The Daily Illini

Letter to the Editor: Divest movements increase anti-semitism on campus

By Eliot Rapoport

Hi all,

I am sure everyone has been inundated with social media posts regarding UIUC Divest from both sides. I’d like to apologize, because I’m now going to contribute to it.

For people who haven’t heard of or looked into Divest, it is a movement to remove University involvement from a list of organizations that have been at least somewhat associated with human rights violations.

As unquestionable as this seems, the issue is significantly complicated by the fact that the campaign’s main focus is to remove University support from Israel (the reason that these specific companies were being chosen is their association with Israel).

Most who know me can probably guess where I stand. Most who know me also know that I don’t like to share my political views in attempt to not unnecessarily distance myself from others.

Despite this, given the situation, I have been trying to share about my views on the movement or Israel with anyone I can.

My problem, however, is that the movement, in effect, removes the possibility of this kind of conversation; regardless of its human rights disguise (the question seems to intentionally not mention Palestine until the explanatory statement and even then, minimally), it would make the University take a public stance against Israel.

This forces unalterable polarized views on campus and alienates a significant portion of students. This has been seen on other campuses with increases of antisemitism where BDS has passed.

To make the campus welcoming space for discussion for all, I would like to encourage people to vote NO to Divestment, question 4 on the student election and referendum vote.

Eliot Rapoport is a student in LAS.

[email protected]

1 Comment