution, so the student government felt it had to vote secretly to ensure their own safety. It is obvious which side they were afraid of. This pretty much explains how the anti-Israel crowd works in a nutshell - with threats, intimidation and creating a toxic environment.
Hundreds of students lined the second floor of the Michigan Union and entered the Rogel Ballroom on a first-come, first-served basis Tuesday evening, and more than 2,000 viewers watched CSG’s live-stream of the six-hour-long event. University Police regulated the large crowd that formed both inside and outside the Union and organized the crowds to line up on State Street. Students allowed into the meeting were given tickets and encouraged not to leave the room once they entered. When the meeting began, the number of people in the room exceeded its 375-person capacity. An additional 200 students were seated in the nearby Pendleton Room as an overflow space.
It was voted on in a secret ballot, an amendment to the rules decided by the assembly to ensure the safety of individual representatives.
I watched part of the livestream of the debate. The haters brought in Max Blumenthal who didn't address the actual issues of the resolution so much as he launched a 30 minute anti-Israel screed filled with half-truths, slanders and lies about supposed Israeli crimes going back to 1947. He hilariously described himself as a "professor" in a university in Gaza that was a victim of Israeli "scholasticide." He mentioned his book many, many times and even displayed it a few times as he was talking.
He was followed by a Hillel representative who, while effectively calling Blumenthal out for challenging Israel's existence rather than working for peace, often attacked Israel herself by distancing herself from its policies and history, saying at least twice that Israeli actions she disagreed with were "shameful."
A few law students then described in detail why the resolution should not pass according to the criteria within student law itself, and one pointed out a number of historic lies within the resolution.
This was followed by a professor who gave a lecture about the history of the conflict. It was reasonably even-handed, if poorly organized and somewhat boring, but the anti-Israel crowd attacked him mercilessly in their tweets as being pro-Israel for saying things like Israel's 1967 war was defensive and the only violations of international law in that war were from the Arabs who intended to mass murder Israelis. In the end, answering a question, he said that he felt the BDS movement had made impressive gains.
Then the pro-divestment crowd sent out a large set of anti-Israel speakers, who instead of addressing the resolution simply rehashed anti-Israel rhetoric.
As usual, the pro-Israel side appealed to logic, law, even handedness and real peace, the anti-Israel crowd simply appealed to emotions.
No one, as far as I saw, attacked Palestinian Arab rejectionism, antisemitism, corruption, misogyny, honor killings or infighting.
My poster made for the occasion was retweeted a few dozen times by those following the proceedings, and then it was attacked by the haters as well.