Students for Justice in Palestine launch campaign for boycott of Israel on anti-apartheid grounds

Photo by Joe McCallion

Student for Justice in Palestine (SJP) are launching  a campaign for a boycott of Israel on Anti-apartheid grounds. They are seeking to mandate Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) to affiliate with the global Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement and to omit Israeli goods from student union spaces.

SJP also seek to mandate TCDSU to campaign for “an end to TCD’s ties to the Israeli state, its associated institutions, and any other body that profits from or helps to normalise Israeli apartheid, occupation, and other human rights abuses.”

In a press statement, the campaign organisers stated that the proposed referendum will reflect “the principles and aims of the international solidarity movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Boycott.”

The group explained that trinity enforced the full boycott of apartheid South Africa on the same terms in the 1970s and 1980s. As a result of the actions, Trinity and other Universities helped dismantle Apartheid in South Africa.

The referendum will mandate the TCDSU to affiliate formally with the movement, to refuse to stock Israeli products in SU spaces and to campaign to end the SU ties with the Israeli State.

Currently Trinity has institutional ties to security company G4s, drone manufacturer Elbit security systems, the Israeli security and counter- terrorism Academy. Trinity also has ties with Universities such as Ariel University and the Hebrew University of jerusalem both of which are partly built on settlement lands.

In the statement, the group also said Trinity should “ have respect for Human rights as a decisive principle in all its proceedings and a solidary approach to research and learning at its core.

In April of this year, a motion was brought to council which called for a college wide boycott of the state of Israel. The motion was defeated. TSCSU President, Kevin keane broke a campaign promise when he  spoke against the boycott at the council and offered a compromise of a TCDSU  awareness campaign which was unanimously decided by the SJP.  At the council Keane said that the SU should exist to “affect the community we have right here”.

In February of this year, the Israeli Ambassador was prevented from speaking a The Society for international affairs (Sofia ) event because of a protest organised by SPJ.  SPJ were fined for 150 by the college authorities for the protest.

In this months print version of Trinity News, this article incorrectly stated that SOFIA fined SJP of 150. The college authorities held a disciplinary hearing and fined SJP 150 not SOFIA. 

Sarah Meehan

Sarah is a 2nd year German and Economics student.