Students overwhelmingly vote to ban illegal Israeli settlement goods on campus

Over 1,000 students voted

A staggering 86 per cent of students have voted to boycott Israeli products on campus.

Last Friday, a whopping 1,084 students voted to decide whether or not the University should ban all Israeli settlement products.

For the next three years, Exeter will join the likes of Cardiff, Sussex and Kings College which all support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and its non-violent strategy to protest the illegal presence of Israel in Palestine.

Campus is now an illegal Israel settlement goods free zone

Third year PPE student and Co-President of Friends of Palestine May Muhtadi shared the society’s delight at the result: “The unprecedented turnout and high percentage of affirmative votes is a clear indication of the student position on this issue.

“Students are increasingly horrified by the actions of the Israeli government and are demanding accountability.”

The vote even caught the attention of Palestinian media, with the Palestine News Network reporting the “overwhelming support for the referendum is especially significant given the historically conservative nature of the University.”

However, though Palestine may be impressed with the vote, it seems not everyone is convinced that it will actually change anything.

Alexander Evans, a Masters Internal Relations student and President of the Friends of Israel Soc said: “The Boycott ‘Settlement Products’ motion passed at the referendum with a huge majority but an incredibly low turnout.

“Out of 18,000 students only just over 1,000 voted in the poll.

“This demonstrates most students at the University either didn’t hear of the referendum or don’t care.

“Given the low turnout, it is an unfair extension that the University should find itself on a list of institutions supporting boycott.”

Dan Squire, a third year English student and leader of the No campaign, also felt the impact of the vote would be barely felt by anyone.

He said: “The Yes vote will have no immediate consequence other than a symbolic one, because the Students’ Guild doesn’t buy any settlement produce. ”

When asked to comment on the vote, the Guild said: “The Students’ Guild itself does not hold a position on the boycott as we exist to represent the views of our students.

“As the student body has voted to implement a boycott, this will now be framed as policy and necessary action taken.”

The BDF movement, and the subsequent boycotts, aim to pressure Israel into supporting human rights and international law, which are currently being ignored by the occupying of illegal settlements in Palestine.