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SOAS votes for academic boycott of Israel

Pro-Palestinian SOAS students attend a rally in solidarity of an academic boycott of Israel
Pro-Palestinian SOAS students attend a rally in solidarity of an academic boycott of Israel

SOAS students and staff have endorsed an academic boycott of Israel, after the results of a week-long referendum were released Friday evening.

The vote, open to students, academics, and all other staff and management, finished with 73% for the ‘Yes’ campaign and 27% for the ‘No’ campaign.

The referendum asked members whether they think SOAS should fully join the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign, and implement academic boycott following the guidelines of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

Earlier this week, PACBI and Palestinian student and academic unions expressed their support for the ‘Yes’ campaign, and applauded efforts of pro-boycott campaigners.

The SOAS Students’ Union has supported the BDS campaign since 2005. In October 2014, the Students’ Union passed a motion that called on the Union “to take the BDS campaign to the University”, through a school-wide referendum.

Along with Palestinians at SOAS, the boycott campaign received support from “the Justice for Cleaners campaign, the LGBTQIA+ Society, the Kashmir Solidarity Movement, Tamil Society, and the SOAS Student Union itself.”

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