Second vote held after Madison divestment fails | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Second vote held after Madison divestment fails


MADISON — After rejecting a non-binding resolution in March calling for divestment from Israel, Madison student government moved in April to consider creating a new Financial Transparency and Ethics subcommittee, according to The Daily Cardinal.

It reportedly did so with some Jewish students not present, due to Passover.

In March, student representatives had proposed to call for the university and its independent foundation to divest from companies “complicit” in human rights violations, including companies associated with Israel, according to the student newspaper.

“With only 24 hours notice, nearly 130 pro-Israel students attended the meeting, and over 25 spoke in opposition to the resolution,” University of Wisconsin Hillel Executive Director Greg Steinberger said in a statement, issued soon after the late March vote. “I am pleased to announce that after 6.5 hours of rigorous debate the Associated Students of Madison (ASM), defeated a divestment resolution by a motion to table indefinitely (meaning the resolution cannot be brought up again for the remainder of the academic year).”

“The resolution called upon the University of Wisconsin – Madison to divest from 20 companies doing business in Israel. It co-opted the noble cause of human rights to obscure the real goal of enacting the destructive and anti-Semitic BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) movement at University of Wisconsin-Madison.”

However, according to the Daily Cardinal, the authors of the failed divestment initiative in March later proposed the subcommittee on ethics and finance. They did so on Wednesday, April 12, a day after the second night of Passover, when some Jewish student representatives were absent.

Several student representatives — at least one of them offended at the timing on behalf of absent Jewish students — reportedly walked out. It was a failed effort to break quorum. The April 12 proposal passed but still must be approved with another vote.